How would you characterize your negotiation style: Are you collaborative, competitive, or compromising?
If you have trouble answering that question, you’re probably not alone.
That’s because skilled negotiators typically take on all these styles during a negotiation:
- They listen closely and collaborate to create value.
- They compete for the biggest slice of the pie.
- They make compromises when necessary.
Putting labels on negotiation style can be a mistake in negotiation skills training, writes Marquette University Law School professor Andrea Kupfer Schneider in an article for the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy.
Schneider notes that when teaching negotiation in the past, she would educate her law school students on the most common negotiation styles, debate their merits, and then urge the students to build their negotiation skills so that they could draw on various styles as a negotiation unfolds.
By contrast, these days, Schneider introduces students first to the negotiating skills that support the various negotiation styles rather than debating the effectiveness of these styles.
Rather than beginning by teaching negotiation students about various styles, negotiation instructors should encourage them to cultivate five specific skills, writes Schneider.
- Social skills, or intuition
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