Personality and Negotiation

It is a recognized fact that everyone has a different approach to negotiation. The personalities of the parties involved significantly affect the process and outcome of the negotiations. We often hear of the generally accepted four basic personality styles, Driver, Expressive (or Extravert), Amiable and Analytic. While it is true that most people have elements of each type in their personality, one is usually dominant, particularly in the negotiation process. Knowing this about the other party as well as ourselves provides basic knowledge that can be used to develop a more tailored strategy to address the personality aspects, with a potentially more successful outcome.

Drivers are:

  • Demanding and Direct
  • Bottom-line, tidy, practical, not time wasters.
  • Evaluates on the amount of available useful information, takes charge.
  • DECISIONS made QUICKLY, based on FACTS.

Extroverts:

  • Not stimulated by details; likes to consider multiple tracks.
  • Social – like informality, warmth, friendless, openness.
  • Solution oriented; flexible; likes to persuade
  • Short attention-span, not organized.
  • DECISIONS made QUICKLY, based on EMOTIONS.

Amiables:

  • Want to reach peace and agreement – value oriented.
  • Do not like change, pressure or feeling forced into decisions.
  • Do not like to force opinions on others; indirect.
  • Need time to think matters through, long attention span.
  • DECISIONS made SLOWLY based on EMOTIONS.

Analytic:

  • Orientated towards facts and process
  • Very precise; focus on details, not the relationship.
  • Thinks options through.
  • DECISIONS made SLOWLY based on FACTS; not FEELINGS.

SUGGESTED WAYS OF DEALING WITH:

Drivers: (1) Be careful (sparing) with small talk. (2) Avoid overloading with information as Drivers will make decisions with the least amount of necessary information. (3) Avoid being overly enthusiastic, as Driver’s might suspect your motives. (4) Use quid-pro-quo approach and be prepared for fast decisions based on the facts.

Extroverts: (1) Personalize the process and paint a good picture of what the benefits of the proposal would be for them. (2) Work in their hobbies and interests outside of the work environment if possible. (3) Recognize that there may be fast decisions based on emotions and level of excitement generated. On the other hand, recognize that the process may be stalled if no excitement or enthusiasm for the proposal can be generated.

Amiables: (1) Go slowly, develop trust and demonstrate that you really care about them and the “fairness” of the process. (2) Be careful not to offend. (3) Don’t use high pressure tactics or positional bargaining. (4) Decisions will most likely be slow, based on comfort level

Analytics: (1) Endeavor to be accurate at all costs. (2) Give information and go into as much detail as you can. (3) Expect slow decisions based on thoroughness in accumulating and analyzing of all data.

 

Things to Keep in Mind:  Enthusiasm works well with the Extrovert and Amiable, but the Driver and the Analytic will not respond well if there is too much of it. It will cause them to become suspicious and pull back.  Ask probing questions of the Analytic and the Amiable to make certain their interests and concerns are addressed and to establish a comfort level for them – giving them the time they need for the process to work. However, the Driver and the Extrovert will want answers not just questions, and may feel that you are not ready to bring about resolution if you have too many questions.

Extroverts and Amiable are moved by and respond well to emotions, enthusiasm, and energy, but Drivers and Analytics do not decide based on emotions and too much energy will make them feel that you are moving too fast.

 

Resources:

  1. Psychological Types & Negotiations: Conflicts and Solutions
    Suggested by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
    ; Prof. John Barkai William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii.
  1. Negotiate Your Way to Success, by Michelle LaBrosse, Founder , Cheetah Learning, WomensMedia.com.