Free Essay on the Role of Negotiation in Resolving Conflict

Published: 2022-09-05
Free Essay on the Role of Negotiation in Resolving Conflict
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Conflict management Communication skills
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 562 words
5 min read

Leaders sometimes face challenges in choosing the appropriate course of actions. Rulers have a responsibility of protecting their citizens from internal and external harm. Also, they are accountable to their allies for the decisions they make on behalf of their countries. Therefore, before deciding to undertake an action, they must consider the impacts. Thus, leaders should possess some leadership qualities to enable them to deal with challenges in governance appropriately. Two of the vital attributes that a president must be endowed with are negotiation and decision-making skills. Jimmy Carter in the 1980 hostage may have required to exercise these two skills in handling matters with Iran. The president's decision may have risked the lives of many more American citizens in Iran. Therefore, this paper examines the role of negotiation in resolving conflicts.

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As 52 American citizens had been taken hostage in Iran for many months, the people were pressurizing president Jimmy Carter to act. However, the Iranians had their demands which included the return of Shah of Iran to his country for trial. Furthermore, America had imposed economic sanctions on Iran, frozen Iranian`s assets in the USA, and deported Iranians. Hence Iran must have been agitated by America`s move. At the time, there were still 45000 Americans working in Iran, who were at risk of being deported or held hostage. Therefore, the issue of the 52 hostages was a delicate matter. Whatever actions that the president would take, it would have an impact of either the citizens or his legacy.

President Jimmy Carter had to weigh his decisions carefully before actioning. In his position, I would not order the military rescue mission. The move could further risk the lives of the hostages and the other American citizens in Iran. However, I would engage in a negotiation dialogue. Negotiation is the process of bringing to parties together for a common understanding. The initiative requires the two parties to compromise to resolve an issue. The attributes of a negotiator are communication and interpersonal skills, self-confidence and emotional control. I believe mediation would have been the most suitable answer to the problem. Since America and Iran had something that the other wanted, the bargain would lead to the point of understanding. Moreover, in the event of an agreement America and Iran were more likely to keep their part of the deal. Also, there was a possibility of having healthier relations after the dispute.

About President Jimmy Carter`s legacy, he would be remembered and honored by the families of the hostages for not risking their lives. Moreover, in engaging in negotiation, he would have demonstrated a rare leadership capability. Use of the military rescue mission would only have solved a partial problem of American hostages. But as a result, there would be civilian and military casualties from America and Iran. Other nations would criticize this move. Also, the United Nations and other human rights bodies would seek justice for the innocent victims.

Therefore, the choice to go ahead with negotiation rather than war would not be a cowardly move but one of bravery and consideration. President Jimmy Carter would not only protect American citizens but would create precedence for other rulers. Therefore, mediation is the preferable method of dealing with conflicts, unless the circumstances stipulate otherwise.


Rees, W. David, and Christine Porter. "Negotiating Skills." Skills of Management and Leadership, 2015, 291-316. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-32562-4_14.

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