What goal do you have in mind when negotiating? Are you looking to defeat your opponent outright? Enter the discussion with terms that will pre-determine the results? Empower them to make the decision? Or work with them to arrive at a solution that suits all parties involved? Although it may not seem so at first, a win-win outcome is almost always possible in negotiations. The key is awareness – not just of your opponents’ negotiating style, but of your own – and how you can flex your style to arrive at the best possible outcome.
Our goal at HRDQ is to improve performance. And we believe that mutually beneficial negotiations are exemplary of a healthy and productive business environment. As an introduction to our resources for improving negotiations, we have provided a complimentary white paper on negotiating styles on HRDQStore.
In it, we propose that an understanding of negotiating style is the first step. In our Negotiating Style Profile, we set out 5 styles:
- Defeating – drive a hard bargain; total victory is the goal; there can be only one winner
- Withdrawing – keep a low profile; results are beyond my influence; indifferent; resigned
- Accommodating – good relationships produce good deals; maintain harmony; make concessions for the sake of the relationship
- Compromise – meet halfway; split the difference; look for tradeoffs
- Collaborate – form a partnership; push for mutual gain; focus on problem solving
Consider how you might be more successful in your next negotiation if you stop and consciously choose which method will work best. Ultimately, we all want a positive negotiating experience. This means that everyone is willing to stay at the table until a positive outcome is reached for both sides.
A recent Harvard Business Review article suggests the following tactics to not only create a positive outcome but also build stronger relationships, both with our counterparts and our own team:
- Quantify the differences between the two stances. Try to think of each variable in like terms, so they can be compared to each other.
- During negotiations, talk through one or two likely scenarios for each option that is on the table. This helps everyone crystallize their own stance and the stance of their counterparts.
- Consult broadly within your own group. You don’t not only want a fast deal but a deal done well, with as few repercussions within your own team as possible.
Successful negotiations are within reach, and we want to spread the word. <Learn more about the Negotiating Style Profile.