Imagine you are the owner of a small electrical company. You have been penalized 514,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for what you consider to be petty violations. You do not think you should have been cited for two of the three violations which were identified as ‘Serious° violations. There was an open elevator shaft 30 feet from where your electrician was working. Someone cut the grounding prong off of one of your extension cords. Your electrician did not cover an open circuit breaker box that was energized, which exposed other workers to potential electrical shock hazards. In addition, you consider your company’s safety program to be one of the best in the industry, having won several awards from the local Safety Council. You also have not had a recordable injury for more than 5 years. You do not think you should have been cited for the elevator shaft, since it was not very close to where your electrician was working (so the employee wasn’t really exposed to the hazard). He didn’t even have a reason to go near the shaft, and it wasn’t your company’s responsibility to put up a guard rail (the carpenters are supposed to do that). You do not think you should be cited for the electrical cord because you have repeatedly instructed your workers not to do this, and you have a program to check for ground prongs daily (though your foreman sometimes forgets to do this). You decide to set up an informal settlement conference to try to settle the case with the Area Director. You heard conflicting stories related to her willingness to negotiate in good faith, however. A framing contractor (who is admittedly a bit of a “hothead”) stated that the Area Director is “a jerk” and that she “has it in for construction contractors. He stated, “I showed her how her inspector was clearly wrong and all she would do was give me a 20% penalty reduction. She wants to put us all out of business.° A roofing contractor stated, however, that you just need to get on her good side. He stated that the Area Director was very accommodating and that she withdrew two out of four serious citations tied to an inspection conducted at one of the roofer’s sites. He ended up with a 65% penalty reduction overall. In this scenario, you are the business owner and are entering into a negotiation with a federal manager to reduce the penalties issued against your company. You really do not know what to expect.
Review the background materials and prepare a 2- to 3-page paper in which you: Outline the key tenets of emotional intelligence and discuss how an awareness of emotional intelligence and the human element can be useful going into such a negotiation.