Magazine article USA TODAY

Let's Negotiate

Magazine article USA TODAY

Let's Negotiate

Article excerpt

"Understanding these nine archetypes and discerning where you tend to fall, how other people are categorized in relation to you, and how to capitalize on a different type of personality approach (and deal with those of others) is a tremendous asset in your negotiation arsenal."

HERE ARE three questions you never may have asked yourself prior to entering into a negotiation, but should: What kind of negotiator am I? What kind of negotiator would I like to be? Most importantly, what kind of negotiator do I "need" to be in this situation to emerge victorious?

One key to being a master negotiator is intuitively employing different approaches and taking an alternate direction based on each given situation but, in order to do this effectively, one first must understand the varying, and quite distinctive, negotiator personality archetypes-one or the other of which most people typically utilize while they "wheel and deal." Without this strategic aptitude and application of the right persona for the deal at hand, at best it will be more difficult than it needs to be and, at worst, all could be lost.

An archetype is defined as a pattern of behavior or thought or, according to Oxford Dictionary, "a very typical example of a person or thing." So, one's "negotiation archetype" is someone's "way of being" throughout the process--those particular characteristics and behaviors that one would use to describe the person and their deal-making methodology. This can be regarded as a "role" being played, whether contrived or realistic, but the emphasis being on how the person is operating within that role.

Learning how to apply effortlessly and seamlessly certain archetypes to specific situations is a powerful skill. This kind of adaptability and fluidity among different deals--and even as one given deal ebbs, flows, unfolds, and changes course--can gain you substantial leverage and advantages, including the ultimate win; even better when it is a win-win for all parties involved.

What are the typical negotiation personalities? While the following archetypes are not all-inclusive, they do represent the primary means by which the majority of people negotiate. Achieving the correct balance and striking just the right cord with these archetypes based on each negotiation situation at hand is sure to pay dividends.

The Politician. This is someone who influences or outmaneuvers others. This individual often seeks support by appealing to popular passions and prejudices through carefully crafted language. A negotiation politician typically campaigns to influence or persuade others to support his or her point of view. Often this approach only is advantageous for one's own advantage--also known as a win-lose proposition.

It can be helpful because the politician archetype is personality-driven more than anything else. Using charisma to get everyone on the same page for a positive cause or outcome is a great way to build success for a particular cause. This can be helpful in any situation where the greater good is the goal. It also is a effective leadership strategy to guide a group towards a particular positive outcome.

It can be a hindrance because relying only on our charisma and ability to galvanize others--rather than facts, figures, and other pieces of information that can make a deal swing your way in more logical and quantifiable terms-can render you vulnerable when it is time to get down to the nitty gritty for the close. Trust may be compromised if you do not have the data to back up your position.

The Direct Communicator. This is someone who gets to the point every time. This individual does not have any time for hearing the story or any excessive communication that will waste time. He or she wants to discuss the facts only and not hear any of the backstory or an overabundance of detail. The person asks for what he or she wants. Their way of communication is clear, concise, powerful, and quick in order to achieve an agreement or resolution to the negotiation situation. …

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