Competitive Negotiating Types

Competitive negotiators are highly results-driven, focussed and assertive, and they can often become aggressive. They thrive in a negotiation situation as they enjoy the opportunity to win. Competitive negotiators have a strategic mind,  so they don’t tend to get phased by their opposition. Being right matters more to you than preserving relationships.

Photograph of competitive race

When this works:

  • Useful negotiation style to use when you need to get results quickly
  • Needed when the subject matter of the negotiation is non-negotiable
  • Use when you need a guaranteed win over the other party
  • Most likely to win against an Accommodating negotiator

When to be careful:

  • Aggression is not the answer. Keep your temper in check
  • Competitive style is a well-used tool in negotiation, so be careful because the other party may be able to prepare easily against this style
  • Some recruiters may avoid candidates with high compete negotiation styles


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 competitive negotiating types can win against them.


How to recogniseHow to win
Collaborative negotiators are open and honest. They try to understand the concerns of the other party and aim to find creative solutions to mutually satisfy both parties. They may explore many different possible avenues to do this.
  • Stick to your guns. Collaborative negotiators like to find solutions and alternatives, but if you don't leave room to manoeuvre, they won't be able to play to their strengths.
  • Change the direction or plan for the negotiation. This will upset the collaborative negotiator because they will question the other party's commitment to the negotiation.
  • Collaborative negotiators like to make a connection with the other party, if you take this away, you take away their natural advantage.



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.
  • Hold your ground. Compromisers tend to cave first and concede because they want to avoid bad feelings between the parties.
  • Compromiser styles are happy to settle with less than anticipated in order to satisfy the other party. Take advantage of this and push for larger concessions.
  • Slow the negotiation down. Take time conferring and considering the offer with your team as this will unnerve a compromiser into a concession.



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.
  • Using an aggressive approach can upset an avoiding style because they seriously dislike conflict. Take advantage of this and unnerve your competitor into a concession.
  • 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.
  • Knowledge is key. Understand the other party’s decision making process and management structure. These insights can help you to invalidate their reasons for avoiding.



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 accommodating negotiators efforts to build relationships with your party. This will stop them from using their natural negotiating style.
  • Use your natural competitive and direct style to upset an accommodating negotiator.
  • 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.