After a rigorous background check on the Area Director, I was able to uncover new things that I had never learned before about her. Talks with contractors who have had to deal with OSHA have shown that the Area Director is not a ‘jerk’ as defined above, but deals with evidence. I was also able to point out that the Director reacts unfairly because her officers are not treated with the dignity they receive as Federal Officers. When I spoke to the site officer, he revealed that the General Contractor’s Superintendent was disrespectful to the OSHA Compliance Officer, and that he himself was not polite to the officer either. The conduct of these two officers might have pushed the Area Director to penalize my business heavily. In my negotiation, I will thus focus on making an apology to the Director and confirming my company’s commitment to occupational safety.
I believe that a compromise approach is what will work to change the mind of the Director because all I am seeking from her is her empathy (Marcus, Dorn and McNulty, 2012). I will be working to convince her to loosen her stand and allow us to make corrections on the security threats that her officers identified at our site. I will strive to make her see how two of the three threats cited did not pose any direct threat to the workers or even other members of staff. For example, the open elevator shaft did not pose a direct threat to the site workers because they were working far from it and did not have any reason to get close to the elevator. By applying a compromise style of negotiation, I will show the Director how I am willing to be penalized on one of the omissions and how willing I am to have the other two threats rectified. The Director will gain in terms of establishing goodwill with us and other contractors who will be more willing to collaborate with her in ensuring workplace safety.
I intend to present my case to the Area Director by first making an apology to her due to the mistreatment that her officers received from the Superintendent and the foreman. Making an apology will act as a sign of respect to her which will be a negotiation strength for me (Hornickle, 2014). After making the apology, I will proceed to acknowledge that whatever her field officers noted was true. This again will show respect for her officers because she likes working with facts. Then I will show her how the said threats did not pose any grave danger to workers. For example, the open elevator shaft was far from where my workers were. I will accept negligence on the side of my foreman for failing to have the ground prong closed. I will then inform the Director that we check the ground prongs daily and that on the particular day her officers visited, it was just an act of omission. I will also inform her how my company has consistently taken the safety of workers seriously and that we have not had recordable injuries for the last five years. This will act to impress the Director because I already know that she is willing to negotiate with companies that take safety seriously. I will also inform her how we have been awarded for safety achievements by the Local Safety Council to further make her willing to compromise for my company. I believe that this strategy should work and make the Director consider my request.
Hornickle, J., (2014). Negotiating Success: Tips and Tools for Building Rapport and Dissolving Conflict While Still Getting What You Want. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Marcus, L. J., Dorn, B. C., & McNulty, E. J. (2012). The walk in the woods: A step-by-step method for facilitating interest-based negotiation and conflict resolution. Negotiation Journal, 28(3), 337-349. Retrieved from Trident University Library