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‘The Negotiators’ is a series of articles that bring to life the most common types of negotiator: what they are like, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as approaches that will help you negotiate with them. Designed to be practical tools, you may find value in referring to the set for a quick start in reading and handling those you encounter.

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The (Real) Negotiator

If only there were more of these. There are many who think they are Real Negotiators, many who’ve been on a course and got the theory. However, ego and competitive spirit usually scupper any chance of them making the step up.

The Negotiator gets into the other party’s head and plans accordingly, they think long term while executing the short term – demonstrating patience. Focusing on their ultimate goals they work with the people they are negotiating with, guiding them along the Negotiator’s desired path. They are creative and flexible, experienced enough to know that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

They can hold their own if required to bargain, while continuously looking to get into a position to take the negotiation to a more creative place. Building a strategy up front is also a strength of The Negotiator. They plan several moves ahead, with options defined so they can focus on how you’re negotiating.

And of course, the defining factor is ego control. Unlike The Player, The Lawyer and The Salesman, The Negotiator understands their desire to ‘win’ and controls it. They don’t need to be the one in the lead or getting plaudits. The Negotiator gets their satisfaction from a good deal secured.

Favorite Film – Silence of the Lambs

Favorite Book – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Favorite Food – Seared tuna with a glass of Chablis

How to work with them

You can sit back, enjoy the ride and relax as they’re probably way ahead of you. Seriously, if you can agree (or accept) the rules of the game then build some trust with them as this could yield groundbreaking results. They will respond to this, so you are the only limit to what deal can be done.

Ensure you stay firm on your proposals and move to deliver satisfaction as this will be appreciated (even if it’s transparent to them). The Negotiator will work with you and help you to create value together, potentially in new and interesting ways.

You may have to work harder internally, ensuring that your team or leaders understand the potential here and allow you the space and time to extract maximum value from the relationship.

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