Other Negotiation Styles

Shell identified five styles/responses to negotiation Individuals can often have strong dispositions towards numerous styles; the style used during a negotiation depends on the context and the interests of the other party, among other factors. In addition, styles can change over time.

1. Accommodating: Individuals who enjoy solving the other party's problems and preserving personal relationships. Accommodators are sensitive to the emotional states, body language and verbal signals of the other parties. They can, however, feel taken advantage of in situations when the other party places little emphasis on the relationship.

2. Avoiding: Individuals who do not like to negotiate and do not do it unless warranted. When negotiating, avoiders tend to defer and dodge the confrontational aspects of negotiating; however, they may be perceived as tactful and diplomatic.

3. Collaborating: Individuals who enjoy negotiations that involve solving tough problems in creative ways. Collaborators are good at using negotiations to understand the concerns and interests of the other parties. They can, however, create problems by transforming simple situations into more complex ones.

4. Competing: Individuals who enjoy negotiations because they present an opportunity to win something. Competitive negotiators have strong instincts for all aspects of negotiating and are often strategic. Because their style can dominate the bargaining process, competitive negotiators often neglect the importance of relationships.

5. Compromising: Individuals who are eager to close the deal by doing what is fair and equal for all parties involved in the negotiation. Compromisers can be useful when there is limited time to complete the deal; however, compromisers often unnecessarily rush the negotiation process and make concessions too quickly.

Adversary or Partner?

Clearly, these two basically different ways of negotiating will require different approaches. To ignore this can be devastating for the result, but it all too often happens. Because in the distributive approach each negotiator is battling for the largest possible piece of the pie, it may be quite appropriate - within certain limits - to regard the other side more as an adversary than a partner and to take a somewhat harder line. This would however be less appropriate if the idea were to hammer out an arrangement that is in the best interest of both sides. If both win, it's only of secondary importance which one has the greater advantage. A good agreement is not one with maximum gain, but optimum gain. This does not by any means suggest that we should give up our own advantage for nothing. But a cooperative attitude will regularly pay dividends. What is gained is not at the expense of the other, but with him.

Emotion in Negotiation

Emotions play an important part in the negotiation process, although it is only in recent years that their effect is being studied. Emotions have the potential to play either a positive or negative role in negotiation. During negotiations, the decision as to whether or not to settle, rests in part on emotional factors. Negative emotions can cause intense and even irrational behavior and can cause conflicts to escalate and negotiations to break down, while positive emotions facilitate reaching an agreement and help to maximize joint gains.

Affect effect: Dispositional affects affect the various stages of the negotiation process: which strategies are planned to be used, which strategies are actually chosen, the way the other party and its intentions are perceived, the willingness to reach an agreement and the final outcomes. Positive affectivity (PA) and negative affectivity (NA) of one or more of the negotiating sides can lead to very different outcomes.

 
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