The Different Negotiator Types

The Different Negotiator Types

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Negotiation is a skill that is essential in both personal and professional settings. Whether you are buying a car, negotiating a business deal, or even trying to resolve a conflict, the ability to negotiate effectively can make a significant difference in the outcome. In this blog, we will explore the different types of negotiators and how to approach each type. By understanding the motivations and priorities of different negotiator types, you can increase your chances of achieving a successful negotiation.

Understanding the Assertive Type

One type of negotiator is the assertive type, also known as the “Alpha” negotiator. These individuals are focused on control and ensuring that their needs are met. For them, it is not just about getting what they want, but also about being respected and understood. They value being heard and appreciated for their viewpoint.

When dealing with assertive negotiators, it is important to approach them with respect and acknowledge their expertise. Let them know that you understand where they are coming from and that you appreciate their perspective. By validating their feelings and opinions, you can create a more positive and productive negotiation environment.

Dealing with the Assertive Negotiator

When negotiating with an assertive negotiator, it is crucial to focus on building a relationship and showing them respect. By acknowledging their expertise, you can gain their trust and increase the likelihood of a successful negotiation. Remember, for them, respect and understanding are more important than getting everything they want.

One effective approach is to stroke their ego and make them feel valued. Let them know that you recognize their accomplishments and respect their opinions. By doing so, you can create a more positive and cooperative negotiation environment.

Additionally, it is important to listen actively to an assertive negotiator. Give them the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings fully. This will show them that you value their input and are willing to consider their perspective. By demonstrating empathy and understanding, you can build rapport and foster a more collaborative negotiation process.

The Importance of Empathy in Negotiation

Empathy plays a vital role in negotiation. It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. When negotiating, empathy allows you to connect with the other party on a deeper level and understand their needs and motivations.

One way to demonstrate empathy is through active listening. Show genuine interest in the other person’s perspective and ask clarifying questions to ensure that you understand their point of view. This will make them feel heard and valued, increasing the chances of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

Another important aspect of empathy is emotional recognition. By acknowledging the other person’s emotions, you can create a more positive and empathetic negotiation environment. This involves recognizing and validating their feelings, even if you may not agree with them. By doing so, you can build trust and rapport, leading to a more successful negotiation outcome.

The Characteristics of a Great Negotiator

A great negotiator possesses several key characteristics that set them apart from others. These characteristics include:

  • Active Listening: A great negotiator listens attentively to the other party, showing genuine interest and understanding.
  • Empathy: They demonstrate empathy by understanding and sharing the feelings of the other person.
  • Flexibility: They are open to new ideas and willing to explore different options to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
  • Preparation: A great negotiator is well-prepared and knowledgeable about the subject matter of the negotiation.
  • Patience: They understand that negotiation takes time and are willing to invest the necessary effort to achieve a successful outcome.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: A great negotiator is skilled at identifying and addressing potential obstacles or conflicts that may arise during the negotiation process.

These characteristics are not only valuable in negotiation but also translate into other aspects of life and business. By developing these skills, you can become a more effective communicator and achieve better results in all areas of your life.

Common Mistakes in Negotiation

While negotiation can be a complex process, there are several common mistakes that people often make. These mistakes can hinder the negotiation process and prevent you from achieving your desired outcome. Some of these mistakes include:

  • Extreme Price Anchoring: Anchoring on an extreme price or term can create tension and make it difficult to reach a compromise.
  • Using Excessive Leverage: Trying to exert too much control or dominance over the other party can lead to a breakdown in communication and hinder progress.
  • Continuing to Ask for More: Asking for additional concessions or freebies after a deal has been agreed upon can strain the relationship and create a negative impression.

To avoid these mistakes, it is important to approach negotiation with a collaborative mindset and a focus on building rapport and understanding. By treating the other party with respect and empathy, you can create a more positive and productive negotiation environment.


Negotiation is a vital skill in both personal and professional settings. By understanding the different types of negotiators and how to approach them, you can increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome. Remember to always approach negotiation with respect and empathy, actively listen to the other party, and be willing to explore different options. By doing so, you can build rapport, foster cooperation, and reach mutually beneficial agreements.

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