Bargaining For Advantage Page 3
What is Negotiation?
A negotiation is an interactive communication process that may take placewhenever we want something from someone else or another person wantssomething from us.
The Five Basic Bargaining Styles
Behind the bewildering array of personality differences, psychologists haveisolated five basic negotiation personality types based on the way people preferhandling interpersonal conflict. The five types are, in descending order ofaggressiveness: competitors, problem solvers, “compromisers,”“accommodators,” and conflict “avoiders.” No system of categorization is perfect,but this one is better than average because the potential for interpersonal conflictis what gives negotiation its characteristic “edge.”
Your Bargaining Styles
All negotiations begin with you. The first foundation of effective negotiation isyour personal bargaining style – the way you communicate when you face asituation containing interpersonal conflict. Your success as an effectivenegotiator depends on candidly assessing your strengths and weaknesses as acommunicator.Some people have a wide “bandwidth” when it comes to bargaining styles. Theycan adapt easily to many different types of situation and “opponents.” Others aremore limited in their range of effective action. They may be quite strong insituations requiring competitive instincts but weak when it comes to relationships.Or they may be strong in cooperative skills and weak if the situation calls forhardball tactics.Many negotiation experts try to teach people a single, all-purpose style, which isoften not helpful or realistic. Your job is to find out who you are as a negotiatorand then work to be more effective with the skills you have – not try to becomesomeone you are not.What predispositions do you bring to the bargaining table? Are you a cooperativesort of person, striving to meet everyone’s goals so people leave the negotiationtable feeling good? Or are you a more competitive type who is less concernedwith how the other party feels and more interested in how well you do?Regardless of your answer, your job as a negotiator is to understand your stylepreferences, see how they match up with the situation, plan your path throughthe four steps that negotiations follow, and try your best to be effective bypreparing, forming high expectations, listening to the other party, and acting withintegrity in the process.Information-based bargaining proceeds from the assumption that you will getbetter results for yourself and achieve more for others who depend on you by
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