Image: Nguyen Hung Vu
Image: Nguyen Hung Vu

In part 1 of this story we examined how to effortlessly and seamlessly apply certain archetypes to specific situations is a powerful skill. This kind of adaptability and fluidity among different deals—and even as one given deal ebbs, flows, unfolds and changes course—can gain you substantial leverage and advantages, including the ultimate win. Even better when it’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Here are four more negotiation personalities inclusive of how they can each help or hinder a ‘win’:

1. The Non Negotiator – This archetype doesn’t negotiate at all. They fear negotiation, which they regard it as confrontational, and want no part of it. They will agree to whatever the other party wants even if it means losing out significantly. They just want the situation to go away as quickly as possible.

• Helpful because: The only reason this might be helpful is if the other side interprets this as a shutdown strategy and they either take pity on you or don’t want to take advantage of you. They may offer a better deal because of it, but clearly this is not an expected or common outcome.

• Hindrance because: Aside from being perceived as weak from an image standpoint, you will also most likely get a bad deal or taken advantage of. Most discussions start out with each side offering something to negotiate up or down from and go from there. If you take the first offer that’s presented when the other party started high fully expecting to negotiate down, as most do, you may end up in a deal that doesn’t make sense financially or otherwise.

2. The Victim – This archetype attempts to parlay their hard luck to gain sympathy regarding their situation so the other party will “go easy” on them. They may go on in great detail about the situation they are experiencing in an attempt to make others feel sorry for them—the hopeful end game being that the opposing party will be more receptive and agreeable to their position and terms and not negotiate as hard as they would otherwise.

• Helpful because: Someone may indeed feel sorry for your situation and give you a break. We all have things happen in our lives and careers and, if you use this as an honest way to get a better deal, both sides can often feel good about the outcome.

• Hindrance because: Oftentimes people use this as a manipulation tactic in an attempt to get out of a situation. The other side may see this for what it is and call you out on it, which can be embarrassing and undermine your credibility. Not only will you not get a better deal, the other party may actually negotiate harder than they would have otherwise in response to what they feel is an attempted manipulation.

3. The Nutburger – This archetype is someone you can’t negotiate with. There’s no reasoning with someone whose behavior is irrational, overly emotional or just plain nutty. This personality type can be construed as anxious, stressed, frustrated, angry or downright weird.

• Helpful because: Deflection by rant is indeed a negotiation strategy. If you go on a rant or are clearly upset about an injustice or something that is justifiably not fair and reasonable, the other side may be more apt to reevaluate your position and give you a better deal.

• Hindrance because: You can’t negotiate with crazy. You may lose the deal all together if the other side thinks you are unstable or unreasonable to do business with. Being logical and having the ability to effectively give and receive information is an important aspect of deal-making and this personality type doesn’t have—or utilize—this capacity.

4. My Fair Lady/An Officer and a Gentleman – These archetypes are what you want to strive for in your negotiations. Characteristics include negotiating with integrity, ethics and considering what is and is not fair and reasonable for both sides to create a win-win outcome. Those most effective use some or all of the archetype characteristics above in differing situations. The key is knowing which ones to use and when to use them ethically and honorably in order to achieve your objectives in the negotiation.

• Helpful because: You are using a balance of all applicable archetypes when it is required. Understanding how you and how other people negotiate, and where they are coming from, allows you to present your side utilizing a calculated approach that can throttle as needed.

• Hindrance because: You may spend more time analyzing how a person is negotiating than paying attention to the details of the negotiation, itself. Over analysis is paralysis as the saying goes and you don’t want to get stuck scrutinizing on a macro level instead of negotiating the all-important micro matters.
Understanding these nine archetypes and discerning where you tend to naturally fall, how other people are categorized in relation to you, and how to capitalize on a different type of personality approach (and deal with those of others) is a tremendous asset in your negotiation arsenal. Such archetypal adaptability is sure to serve you well as you strive to reach agreements with others—however challenging a person they may be.

By Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator” and CEO of Dynamic Vision International