Negotiating with others is a creative process that can be affected by thought, preparation, and skill practice. However, the negotiator that is most effective is the one who chooses a ‘win-win’ or collaborative style of negotiation. If the needs of both parties are taken into consideration and problem-solving strategies are harnessed to satisfy those needs, then both the outcome of the negotiation and the relationship between the parties will benefit.
Interpersonal Skills of the Collaborative Negotiator
The Model of Negotiating Styles is a two-dimensional representation of negotiating behavior.
Six specific interpersonal skills can be learned by negotiators to help them move in the direction of the Collaborate style:
Assertive Behavior: Honestly and openly state needs while respecting those of the other party.
Supportive Climate-Building: Working in a mutually supportive, respectful environment.
Active Listening: Hearing, understanding, and responding to what the other person is saying.
Nonverbal Behavior Sensitivity: Recognizing, interpreting, and appropriately responding to the other party’s nonverbal behaviors.
Using Questions to Raise Receptivity: Asking questions to ensure needs and concerns are brought to the table.
Confronting and Working Through Differences: Acknowledge differences and use them constructively in the conversation.
Five Characteristic Negotiating Styles
Defeat is when a negotiator is more concerned with the outcome of the negotiation than the relationship with the other party. This negotiator is determined to defeat the other party at any cost. This pattern is characterized by win-lose competition, pressure, intimidation, adversarial relationships, and the negotiator attempting to get as much as possible without considering what is costs the other party.
This negotiator has little interest in forging the best deal and little interest in maintaining or developing good business relationships. This behavioral style has a lack of concern for the negotiating outcomes and feelings of powerlessness, indifference to the outcome, resignation, surrender, and taking whatever the other party is willing to concede.
This negotiator expends minimal effort to work out the best deal. In the long run, relationships pay off, so the focus is on building a friendly relationship while expending the least amount of energy. This pattern is characterized by efforts to promote harmony, avoidance of substantive differences, and placing interpersonal relationships above the fairness of the outcome. This negotiator avoids creating a confrontation at any cost.
This negotiator believes that some concern must be shown for the longer-term relationship with the other party or the negotiated outcome will not be adequate. This pattern is characterized by compromise. Conflict reduction is valued over synergistic problem solving. Find an acceptable agreement is the objective of this negotiator’s style.
This negotiator works to build a collaborative relationship so both parties can win. Not only is the outcome of the “deal” important, but building and maintaining a long-term business relationship is also critical. This pattern is characterized by searching creatively for common interests with the other party, problem-solving behavior, and recognizing that both parties must get their needs satisfied for the outcome to be entirely successful. Collaborative behavior and synergistic solutions are the result.
There's more to effective negotiating than a positive outcome for yourself. Building productive relationships is equally important. Skillful negotiators know this is the key to their success - and it's what sets them apart from the rest. As a trainer, you can help individuals to develop their collaborative negotiating styles with the Negotiating Style Profile. It offers a simple framework for determining one's negotiating style and the likely effect it has in negotiating situations.