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Negotiations > Negotiation Methods

Competitive and Integrative Approaches

Distinguish Strategic Approach from Personality

While there may be some correlation between negotiation approaches and personality style, the two do not necessarily go together. For example, a competitive negotiator may be very "pleasant" to work with in terms of demeanor, but utilize extremely competitive tactics. In fact, a negotiator's pleasantries may themselves be part of an overall manipulative approach! A problem-solving negotiator may, on the other hand, be rather ornery in terms of their personality, yet effectively utilize interest-based, problem-solving strategies in negotiation.

The Best Negotiators Will Have Both Sets of Skills

It is also important to appreciate that the most effective negotiators will have a wide array of negotiation skills, both competitive and problem-solving, and will effectively mix and match these approaches depending upon what the negotiator believes will work best with a particular "negotiating partner" depending on the specific issue being negotiated and depending on the nature of the overall negotiating relationship (one-time transaction or continuing relations).

Strategies to Create Value and Claim Value

Another view of negotiation is that certain strategies and behaviors are intended to "create value" (integrative approaches) whereas other strategies and behaviors are intended to "claim value" (be that by competition or principle). The mediator will want to first assist participants to create maximum value for exchange, then help the participants to figure out how to best divide that maximized value.

Dispute Negotiation and Transactional Negotiation

Also notice that negotiations may be divided into two types:

  • dispute negotiation, focused on resolving past facts; and
  • transaction negotiation, focused on reaching agreement for the future.

While it is often helpful to appreciate this difference between dispute negotiation and transaction negotiation, it is also beneficial to appreciate that many negotiation situations involve the resolution of both past issues as well as planning future relations.

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