The ability to negotiate is extremely important to entrepreneurs. It is, I believe, one of the key differences between good entrepreneurs and highly successful ones. It is critical when you have business partners and is also important in dealing with customers and vendors. Whether we realize it or not, we engage in small negotiations in just about every human interaction. Which is why I regularly read William Scarpino’s How to Negotiate blog.
The good thing about negotiation skills is that they can be learned. Scarpino says we develop our negotiating style in infancy based on what we find “works” for us. We also have a “natural” negotiating style that comes out when we’re under stress. He says there are four basic negotiating styles. While his current post doesn’t list the four, they are generally described as:
- Cause and effect
Even though negotiating styles vary culturally and from country to country, these four with variations still apply. Scarpino says it is best to use different styles depending on the situation and the personality of the person with whom you are negotiating. So next time you find negotiations going awkwardly, try a different style. It’s good to have a variety of styles in your negotiating repertoire.