The Negotiator Magazine

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Accommodating style: a predisposition towards an accommodating negotiation style is defined as a stable trait on how to reach an agreement, which is characterised by values and beliefs reflecting an unassertive and cooperative orientation. This style is used when the negotiator puts a considerable focus onto relationship at the expense of the deal;

Competitive style: a predisposition towards a competitive negotiation style as a stable trait on how to come to an agreement, which is characterised by values and beliefs reflecting an assertive and uncooperative orientation. This style is normally used by the 'winner takes all' approach. Focus is on the deal at the expense of the relationship;

Collaborative style: a predisposition towards a collaborative negotiation style as a stable trait on how to reach an agreement, which is characterised by values and beliefs reflecting an assertive and cooperative orientation. This style is often used by people who adopt a more problem-solving approach to the negotiation. Their style is more around the pie can be expanded as compared to a scarcity approach.

A negotiation can be lost in the process (or lack) of preparation. A critical, indepth analysis of the background of the negotiation, organisational attitudes and culture, as well as a clear identification of the people involved, what the other side needs and wants and what they can afford, is vital before working out what resources and data you must collate to make an informed decision. Preparing and comprehensively researching before a negotiation often solidifies goals and emotions, ehancing the negotiation process and ensunng success.

Conclusion

In summary, you must be clear on the type of negotiation you are about to commence with the other party. Have you determined the different outcomes, what is that walk away point?

Don't allow your principles to become an issue, stay true and finally know which style you wish to apply and use that as part of your negotiations.

The decision that you take as to which negotiating style is appropriate for the negotiation will ultimately depend on the context of the situation that you are dealing with. Your decision around style will be connected to the substantive issues and your relationship Wlth the person/ s in that negotiation.

Our research and experience reveals that too often we don't put enough work into the way that we prepare to manage our style and that of the other party.

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March 2005