What type of negotiator are you?

Both the hard-nosed and the soft-touch negotiators are negative extremes, so the ideal would be somewhere in the middle.

Exercise 1 – Suggested answers:

  1. Both a and b are too extreme. A more sensible compromise (c) might be to reach an agreement, but only where a good agreement is possible, and to avoid agreeing to anything that is not in one’s best long-term interests.
  2. All of these adjectives except aggressive and weak can apply to good negotiators, depending on the situation. There are times when you need to be spontaneous, flexible, generous, helpful and accommodating, and times to be
    tenacious and even stubborn. The two which probably apply all the time are patient and cautious.
  3. If you see the other person as your enemy (or, to a lesser extent, your adversary or opponent), you have the wrong attitude and will not build good long-term relations. On the other hand, if you try to negotiate with your friend (or, to a lesser extent, your partner), you may well damage your friendship or get a less than perfect result for your organisation. It is better to allow
    partnership and friendship to grow out of a successful negotiation, not come before it. The most neutral term, counterpart, is probably the safest way to think of your opposite number.
  4. It all depends on whether you would still be better off after making the concession. If not, you should definitely call his bluff. If you would be significantly better off by making the concession than walking away, you probably have to make the concession. However, if this is a borderline case, with no obvious ‘best’ option, remember that you are trying to build a longterm relationship here, and you may decide you don’t want to work with someone who uses such aggressive tactics – and certainly that you don’t want to start the relationship by showing how easily you can be manipulated. Call his bluff and see what happens.
  5.  Again, it depends on how important the deal and the relationship are to you. If you want to build a long term relationship, you should try to find out why she won’t accept your final offer, by focusing on her interests rather than positions. It’s much better to show a positive attitude towards finding a creative solution rather than just expecting your counterpart to do all the hard work.
  6. a. might seem the most honest answer, but b might actually be better for both sides. If you accept straight away, your client will realise she has offered too much, and will feel bad about the negotiation. If, on the other hand, she feels as if she has had to fight for her price, she will feel happier about her performance and the negotiation in general. You will also benefit, especially if you can trade the £20 for something you want.
  7. This is a common trick, and many inexperienced negotiators accept option a, mainly because psychologically it is very hard to go back to the beginning (b). Unfortunately, b is the only sensible option, unless you decide you can’t work with a person who plays such tricks, and decide to walk away.

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