My Personal Negotiation style


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Project for the class of Negotiations with professor Frederic Widlak during Bachelor Degree at WSB-NLU
By Aleksey Narko

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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  • I had to take this research class in senior year and I’m going to be honest with you, senioritis hit me hard. I could not bring myself to write the term paper for that class so I ordered it online from this website called The research paper turned out very well (it was supposed to be long and complicated) and the teacher was really impressed with it. I got an A and everyone was happy.
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My Personal Negotiation style

  1. 1. Aleksey Narko Index: 18782 MY PERSONAL NEGOTIATION STYLE ANALYSIS. The main purpose of writing this paper for me is basically to understand my way of communication with people. By writing it I will probably spend more time on thinking how I can improve my negotiation skills, what I am doing right and what is wrong, what are my strengths and what are my weaknesses. This article will definitely help me to point out what I can improve in myself to become a better type of person to talk with. Another aim of this paper is to see which type of negotiator I am, what are the common communication problems of such people and what are the possible “treatments” of those problems. That is why this paper, I hope, will help to change myself to become a better negotiator. The information that I will be using while writing this assignment will be from the ZIM 311 Negotiation class papers and sessions, especially the quizzes and research papers given. Another source of information will be the internet articles and some books about negotiation, taken from the library. 1. My personality characteristics relevant to my negotiation style One of the most important things everybody should do before choosing his/her own style of negotiations is, actually, understand him or herself. Who you are? Which personality you have? Which characteristics dominate in your personality and which take a minor position? These are questions that should be definitely answered first before changing something in your personality you are not sure of. There is a common thought that the best negotiator should be active, aggressive and persistent that is fighting all the time in order to protect what he has in mind. But actually this is not absolutely right. One that always fights for his thought and always wins is not always the best negotiator. If that person has all the power, why does he need to communicate effectively to prevail? If one lacks any power to perform, then the communication skills would be for nothing.
  2. 2. Moreover it should be added that our negotiation skills are not born in each of us, they are raised with time, practice and big effort. In preparing for a negotiation, we need to understand the other person’s tendencies in case of pressure-filled situation that are usually met in a typical negotiation scenario. Negotiator personality types can be analyzed using two dimensions, emotion and confidence. Why is this important? The same negotiating approach may work differently with dissimilar people because of the natural differences related to our personality types. So what are my personal characteristics effecting my style of negotiations? These are of course dominance, ability to listen, managing conflict, sensitiveness and some others. So now I would like to explain how each of these characteristics influences me. Dominance. Most of the time I am trying to be a leader who supervises or wields influence over others. I usually impose my view on the other people and don’t see it, it’s natural for me. It happens especially often when I totally disagree with the point of view of the party I am negotiating with. Ability to listen. Even in the cases when I totally disagree with the person I am negotiating with I try my best to listen to listen to his point first, before telling him that I am thinking that he is wrong. I am doing my best to understand another person’s position, think about it and make an effort to put to options on the wage to understand who is right and who is wrong. This ability helps me and my opponent to find the person who has the point. You often get more by finding out what the other person wants than you do by clever arguments supporting what you need. It has been said that the cheapest concession you can make to the other side is to let them know that they have been heard. Managing conflict. If a difficult situation appears between me and my opponent I am trying my best to take as much control of it as possible. In negotiations I am doing the best I can to be calm and take the most control of my emotions to avoid critical situations. There are three most common ways to deal with the conflict: fight, flight and freeze. Fight is when you react in a challenging way. Usually it means using most of your nerves and often shouting and losing temper. Flight is when you turn your back on the things that are going on. It is the most common response of the people, when they try to ignore the problem and go away from it. And the last common way is to freeze when you are not sure how to react and become very passive. You might begin to deal with the issue but things drift or become drawn out through indecision. These ways are almost natural for most of us, but I am using another method,
  3. 3. which is facing the problem. I try to deal with it in a calm and rational way, taking into account a planned approach. Sensitiveness. I am quiet sensitive to what other people think. I carefully listen to their point of view and can easily change my own mind then. Taking into the account my negotiation personality style it seems that I am a pragmatic negotiator. I have a pragmatic personality which is high on confidence and low on emotion that is why they are very efficient in negotiations. Those people like me are usually very business-like and efficiency-oriented. They are oriented on results and getting what they want. All thoughts of the pragmatic negotiators are focused on the bottom line. Pragmatic negotiators are often confident leaders which are goal driven and oriented on results. People usually perceive such kind of people by mistake to be out of touch with the rest of the world and that such people operate under unrealistic time horizons. That is why when it comes to negotiations and communicating with people I am usually “turning off” my emotions and feelings and try to use the most of my logic and efficiency. I try to accept conflicts as a natural part of negotiations with people and don’t bother about them using all of my emotions and nerves, but pay more attention on solving them in a peaceful way. 2. My conflict management style related to my negotiation style. I determined my conflict management style according to my personal characteristics and the quizzes that we did in class and the one more precise that was a part of our homework. According to these inventories my dominant style is competing or controlling, but the collaborating styles is also quiet well-developed in my personality. The competing style is usually used by people who are goal oriented. In their minds they want to gain what they want usually by all means. They are very assertive, persistent and uncooperative. I often pursue my own needs, even in those cases when others suffer. The competitive They place their needs above the needs of others and try to manipulate the situation in their favor. They are usually more concerned with winning the fight than finding the best solution. Competitive style negotiators pursue their own needs, even when this means others suffer. They usually don't want to cause others to suffer and lose; they are just so narrowly focused on their shorter term gains that they plunder obliviously through negotiations like a pirate. They often use whatever power and tactics they can gather, including their personality,
  4. 4. position, economic threats, brand strength or size or market share. People which use this style of negotiating are eager, enthusiastic, impatient, and partisan. The main problem of such type of negotiators is that they usually spend too much time and effort for risk escalation. They can also lose self control and blame themselves too much for failure or poor outcome. But compared to normal competitor, collaborative competitor has more advantages. I am, as a representative of this group of people, usually focus on getting the best side of the deal. But I am not doing it only by myself, using only my own power and strengths, but I understand that one head is good, but the more people working - the better is the result. That is why I know that in every situation there is a possibility to cooperate and negotiate different stuff even with your worst enemy. I am also using this method because in many cases I understand that the deals leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the “loser” are not in their best interest. The Example of my such behavior can be when I work in the group of people. For example when I work with people in Aiesec organization and we have one project we usually talk a lot on different issues in order to make the right decision. We discuss a lot, and during those discussions I usually want to be the leader in a group, especially when I know something for sure. I want to be “the last voice” so that my view would be taken into account as the main one. I can argue with others a lot in order to be heard and be as much influential on the common decision as I can. This is how my competitive manner works, but I know that in some cases I am right, or I don’t know the topic well and in those cases I understand that if am quiet or I won’t support anyone in the discussion – I won’t help my team at all, that is why cooperating is a better option. 3. The Negotiation Skills I want to Develop When I think about the negotiating skills that I want to develop first of all I focus my mind on my weaknesses and the things that I can improve to become more successful negotiator, and honestly there are plenty of them. I think that nobody on this planet is perfect knowing and understanding what is wrong with your way of discussions things with others is a big piece of a pie. I know many of my weaknesses. First and one of the most important is egoism that influences the way I speak with people. Where does it come from? I think it comes from the fact that I am the only child in the family, so I don’t have any brothers or sisters, people who can teach you quiet a lot of important things. Usually your siblings are those with whom you spend more of the time together. They are often the same or very close to your age, and compared to
  5. 5. your parents you feel closer to them, as they understand you better than those old guys, thanks to whom you were born. With them you can speak your mind, discuss the things that you will never or very rarely discuss with your parents. With them you study how to work in a group, discuss very important issues and share information, without fear to be punished or tell something wrong. This is what I am missing. I am afraid and feel uncomfortable sometimes when I speak to people that I don’t know very well about important things. Most of the single children in the family miss the ability to be open with other people and share stuff. I also miss such a quality as listening to people. Most of the egoists prefer to speak, rather than listen. It is natural-everybody wants to be the main figure in the talking process. This feeling of importance makes many people excited, that is why they are trying to get it by all means. Another thing that I want to develop is the ability to look for the common ground rather than the areas of conflict. My common problem while negotiating is that I usually think that I am always right and it is extremely hard for me to change my decision and yield to somebody’s opinion. Successful negotiators know that pointing out areas where you and other person are already in agreement conveys an attitude of cooperation and lessens the strong feeling of opposition. Another things that is necessary for me to improve is the negotiation planning. When I talk to the people I am usually spontaneous. I don’t pay enough attention on what and how I am talking. I don’t spend as much time as necessary to generate important ideas. Good negotiators are never in a hurry. They take their time to analyze the situation and think through their strategy. This is probably the most important element of negotiating success and the most significant method I need to spend time practicing. 4. How I am going to learn and practice the new negotiation skills The best way to learn something is practice it of course! Theory takes the minor place in developing our negotiation skills, we can read lots of different articles, but know nothing about the subject. Good negotiators are never born; they are raised with time and big effort. How I will practice my skills. First method that I will use is I will gather the people from my group and try to organize special negotiation exercises that will benefit all of us. For example there is an exercise of dividing money. Let’s imagine that me and two of my friends have 10$ to
  6. 6. divide between each other in order to by some sweets for ourselves and we have 60 seconds to do it. After we divide that money we will discuss with each other which problems we had while negotiating this issue. Who did something wrong while communicating with his partners and felt it, what do others think about it? Another interesting exercise is connected with business management and doing projects. In a group of three or four people we will divide the roles according to the time when our birthday occur. The person with the earliest date is Negotiating PM. He or she has birthday in two weeks and wants to do the project immediately with the help of his/her colleague Patrick, who is the best programmer and knows the task really well. Negotiating PM wants to do his job in advance to have more time for the “big day” preparations. Moreover the delays may affect everyone’s bonus. Patrick’s manager(3rd person) at the same time is concerned the loss of Patrick will mean he will not be able to complete tasks on another project their department is committed to deliver (requiring one week of work in the next 3 weeks), because the Negotiating PM has a reputation of over-utilizing resources (and padding their schedule contingency). Other commitments will also need juggling. This exercise is very effective in finding the right middle in negotiations. Here me and my colleagues will practice finding of the win-win moment, so that everybody will be in the same position and achieve successes while negotiating. Here we will also practice building the common ground and avoiding emotional responding. Another exercise to train the win-win approach in negotiations is playing parents and children. The roles in a group are being changed and one person is playing Patricia 14 years old girl who is calling her parent from the payphone in the Brooklyn Street. She is hitch-hiking to Hollywood to become a movie star. She doesn’t have any money for this. Moreover she is a bit afraid and secretly wants to go to a drama school to become an actress. The parent is worried about Anne being far away from home at her age. Parent picks up the ‘phone, and has 3 minutes to effect a “win-win” approach before the payphone times out. This is a natural situation between parents and children so it is quiet easy to play both roles and practice at the same time. All those exercise are very beneficial, because they are not only helping you, but also your friends, but those practices are not realistic a bit. Why? Because you are thinking what would you do if you were another person. The best way of practicing is taking part in real daily situation. Our life is the best practice and there are several ways how I can improve my negotiation skills every day. One of them is bargaining. Many people like doing this. For me it is a kind of entertainment. When I have free time I like to go to the market and talk to salespeople about their products and
  7. 7. prices that they can offer. And usually if I see a good thing at a good price and I want to win even more on this product I start bargaining. I can talk to the salesperson for a longtime to get a win-win offer and if he is in a good mood and there is a real possibility to make the bill lower for me I am usually leaving the market with a happy face. Another good method to develop your skills is to negotiate the deadlines. For me, as a student, this is an actual problem, because I am sometimes so busy and have so much in my head that I forget to send my essays or researches on time and then I am in a trouble. If I know that I will face this problem I often go to the teacher and talk to him. I explain him my situation and negotiate the date when I can send my work. This way is very effective. Another way is to participate in different talk clubs. There are many different of them where people talk about music, movies, their hobbies, etc. In those places you can have a good time as well as study from others. I can get a deeper knowledge from other people as well as improve your negotiations by discussing different issues, arguing in different cases, participating in meetings with other groups. I will do a similar thing at school. At many classes we are asked to participate and discuss different topics and while other students are passive I can prevent myself from doing the same and actively participate in talking with the teacher and inspire other students to participate. By practicing those methods I will get new, very valuable negotiating experience which is priceless in life. 5. Sources of information for learning about the skills I want to develop Internet Sources: This webpage is very useful. Why? It is made like a blog and tells you a lot about Negotiations. You can listen to the podcasts with interesting people, such as well known professional negotiators, writers of negotiation books, ambassadors and many others from whom you are getting very valuable tips of how to negotiate, avoid making mistakes, listen to people. Moreover
  8. 8. the author of the page Dr. Josh Weiss also gives a chance to all the users to use the effective training services of the page which will help me practice in this field of Human Science. This is a web page of a company that is specializing in negotiation consultancy. Here I have found lots of information about negotiation techniques, tips and latest news from this field of science in their blog. In addition to that the company provides free e-learning negotiation practice which can help me improve my skills. This is another practical web-page with lots of interesting information. On this webpage one can find Negotiation workshops and case studies which I can use for free and get lots of information about negotiations as a whole. This webpage would be useful for me as well as the others. Here the negotiation expert, speaker and author Ed Brodow puts the articles with his ideas about negotiations. Moreover here I have found lots of his interesting presentations and breathtaking demo videos of his speeches. This information comes from the men with lots of experience that he is ready to share with others, that is why it would be even more useful for me. Books: Manager as Negotiator by David Lax
  9. 9. This book would be very interesting for me as a future Manager. It gives the answers to the most common question of the manager: “How to communicate with clients, subordinates, and bosses?” It gives the key to the most frequent problems connected with negotiations at the workplace. It is two in one: it develops a sophisticated approach to negotiation for diplomats, attorneys and executives. At the same time it gives the reader a view of a modern successful manager: strong, powerful, creative negotiator with lots of ideas of how to shape agreements and informal understandings. 6. Refernces: Mandel, R.J. ,2001. Top 10 Negotiation Tips, MeetingsNet. Available from: [Accessed 1 May 2001] Callahan, T.L. 2004. 12 Tips For More Successful Negotiations
  10. 10. Available from: Danisewicz, C.T., 2008, Successful Negotiations: Mastering the Art of Persuasion, Corporate Education Group. Available from: Sims, J., 2009, Attitude of Mind - A Key to Success and Failure in Negotiation Available from: Paulson, D.D. and Chamberlin, K.M., 1998. Guidelines and issues to consider in planning a collaborative process. Institute for Environment and Natural Resources, USA Zartman, W. I., 1978. The Negotiation Process: Theories and Applications. Sage Publications Beverly Hills, California, USA. Berton, P., Kimura, H. and I. Zartman, W.I., 1999. International Negotiation: Actors, Struture/Process, Values. St. Martin’s Press. New York, USA. Raiffa, H., 2002. Negotiation Analysis. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Cambridge & London, UK. Myers,I.B.1980.Gifts Differing.Palo Alto CA: Consulting Psychologists Shapiro, D.L., 2006. Teaching Students How to Use Emotions as They Negotiate, Negotiation Journal, Jan. 2006:105-109.