My company refuses to negotiate (part one)
Let’s imagine this situation. One day, your HR Manager summons you to tell you he let you go. You just don’t understand and you were certainly not expecting this. Reasons given are as obscure as the situation as a whole and they have no foundations whatsoever for you.
You’re stunned, that only human.
At this point, several preconceived ideas may trap you even though they are true sometimes:
- My boss does not want to negotiate, I can’t do anything about it;
- I will win any legal action, for sure;
- My case is going to cost them dear!
- I am already outside the company so I can no longer negotiate.
Let’s overlook the first two for the purpose of this article.
My boss does not want to negotiate, I can’t do anything about it (Part 1).
At this stage, you may want to respond to his violence being made to you, by being violent yourself as you’re very understandably wounded and you may want to make them suffer. So you can be attracted to a legal action as your only option. Or, you immediately tell them that you’re ready to negotiate.
Two things are then very likely to occur: either he accepts to negotiate but within very tight conditions, or he simply says that he does not want to negotiate.
Double choc for you.
In this last case, the simple fact that you came to him innocently and somehow naïvely, puts you in a rather weak position as any negotiation is about creating a more or less severe ratio of power.
In both cases, you move is a tactical error. To bring your employer to negotiate requires that you show him his interest to do so, rather than anything else.
Please don’t forget that this “I don’t want to negotiate” is a posture. It is a negotiation strategy in itself and you might then accept a minimum proposition justifying to others (as well as to yourself) that he did not want to negotiate.
Except that you chose the wrong option by taking your boss’ posture down to the first degree and, by doing so, you discarded the fact that this posture is nothing but one of many negotiation strategies.
I will win any legal action, for sure.
Unfortunately, it so happens that people are made redundant independently of their skills or successes, but for internal political reasons or because the company is shrinking its workforce for whatever reasons.
Any situation may occur: your N+1 does not to work with you any more, you had unfortunate words which displeased your management, you’re not longer the man/woman for the job, the organization got reshuffled etc.
Your first assessment might be that your company’s case is empty and that you’ll win them in court, for sure. May be.
However, let’s consider your present situation and what you first priority is. Is it to engage into a long & financially and psychologically costly legal dispute, or is it to find a new job as soon as possible in the best possible conditions?
Well the answer is in the question. A good negotiation will last between 1 and 3 months. It can be of course much quicker depending upon your expectations and your company’s attitude.
Don’t forget, if your employer wants to get rid of you with no reason, be sure he is aware of it.
Your company is made of men and women who work together and which, sometimes, does not want / can’t afford to work with you anymore.
Don’t forget that some people are very excited by the perspective of a fight and, also, saying is very different than doing.
Immediately accepting the other party’s position (I can’t do anything about it) which fuels passivity, or immediately going to war (legal action, I am going to make them suffer) are positions which disregard the large negotiation space between those 2 extremes.