What Type of Negotiation Are You Walking Into?

There are many types of negotiation strategies and many circumstances under which you may find yourself needing to smartly and soundly for yourself or others.

How to Approach These Types of Negotiation

The approach to these three negotiation types will have some similarities and differences. No matter which negotiation you find yourself facing, lean into an Accusation Audit™ (AA™) to knock out the negatives.

If you’re delivering bad news, it’s easy to come up with your AAs. Keep in mind that any discussion of price or making an ask of any kind is considered bad news in The Swan Method™. Even if your price point is lower than everyone else’s, that’s still bad news. The other side will start wondering why your price is so low.

Lean on Labels™ and Mirrors™

After you’ve finished up your AAs, Proof of Life questions, and Summaries, it’s time to put your active listening skills to use, give your counterpart the floor, and then Label and Mirror everything they say. In 99 out of 100 instances, Labels and Mirrors are the perfect tools for digging deeper and uncovering more information.

That said, your response should be governed by the type of negotiator you find on the other side of the table. For example, if your counterpart is staring at you in silence, they are likely an Analyst. Break the silence like this: It sounds like you’re gathering your thoughts. It seems like you’re contemplating what you want to say next or where you want the conversation to go. This will spark a conversation regardless of whether you’re talking to a business colleague or the president.

If your counterpart responds aggressively or bashes you, they are likely an Assertive, and you haven’t done your part to diffuse them. You have to adjust your approach to help this negotiator type think things through. Once again, Labels and Mirrors can be helpful here.

And if you’re dealing with an Accommodator, you might find that they are acting evasive or lying. In that scenario, you need to recognize that they perceive you as a threat. Remember that it’s not all about you. Put yourself in their shoes, use Labels and Mirrors to convey your Tactical Empathy™, and make it rain.

The Two Main Forms of Negotiation

Negotiation theorists generally agree that there are two primary forms of negotiation:

Distributive Negotiation

This is also referred to as positional or hard-bargaining negotiating. It generally pertains to a single issue and often ends up with one person away with a bigger piece of the pie (usually financial) than the other. An example of this could be in the case of a divorce, where one party walks away with the house, both the cars, alimony and the 401K, where the other party walks away with their frequent flier miles.

Integrative Negotiation

This is the softer side of the two forms of negotiation, often referred to as win-win. This form may also be referred to as interest-based, merit-based, or principled negotiation. Essentially this means that all parties walk away happy and with more or less equal pieces of the pie. Additionally, integrative negotiation generally involves multiple moving parts as opposed to a single issue. An example of this could be negotiating a contract upon hiring a new employee. In order to provide them more paid time off, perhaps you negotiate a different salary.

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