Ms. Richardson was confused and asked Mr. Moua, “Sir, I am sorry you have been very sick; I am glad you are now better; and I am glad that you want to take your medicines. I agree that you are an elderly man who can take your medicines without my supervision. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t insist on this. The problem is that the state requires everyone with TB to have a nurse come to the house and watch them take their medicine. How do you think we can work together, so that we can follow the law and help you feel better?”
Mr. Moua’s wife offered, “I am willing to help my husband take his medicine every day. Would that be acceptable?”
Ms. Richardson, “That would be fine, as long as I am here.”
Mr. Moua, “Even if my wife gives me the medicine, I refuse to open my mouth afterwards for inspection, as if I am a baby or an animal.”
Ms. Yang turned to Ms. Richardson and said, “In Hmong culture, opening the mouth and showing your tongue or teeth is embarrassing, particularly for elders. Perhaps this is his main objection.”
Ms. Richardson, “If that is objectionable to you, then I am willing to forgo it.”
Mr. Moua, “And I would prefer it if you would not come every day.”
Ms. Richardson, “For now, I need to come every day, as those are the doctors’ orders. However, I am willing to talk with the TB doctor, and ask him to decrease your medicines to twice a week. This may mean that you would have to take more pills every day, however. Is that acceptable?”
Mr. Moua, “Yes, please talk with the doctor; it would be good to decrease the pills to twice a week.”
|1. What essential elements of negotiation can you identify in this exchange? How do you think each party felt about the negotiation process? Were their needs and desires met or not?
2. What elements of cultural respect and building a trusting relationship did Ms. Richardson display in this exchange? Were there other things she could have done?