Collaborative Negotiating Types

Collaborative negotiators are open and honest. They understand the concerns and interests of the other party. They enjoy negotiations, especially if it involves finding creative solutions to mutually satisfy both parties. However, they may have a tendency to turn simple situations into more complicated ones by overthinking and exploring many alternatives.

Photograph of collaborative working

When this works:

  • When both parties need their goals met.
  • When creative brainstorming is needed to come up with a solution to a difficult problem.
  • Most negotiators are overly accommodating or compromising, therefore competitive style buyers usually tend to claim more than their fair share. Using a collaborative style can surprise competitive negotiators.
  • Most likely to win against Competitive or Avoiding negotiators.

When to be careful:

  • Collaboration takes time, which makes compromising a tempting alternative. Leave yourself enough time to collaborate, and don’t be tempted to rush in order to close the negotiations.
  • Be careful not to share too much information with the other party, as this can leave you exposed and exploited.
  • You can often overcomplicate a situation by exploring too many alternative solution. Keep your focus and keep the overall negotiation goal in mind.


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 Collaborative Negotiating Types can win against them.


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.
  • Stand your ground. Making early concessions can make you seem weak to a competitive negotiator.
  • Take control of the negotiation. Competitive negotiators like to lead, so state your authority and use strong language such as “we need” instead of “we’d like” to take control.
  • If they become irritated or aggressive, stay calm and focussed on your desired goal. Don’t let the competitive attitude phase you.
  • Your usual collaborative method may not work against this style, so be prepared to adopt other technique.



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.
  • Your negotiation styles are similar, as you are both interested in creating a positive relationship with the other party. Use this to your advantage and build relationships.
  • Take your time negotiating. The compromiser usually wants to close the deal as quickly as possible which will work to your advantage.
  • Stick to your guns. The compromiser will usually be the first to concede.



How to recogniseHow to win
Avoider negotiators strongly dislike conflict, so will try to dodge negotiations by any means possible. They may be seen to pass responsibility on to other team members or avoid the negotiation situation altogether.
  • Start the negotiation as early as possible. Therefore if the other party stalls the negotiation by avoiding, you should still have time available.
  • Encourage the avoider to engage within the idea brainstorming part of the negotiation. This should make them feel included and less likely to avoid and stall the negotiation.
  • Give the other party clear and defined mini deadlines at the beginning of the negotiation process. This should stop the other party stalling throughout the negotiation process.



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.
  • Your negotiation styles are similar, as you are both interested in creating a positive relationship with the other party. Use this to your advantage and build relationships.
  • 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.