Avoiding Negotiating Types

‘Avoiding’ negotiators really don’t like negotiations! They try to avoid conflict by any means possible, maybe by passing the responsibility to another member of their team or just by staying quiet.

They tend to find negotiations intimidating and would be susceptible to threats, therefore ‘Avoiding’ negotiating types often would rather work behind the scenes.

Photograph of man avoiding negotiation

When this works:

  • When the issue of the negotiation is trivial and is not worth investing time in.
  • Best used if you are forced to be involved in a negotiation you are not prepared for. Avoid the meeting or the issue, or encourage your colleagues to lead the negotiations.
  • Avoidance can be used to stall the negotiations. Silence may cause the other party to concede first as they may panic that you are not interested at all. The party who is under greater time restrictions will usually concede first.
  • Most likely to win against an Accommodating negotiator.

When to be careful:

  • Can be seen as passive aggressive and revengeful.
  • Sometimes the avoid style can result in more conflict because avoiding a situation can lead to built up resentment between the parties.
  • Avoiding is not always suitable to the negotiation situation especially if the issue is time sensitive.
  • Avoiding means that you do not get any experience within negotiation situations, therefore your skills and confidence will not develop. This creates a vicious circle where your lack of confidence may make you want to avoid negotiation situations in the future.

 

Defence against other negotiation styles

Now you know about your own negotiation style, here’s some tips on how to recognise negotiators with other styles, and more importantly, how to win against them.

Competitive

How to recogniseHow to win
Competitive negotiators are highly results-driven. They are focussed and assertive in their communication and can become aggressive. They will have little time for pleasantries and will jump straight into the nitty-gritty of the negotiation.
  • If you are unsure about your negotiation ability, it might be best to ask whether another member of your team can lead. You need strong and confident negotiators to go up against a competitive negotiator.
  • Stalling the negotiation process can work to your advantage. Competitive negotiators usually want to close the deal quickly, so stalling the negotiations could lead to them offering concessions they would not have otherwise offered.

 

Collaborative

How to recogniseHow to win
Accommodating negotiators are friendly and interested in creating a positive dynamic for the negotiation. Also keen to smooth over conflicts as quickly as possible. They are mainly concerned with building and preserving relationships between parties.
  • Resist the efforts of accommodating negotiators to build relationships with your party. This will stop them from using their natural negotiating style.
  • Be wary when the other party is highly accommodating. They may be luring you in with false generosity, in the hope that you feel obliged to return with a high value concession.
  • Make sure that the accommodating negotiator isn’t giving away an unexpectedly high concession. This could lead to their managers rejecting the offer later on, which leaves you back to square one.

 

Compromising

How to recogniseHow to win
Compromiser negotiators do what is fair for both parties. They would rather settle with less in order to satisfy the other party’s needs. Watch out, they often rush negotiations and make large concessions.
  • Take your time negotiating. The compromiser usually wants to close the deal as quickly as possible, therefore they may make a concession. This will work to your advantage.
  • Stick to your guns. The compromiser will usually be the first to concede.
  • Don’t give in to the idea of splitting the difference until you have explored all the alternatives.

 

Accommodating

How to recogniseHow to win
Accommodating negotiators are friendly and interested in creating a positive dynamic for the negotiation. Also keen to smooth over conflicts as quickly as possible. They are mainly concerned with building and preserving relationships between parties.
  • Resist the efforts of accommodating negotiators to build relationships with your party. This will stop them from using their natural negotiating style.
  • Be wary when the other party is highly accommodating. They may be luring you in with false generosity, in the hope that you feel obliged to return with a high value concession.
  • Make sure that the accommodating negotiator isn’t giving away an unexpectedly high concession. This could lead to their managers rejecting the offer later on, which leaves you back to square one.