‘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.

The Player

The Player believes they are the best negotiator that has ever been. They have some knowledge and probably play poker. They enjoy bargaining; pitting themselves against other players as they enjoy the challenge – and proving they are the best.

Good at reading others, The Player is usually able to adapt styles, is ruthless, and loves to use their power to impact the deal. Unfortunately, they can struggle to keep any power they have under control. The Player can’t resist pushing for the absolute maximum in all situations. As a result, relationships may suffer and though the battle is won, the war may be lost.

Ego does not start to describe this character. And although they may be adept at hiding it, it’s there. It probably comes across in unguarded moments as extreme arrogance. Their counterparty often struggles to genuinely trust this chameleon.

Favorite Film – The Color of Money

Favorite Book – The Art of War

Favorite Food – The best steak

How to work with them

Like The Salesman, The Player needs to win; or believe they did. Only in this case they are solely focused on the negotiation. You’ll have to work hard, be a step ahead of them and ensure they believe they’ve outsmarted you.

Or you could just not play the game – or play another. Like your little brother or sister not playing by the rules, this’ll infuriate The Player, allowing you to re-define the field and take over.

If you have the majority of power you can always use some it and send a clear message: they might be a great negotiator (in their mind) but that means nothing when you hold all the cards.

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