Negotiation styles

There are many styles and approaches to negotiation and some of the most popular styles are:

1. Acceptance: It is does not involve discussion but just acceptance of the status quo.
This style is generally regarded as ―weak‖ but it can be a useful tactic when a compromise can be used as a bargaining tool.

2. Competition: A competition style is characterised by the desire to win at all costs. It is often described as a ―win-lose‖ approach or ―playing hardball‖. In this approach, one party seeks to have all their requirements recognized without giving any reciprocal
recognition to the valid needs of the other party.

Competition can be an appropriate approach when:

  • Quick decisive action is necessary
  • You firmly believe you are right
  • You are dealing with someone who will take advantage of non-competitive behaviour
  • Other options are not possible

3. Bargaining: This approach requires that both negotiating parties have something on offer worth the exchange. It extracts value through the exchange of variables.

4. Compromise: Compromise is an approach where the parties meet at midpoint. Both parties achieve a moderate but incomplete satisfaction with their agreement. It‘s a type of suboptimal ―win-win‖

5. Emotion: This is the ability to identify the emotions of the main participants. This will be influenced by the relationship (especially if there is an existing one) and/or the experience of the people involved. Emotions may be hidden, or openly shared depending on the personalities involved and the nature of the relationship. Emotions can have both positive and negative effects and it is important to be able to separate the substantive and relational issues as these will produce different emotions.

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