Emil is taking a course in conflict and negotiation. He has digested a great deal of information. As he lay falling asleep he remembered a story his dearly departed mother had told him about when she left Czechoslovakia just before the communist regime blocked it off for decades. His mother had lamented about having sold precious belongings for fractions of their worth and scraping up just enough money to reach America to start over penniless. Emil had known his parents as shrewd business people, but he always thought they had been foolish to virtually give away their things. Now he couldn’t help but wonder whether his parents were indeed smarter than he thought!

Case Discussion Questions:
1. How would you advise Emil on evaluating the success of his mother’s negotiations to sell her belongings?

2. What powers and/or fears were likely at play during the negotiations?

3. Can you identify anything in the case that was considered non-negotiable?

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Answer 1:

In this case, Emil needs to consider the amounts which were at stake for his mother. He should understand that if his parents had not moved to America, they would have remained stuck in Czechoslovakia which was blocked by the communist regime for decades. Life would have been more miserable in that situation since there would be no freedom and growth opportunities...

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