Personal Self-Reflection and Critique of Specific Negotiations

PersonalSelf-Reflection and Critique of Specific Negotiations

Compareand Contrast Negotiation Scene of Arbitrage Vs The Big Short

Thereare different styles and formats of negotiations used by differentparties based on the factors that led to negotiation and the motivesfrom both parties as argued by (Jackson &amp Sorensen, 2016). Thecomplexity, content, urgency and situation leading to the issuesaffects the type of negotiation to be used. Notably, these styles ofnegotiations are strengthening or act as weak areas to thenegotiating parties and place the negotiators strategically fornegotiations. As argued by Singh (2014), the interest of negotiatingparties determines the direction that negotiation should take. Forinstance, the interest can be of mutual benefit. Hence, the partiesmay take the collaborative style of negotiations where the needs ofthe two parties are met or compromising style where there is nodefinite winner to the negotiation, but each party feels that theirinterest was met.

Othernegotiating styles include competing, accommodative and avoiding. Inthe light of the five negotiation techniques, this essay intends toprovide a comparison and contrast between a negotiation scene ofArbitrage and The Big Short to identify the approach of negotiationchosen. Other issues to be discussed is the benefits anddisadvantages of the approach used in the style, Justification ofDifficult Conversation and the ethical issues (Stance) from the twoscenes.

Theapproach to the chosen negotiation sessions

Accordingto Sharma(2015),two major approaches can be used to negotiate. These are determinedby the predetermined outcomes of the negotiation and the concessiontactics that will be used by the negotiators. The first is positionalbargaining where argument are based on position. Extreme positionsare taken by both parties based on their needs, wants and limitation,and this ends in a spectrum where only a single party win thenegotiation (Blaschke, 2012).

Theother approach to a negotiation is a principled negotiation wherenegotiating parties work together in forging the agreement in a waythat the value created leaves the two sides happy and in acollaborative environment where the solutions mutually benefit theparties. Based on this argument, the Arbitrage scene used a differentnegotiation approach from The Big Short theory.

Inthe Arbitrage negotiation scene between Richard Gere and Mr. JamesMayfield, the use of positioning bargaining was very prominent. Fromthe start, Richard wants to put it in a way that Mr. Mayfield is theone who is interested in the deal and in two occasions threatens tomove out of the deal. This is a Compromising Style of negotiation ortactic to manipulate the partner into entering into the deals basedon his terms given that in the first place he is the one who proposedthe deal and felt that the concession should favor him.

Positioningbargaining is also evident when the two are bargaining for the amountof money that the deal should be sealed at. While Mr. Richard startsat a higher value of $600 M, James starts at $400 M. In thissituation instead of looking at what mutually benefits both partieseach party is looking for a deal that will make the other party lose(Arbitrage, 2012).

Atthe end of the negotiations, Mr. Richards is convinced that the dealwas in his favor by stating that the deal was worth $600M but wasable to negotiate $525M a case that is refuted by Richard who feelsthat he won the deal given that it was worth $400M and was able tonegotiate $525 (Arbitrage, 2012).

Unlikethe Arbitrage negotiation scene where positioning bargaining approachis applied, the approach applied in The Big Short negotiation is theprincipled negotiation by use of collaborative style aimed at meetingthe needs of both parties. Ryan Gosling starts by presenting thecurrent situation of the USA mortgage and also presents a loose casescenario for all if the mortgage would fail. The note at which hestarts “What is smelling” gives a note for the members to takepart in the dialogue and introduces them to the benefit “Money”before even persuading the negotiating partners (Vennet, 2015). Cleargoals of the negotiation unlike the Arbitrage negotiation scene arepresented with proper communication strategies being put in place.

Nonetheless,the two cases have similarities regarding the pre-defined outcomes,and the goals of the negotiations are made known to the two parties.For instance, in Arbitrage, Richard and Mayfield were both aware ofthe goals of the negotiation and their predetermined outcomes was toget the better share of the deal. Each party was negotiating whilefully aware of what was to be the end result. In the case of The BigShort theory, the goals were determined as a mutually beneficialinvestment that will earn them money if the Mortgage fails (Vennet,2015). Therefore, both parties in this negotiation have money as theend result in the negotiation.

Also,in the two cases, there was no limit in communication style used. Forinstance, on the two occasions, informal language is used such as“fuck you” which seems to offend the other party (Arbitrage,2012). Finally, the use of manipulative concession tactics isprominent in both cases where in the case of Arbitrage, Richard triesto walk out of the negotiation as a way of forcing Mayfield to hisbidding. This is similar to the case of The Big Short where theconcept of money is used to attract the other parties.

Howthe Approach assisted the Person(s) and how it disadvantaged them

Thetwo primary approaches used in the two scenes were positioning forArbitrage and principled negotiation. For either party, thenegotiations seemed to benefit and at the same time disadvantageeither side of the negotiating parties (Sprinz etal., 2016). In theArbitrage scene, for instance, each party felt that they had wongiven that they were able to get whatever they wanted from the otherparty. In this case, Mayfield had budgeted for $600 and was able toget a deal of $525M which Richard felt that it was a plus for himgiven that his plan was to get $400 (Arbitrage, 2012). However, thisput them in a disadvantaged situation of trust where Richard had toforce an agreement to be signed because he viewed the deal assplendid to be true and felt that Mayfield needed to append hissignature as a sign that the deal is closed before he changes hismind.

Onthe other hand, the use of principled negotiation in The Big Shorttheory allowed Ryan Gosling to convince the other party that the dealwas worth taking. This was demonstrated by giving the presentsituation where both would lose, but if they took a chance to makethe investment, he described how both would stand to gain whichplayed a great role in reaching a concision.

However,the use of this method created room for questions as a sign that theother party felt that the deal was not as appealing as it sounds(Vennet, 2015). At some points, the other partner had to doubt why noone is talking about the Mortgage, and this made him even use ahigher tone to convince the other party and even use Yen to lie abouthis concept. However, in the end, a deal was reached at, anindication that each approach that was applied to each scene wassuccessful.

DifficultConversations in the Scenes

Accordingto Jackson and Sorensen (2016), difficult conversation betweennegotiating parties can be demonstrated using the facial andemotional expressions of the negotiating partners. The two scenesdemonstrated difficulties in conversations but in different contextswhich were followed by reactions from each party.

Lookingat the case of Arbitrage negotiation scene, some difficultconversations can be identified. At some occasions during theconversation, Richard would fall inadequate to engage Mayfield whichwas expressed by anger and discontent. These emotions were expressedon two occasions Richard had to walk out of the conversation or evenuse hard language such as “Fuck you” when talking to Mayfield(Arbitrage, 2012). On the other hand, when Mayfield is told aboutRichard’s son to be in the office, he feels uneasy anduncomfortable with the idea. Nonetheless, difficulties inconversation from the scene are not so pronounced.

Onthe other hand, there are some situations that difficulty in theconversation was experienced in The Big Short scene. The partners hadto question about why no one is talking about the Mortgage issueapart from Ryan Gosling. This is expressed through their facialexpression which shows a sign of disbelief of what they were beingtold. In addition, Ryan had to use Yen to convince the partners thatit was a good deal as well as using a very high tone that shut theothers and left them surprised (Vennet, 2015). Though it seems thathe had already figured out that they will not be after the idea andcame with Yen whom he had to lie that he doesn’t speak English sothat he is not put into task given that this was a principledapproach. Their emotional expression of disbelief shown from theirfaces showed that there was awkward conversation.

Differencesbetween the Two Films’ Ethical Issues

Professionalethics that drives ethical negotiations are referred to as the use ofconsistent and logical communication, skills, knowledge, values andemotions in reaching to concession between the negotiating parties.In the two studies, two ethical stances were applied. These includedthe Consequentialism/teleology and Utilitarian ethical stance(Blaschke, 2012).

Theteleology ethical stance is a group of moral theory that is expressedas “The ends justifies the means” and so long as no one is harmedfrom the consequences of the actions. Therefore, there is no moralharm, and the product of the action is considered as morally right orgood outcomes (Singh, 2014). This ethical stance was applied in theArbitrage negotiation scene where each believed was morally right towin. In this case, both parties were content with the final agreementof a business deal worth $525 where this was good outcomes for bothsides (Arbitrage, 2012).

Onthe other hand, Utilitarian ethical stance advocates for the greatergood where moral outcomes are justified if the greater good isjustified (Sprinz etal., 2016). Thisstance was applied in The Big Shot negotiation scene where the mutualbenefit for both parties was advocated for. Each party was given achance to review the alternative options and take the one thatfavored both where both sides intended to benefit from the fall ofUSA mortgage.

HowDifferent Parties used power in the two Scenes

Toreach a mutually beneficial agreement, power should be distributedequally and efficiently between the concerned parties (Blaschke,2012). In the two cases, power was not distributed evenly. However,in the case of Arbitrage negotiation scene, Richard was viewed tohave much higher power than Mayfield. All through the negotiations,Richard wanted the ruling to be done in his favor. To begin with,Richard states that the deal must earn him more profits.

Inaddition, he negotiates for the final agreed amount and even proposeshis daughter to manage with his son being employed and pulls out anagreement for Mayfield to sign. However, this did not leave Mayfieldpowerless and seemed to have figured out Richard. Mayfield stated alower value so that the deal would not be above the estimated valueof $600M.

Onthe other hand, in The Big Short negotiation scene, power isdistributed equally where each person presents their case, and theother party agrees or disagrees. Nonetheless, Ryan controlled thispower by bringing more facts back up to change the set-up of theother partners.


Thecomplexity, content, urgency and situation leading to the issuesaffects the type of negotiation to be used.A negotiation style maystrengthen or weaken a party’s strategic negotiation position. Inthe two scenes, there were different approaches used and differentethical stance. In the case of Arbitrage, the use of positionbargaining was prominent, and the teleology ethical stance wasadapted unlike The Big Short where the principled approach was usedsupported by the utilitarian moral stance.

Inboth scenes from Arbitrage and The Big Short, there were instances ofdifficult conversations. The negotiators resorted to other means suchas increasing their voices, use of vulgar language and the Yen to putacross their points. Some of these styles such as use of vulgarlanguage offended the other parties.

Theseare reflections of how negotiations occur in real life, sincecommunication styles of people differ. The goals and level ofnegotiations also involuntarily dictate the language and tone used inthe negotiation process. Some tones may be appropriate in onenegotiation but not in another. In fact, the choice of a wrong tonemay completely kill the whole negotiation process.

Goodcommunication skills underly good negotiation skills, which in turnunderly successful marketing and sales.


Arbitrage(2012). Negotiation-Evening(Fall 2012): Clip 1.Retrieved from

Blaschke,L. M. (2012). Heutagogy and Lifelong learning: A review ofheutagogical practice and self-determined learning.&nbspTheInternational Review of Research in Open and DistributedLearning,&nbsp13(1),56-71.

Jackson,R., &amp Sørensen, G. (2016).&nbspIntroductionto international relations: theories and approaches.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sharma,A. (2015). Introduction. In&nbspDocumentaryFilms in India&nbsp(pp.1-25). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Singh,G. (2014).&nbspFilmafter Jung: Post-Jungian approaches to film theory.Cambridge: Routledge.

Sprinz,D. F., de Mesquita, B. B., Kallbekken, S., Stokman, F., Sælen, H., &ampThomson, R. (2016). Predicting Paris: Multi-method approaches toforecast the outcomes of global climate negotiations.&nbspPoliticsand Governance,&nbsp4(3),172-187.

VennetJ. L., (2015). TheBig Short. Extended Clip: &quotJenga.&quot Paramount PicturesInternational.Retrieved from