What’s Your Negotiation Style

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Everyone negotiates. If you don’t think you do, use G. Richard Shell’s definition and you’ll see that you do: negotiation is an interactive communication process that may take place whenever we want something from someone else or another person wants something from us.”

Since many of our clients’ successful presentations lead to a negotiated deal, years ago, I decided to master the area, so, as their trusted advisor, I could be helpful until the deal was made. After helping a client who was late on a critical delivery negotiate a deal with a strategic Fortune company which was threatening a lawsuit, I began teaching it as part of a CUNY MBA program and workshops and keynotes offered to conference attendees. To stay on top of the area, I often read material by experts in the area.

This weekend, I was enjoying Shell’s “Bargaining for Advantage” and noticed that in his second edition, he offered his own Bargaining Styles Assessment Tool.  Essentially, he concludes that we have five basic negotiating styles:    Competing; Collaborating; Compromising; Avoiding; and Accommodating.

His tool is identifies your strongest bargaining style inclination and your weakest. While we can use any style in a specific situation, our preferences guide how we act. Since two critical important steps in negotiating is to (1) know yourself and (2) know the opposite party, knowledge of each’s style is part of what you want to know.

There is no “optimal” style for negotiators. The key is to understand how your style will work in a specific context and adjust accordingly. For instance, Donald Trump is well known and takes pride in being competitive; Larry King is well known and takes pride in being empathetic and easy to get along with. If the two were to negotiate against one another, both would be wise to think about their own and their counterpart’s bargaining style before making a move.  Thus, Shell’s key advice is that you take a minute at the beginning of a bargaining session to size up your counterpart  – by negotiating some smaller items – before getting to the main event.

What’s your style? How did knowing yours and observing counterpart’s style affected your success in negotiating?  Share with us. If you’d like a copy of his Assessment tools, let me know and we’ll send you a copy. trenbolon kaufen