Three Points on the Agenda --DeWese
I negotiate every day. I've completed 60 M&A deals over the past five years and, during that period, I've experienced horrible negotiators and great ones on the other side of these transactions. I recently worked on a very difficult deal involving many lawyers and a lot of rancor on both sides.
One young lawyer stood out as the best. I asked him where he got his great negotiating skills and he told me that he had a great professor in law school. This led me to one of my Carramba experiences, which is like a breathtaking flash of bright insight. I said to myself, "Self, get yourself a law school textbook on negotiating and see what they teach aspiring lawyers."
The textbook described five different negotiating personalities. See which is your's.
There are Avoiders. These people ignore the presence of conflict. They avoid conflict because they fear the intervention. The thought of negotiating anything (like paying for overs or paying for overtime) causes enormous stress. The Avoider's strategy is to let someone else fight the battle. These Avoiders are probably also the salespeople who won't make new account calls.
Then there are Accommodators. These people give in immediately so as not to impair their relationship with the other party. They say, "She won't love me any more if try to take an alternative position. I'll just neglect my own wants and needs and concede." They want peace at any cost.
The most aggressive negotiators are Competitors. They believe that they must win and others must lose. They say, "I've got no reason to maintain a relationship with the other party because my interests are more important than my opponent's." These negotiators use ultimatums, threats and coercion to win at any cost.
The fourth category is comprised of Compromisers. These are the people who always want to split the difference. They will say, "I think we deserve our full invoice of $10,000 for this job that you are rejecting because 10 percent of the copies ghosted on the back cover. You don't want to pay anything? Let's just split the difference at $5,000." In this case, neither side gets anywhere near what they want. The Compromiser, you see, can win/win or lose/lose.