4 Common Negotiation Styles: An Overview of the Techniques

People approach negotiations with different approaches and styles depending on their specific situation. If you find yourself in a negotiation, the more you know about the other party’s strategy, the better off you’ll be.

There are many different negotiation styles. The general approach you take depends on your situation and the person you’re negotiating with.

For example, negotiating with a colleague is different from negotiating with an employer. By thinking about your negotiation strategy ahead of time, you can be more confident about what you are trying to achieve.

You may need to adjust your negotiation tactics depending on the person you’re dealing with. Asking questions and getting people to reveal their true feelings can help you get the best deal.

You can also ask the person for their opinion and get their perspective on important aspects of the negotiation.

An excellent personal negotiation tactic is to create (and offer) value throughout the negotiation process, trying to claim value, asserting yourself and empathizing with others.

Style can be a powerful tool to use in your negotiation strategy, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to it.

Negotiation Styles Commonly Used

1. Create Value

The most successful negotiators are creative and can find new value in a negotiation.

A creative negotiator will think about the return on investment for every element of the deal, from the price to the terms to the delivery.

By creatively adding value to the deal, a negotiator can increase their ROI on the deal and be more successful in negotiations.

negotiation style 3

They can create additional value by using their negotiating skills to develop multi-issue arrangements or long-term, repeat customer deals

You need to know more about your counterpart. By understanding their goals and needs, you can create more value for both of you in the long run.

If you’re in a situation where the potential for value creation is slim, altering your negotiation tactics might be the more brilliant move.

When approaching a negotiation, regardless of your style, you should always consider value and needs.

To determine the bargaining range, consider the following:

Your bottom line: It’s essential to know the minimum you need to achieve for the negotiation to be successful.

Their bottom line: By knowing their bottom line, you can be more reasonable with your requests.

2. Obtaining Value

Value claimers are especially effective in price-driven or business negotiations, where the bottom line is paramount, and they seek to claim the majority of the value.

negotiation style 1

If you are a value claimer, try to see whether you can create value instead.

3. Empathizing

Showing empathy is crucial for successful outcomes and for maintaining a positive relationship with your negotiating partner.

Empathizing with your negotiating partner can help you make the best decisions and understand their point of view.

negotiation style 5

You don’t want to be seen as a pushover, and you don’t want to be seen as someone who can’t take care of a problem.

Be empathetic, and don’t go overboard in your desire to show concern for others.

4. Assertiveness

Getting the best result in negotiations depends on being assertive and taking charge. It helps to take a leadership role and assert yourself. By doing this, you can clearly present your case.

You can also use a negotiation strategy that lets you present your case most effectively.

negotiation style 2

Being a good negotiator is a matter of knowing how to adapt your style to better fit your personality.

If you know how to communicate with people in a way that’s effective and comfortable for you, you’re much more likely to be able to negotiate effectively.


When it comes to negotiation, it is essential to be clear on your goals and your priorities. If you want to be competitive, you need to focus on the goals that are relevant to you and your business.

You’ll also need to communicate those goals to your negotiation counterpart.

Certain goals might cause you to change your style in order to achieve them. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to change your style, but it’s essential to consider how you can do your best work to achieve your goals.

About the Author

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization focused on a better way to learn business!

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