Films and media like to show that there is only one negotiation
style that matters, a competitive style, where you win
and the other person loses! But if that was always the case,
how do negotiations break down? What are the reasons
for people breaking agreements?
The Cambridge English dictionary defines a negotiation as,
“To have formal discussions with someone in order to reach an
agreement.” And a long lasting agreement and commitment
comes from cooperation.
Recent research by Professor G. Richard Shell from the prestigious
Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, identified 5 common negotiation styles
and how those styles interacted, but we’ll discuss that later.
First let’s try to understand why it is important to know what
mix of negotiation styles you have.
For most cultures of the world, the negotiation process can
be divided into the following stages: preparation, information
exchange, explicit bargaining, and commitment.
The greatest fear people have about negotiations is the fear
of what they will lose. Other fears include a lack of alternatives,
threats and time. These can all be greatly reduced from increasing
your knowledge of the negotiation process and negotiation strategies.
Let's concentrate on the negotiation process: firstly preparation.
How can you prepare an effective negotiation strategy if you
don’t know how you will react under pressure, in different
situations and conditions?
The answer is that you can’t unless you know your own negotiation
Neither can you prepare effective responses to what the other
person does in the negotiation without self-awareness.
If reaching an agreement in a negotiation is based on cooperation
and cooperation is based on trust, then to be an effective negotiator
you need to generate trust between yourself and the
other person. Trust comes from being natural and being
yourself, not from trying to be something you’re not, a fake.
Once you’re aware of your negotiation style you know what can
realistically be improved and what can’t. Trying to be competitive
when you hate competition will make you appear fake and you’ll
lose trust. Remember, you’re not that good an actor!
If you’re more aware of your own negotiation style, you become
more aware of the other person’s negotiation style and
also how different negotiation styles interact. Knowing what
outcomes the interactions of different negotiations
styles produces enables you to better choose the most effective
negotiation strategy to reach an agreement with them.
Professor G. Richard Shell’s research identified 2 things.
Firstly, there are 5 negotiation styles and most people have
a mix of these negotiation styles. What mix of negotiation styles
1. Avoider: Hate conflicts
and avoid them at all costs. Hence making an agreement with
an Avoider very difficult.
2. Compromiser: Their
priority is to maintain a productive relationship. So they will
make a compromise first, giving the other person what
they want in order to reach an agreement and preserve the relationship.
3. Accommodator: They
like to resolve conflict by solving the other person’s
problems. If the other person is also an accommodator then they
return the favour and help solve their problems. If not, the
other person takes and gives nothing in return.
4. Competitor: They
like to win and be in control of the situation. They believe
if they win, you lose.
5. Problem Solver: The
most imaginative thinkers who think about fair “win/win” solutions
and greater solutions that “make the pie bigger.”
Secondly, what outcomes (Good or Bad) these negotiation styles
produced when two people (A and B) interacted together in a
Problem – Solver
His research showed that people who have the same negotiation
style quickly understood each other and produced a “Good” outcome.
Contrary to popular opinion the “Competitor” produced
more “Bad” outcomes than “Good” as most people thought they
were difficult. A “Problem-Solver” negotiation style produced
the best outcomes but is also the hardest to implement
due to the complexity of most negotiations.
Finally if you don’t have a problem-solver negotiation style,
don’t worry. Effective negotiating is as much about attitude
as style. We can all learn, practice and adopt the habits of
the most effective negotiators:
1. Do you think there are more or less than 5 common negotiation styles?
2. In your opinion, what type of people (negotiation style)
do you like to negotiate with? Why?
3. When have you been most effective in negotiations?
4. Describe your favourite negotiators?
5. In your sector which negotiation style is the most typical? Why?
6. Can you think of other habits of effective negotiators?
How do you learn a language? (¿Como se aprende un idioma?) Actividades para aprender inglés basados en un extracto de un artículo de Wikibooks por el profesor de inglés Mike Stanley: verbs, Other, Cloze, Quiz.
Jupiter - actividades para aprender inglés basados en un extracto de un artículo de Wikipedia sobre al planeta Jupiter por el profesor de inglés Eli Daniel Driscoll: vocabulary, Cloze, Quiz.