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5 Negotiation Styles & How to Use Them Effectively

5 Negotiation Styles & How to Use Them Effectively

Whether you’re making a sale, budgeting for a project, or resolving a conflict between coworkers, negotiation skills are necessary for any relationship. However, not everyone behaves or thinks the same, and we all have different ways of resolving conflicts. When choosing the right negotiation style, you must think about the outcome and what you might lose, and how the negotiation will affect your relationship with the parties involved. 

HRDQ’s Negotiating Style Profile provides an in depth analysis of your personal negotiating style. It also works to help individuals develop an action plan to improve negotiation style strengths.

Understand the 5 Negotiation Styles

Each negotiation style has a different approach and they each affect the outcome of the negotiation for who “wins” and who “loses.” Understanding the different styles can prepare you for different situations and give you knowledge of when to use each style.

Defeating Style

This negotiating style boasts self-confidence and is focused on the results of the deal. A person with this style is only interested in their own benefit, and has little concern for the other party’s outcome. This style is centered on the “I win, you lose” negotiating model. A person using this style may become aggressive and domineering, doing anything they can to win the deal. The defeating style considers the outcome of the deal to be more important than the relationship. This style is high in assertiveness and low in cooperativeness. It’s is good to use when you need a short-term agreement quickly, but be sure to balance this style with another more cooperative style if you want to maintain long-term relationships.

Accommodating Style

The accommodating style is characterized by the “I lose, you win” model and is the opposite of the defeating style. The relationship is seen to be more important than the outcome, so those with this style are often more willing to give up than damage the relationship. This style is great when harm has been done to one party and the relationship needs mending. Using this style can build trust and show respect for the other party, but be careful when using it against a defeating style; accommodating styles can be easily taken advantage of.

Withdrawing Style

Based on the “I lose, you lose” model, this model may not seem good for any negotiation, but there are times to use it. You may use this when the outcome of the negotiation and the relationship is not important. If the time and effort of the negotiation are not worth the potential benefits, you may choose to be passive with the negotiations. This style is characterized by being averse to conflict or struggling with direct communication. A person using this style may talk in vague terms and walk around the topic. Be careful when using this style because the other party may see you as passive-aggressive and this can bring harm to the relationship. This style is low in assertiveness and cooperativeness and should only be used when negotiating a trivial matter.

Compromising Style

Sometimes, in order for a negotiation to reach the best outcome, both parties involved need to give up something in order to gain a benefit. The compromising style is modeled by “I win/lose some, you win/lose some.” This negotiating style is closest to bargaining. The outcome of the negotiation is halfway between what both parties wanted. This style is focused on both the relationship and the outcome of the deal. This style is moderate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness, and is best used for situations where there is a tight deadline. Be warned that using the compromising style may cause you to miss innovative solutions or partnerships.

Collaborating Style

This negotiating style centers on looking for the best outcome for all parties, as well as maintaining good relationships. It follows the “I win, you win” model, and is effective in most business negotiations. This style values building relationships without losing sight of your company’s best interest. This style usually develops from other negotiating styles as the person gains confidence with finding innovative solutions. This skill takes time to develop, but when you achieve a collaborative style, you’ll be able to effectively communicate your needs, and you’ll know how to find a mutually beneficial solution for all parties. This style is high in both assertiveness and cooperativeness.

Understand Your Personal Negotiating Style

The Negotiating Style Profile is great for anyone in the work place, from supervisors and customer service representatives to consultants and sales reps. This training tool includes a self assessment that determines a participant’s personal negotiating style, as well as a 180-degree feedback component that allows participants to see how their peers perceive them. Participants gain a complete, in-depth understanding of their style as well where to and how to strengthen their existing style. 

This style profile can be standalone, or used in conjunction with other training tools for negotiation, such our reproducible training course Negotiate Like a Pro. Both of these materials are aimed at helping individuals recognize and understand their own style, learn the benefits of negotiating styles and skill areas, and make a plan to strengthen their negotiating skills.

Strengthen Your Negotiation Style with HRDQ

For further development, check out HRDQ’s Reproducible Training Library for downloadable individual or instructor-led courses. Becoming an effective negotiator requires you to be assertive of your needs, understand the value of relationships, and be able to look for creative outcomes and solutions.

At HRDQ, we provide high-quality assessments and training materials to help individuals and teams develop their skills in order to become effective employees.

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