In the business world there are some negotiators who always seem to get what they want while others always seem to come up short. What makes some people better negotiators than others? Have you ever wondered if your negotiating style is too tough or too accommodating? Are you too cooperative or too selfish? The fact is people have different communication styles and they bring specific skills, experiences, and tools to the table that affect the way they interact with others. Chances are, your innate and learned tendencies will have a significant impact on the way you negotiate. In order to become a successful negotiator, you should seek to identify your negotiating style and learn how to use it to your advantage.
Negotiation Style: Competitive
Competitors have a strong desire to “win” and seek to get a better deal than their “opponent.” This “I win, you lose” mentality often comes at the expense of their counterpart. They are results-oriented and focused on reaching short-term goals quickly and they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve these results. This is a beneficial style when you need to reach a short-term agreement quickly and these negotiators work best in a highly competitive industry like sales.
Negotiation Style: Collaborative
Unlike the competitive style, the collaborative approach follows the “I win, you win” model. Collaborative negotiators focus on making sure the needs of all parties are met. They value strengthening, establishing, and building long-term relationships for the betterment of the company. These negotiators are willing to invest time in finding innovative solutions and building trusting relationships with other organizations.
Negotiation Style: Compromising
Although it has some similarities to the collaborative style, the compromising style follows the “I win/lose some, you win/lose some” model. In order to reach an agreement, compromisers are often willing to concede some terms in favor of gaining others. This is a bargaining tactic in which you give me something and I’ll give you something in return. It’s very easy for competitors to take advantage of compromisers, so this strategy works best with a trustworthy counterpart.
Negotiation Style: Avoid
An avoiding negotiation style follows an “I lose, you lose” model. Avoiders dislike conflict and they tend to be vague about the issues at hand. If they are unhappy with an agreement, they might get angry and seek revenge rather than discuss their unhappiness. This can cause rifts in business relationships. This type of negotiation style works best when the issues at hand are deemed trivial by both parties.
Negotiation Style: Accommodate
An accommodating style follows the “I lose, you win” model and this is not in the best interest of the negotiator. This is the exact opposite of the competitive negotiator, as these negotiators are willing to sacrifice some of their company’s interests in order to maintain a friendly rapport with their counterpart. These negotiators are skilled peacemakers, but they should never work alone as they will be easy targets by competitors.