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The Spectrum of Negotiation Styles

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation Styles > The Spectrum of Negotiation Styles

Consideration for self | Consideration for others | A middle way | See also

 

Although negotiation styles can be classified as competitive or collaborative, in practice there is a range of styles, based on the degree to which a person thinks first about themself or about the other person.

 

Consideration for self

Considering yourself in negotiation is natural and reasonable -- after all, the main point is to get something that you want. If you care little about the other person or the relationship, then you will prioritize your needs above those of others.

Excessive consideration for self leads to a Machiavellian approach, where the ends justifies the means. Overt aggression, intimidation and coercive deception are considered normal and necessary, and destroying the other person in some way may be a symbol of your victory over them.

Consideration for others

Consideration for others will depend on your values, which are often based on your beliefs about people. In particular, if you put yourself down (for example if you have low self-esteem) or you escalate the importance of others (or your relationship with them) too highly, then you will think considerably more about the other person and prioritize their needs well above your own.

Excessive consideration for others leads to relentless concession, where you create a lose-win situation with you as the loser. You may even lose elements of the relationship as giving away too much can just end up in you losing respect. Some people like being the victim, but it is no way to conduct a negotiation.

A middle way

Between concession and competition lies balance, although in practice this may be more dynamic and variable than may be expected. What should be a highly collaborative negotiation may become a balanced negotiation, even with competitive elements. Shared values are commonly used, however, to protect the relationship and ensure fair play. At worst, some third person is called in to ensure a reasonable balance.

See also

Beliefs about people, Values, Balanced negotiation, Games

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