The five major personality types are openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. If you’re someone who leans toward agreeableness, you might feel that it’s a weakness. So you try to compensate, thinking it’s a weakness. Maybe you shift toward being more assertive or dominant. Is this the right move? Or should you lean into your natural personality type?
Let your personality type influence your choices
Dr. Klaus Lassert points out that your personality type affords you natural tactics. It also gives you some red flags to watch out for. If you’re heavy in agreeableness and place your demand, and someone sadly says, “I must admit I’m a little disappointed now,” it feels like capital punishment, right?
You’re great at building rapport and can maneuver through awkward situations to build relationships. Responding to an attack like the one we just described would be difficult for you. But there’s also a middle ground. Those with high agreeableness are afraid to kick off the conflict. The mere thought of solving a conflict is already distressing.
So you could write down your most controversial demands that might trigger a reaction on the other side. Write down when those demands will come up in the negotiation. Practice delivering the demand(s) in a short sentence and allow 10 seconds of silence afterward. It’s difficult, but with practice, you will better manage your negotiation.
Leveraging your counterparty’s personality type
You can use someone’s personality type to craft a mutually agreeable deal. If you know someone high on the agreeableness scale, you can be kind, friendly, and warm. If you deter from that for even five seconds, it makes an impact. But 90% of the time, you want to focus on positive emotions in the room.
If someone feels comfortable with you, it usually makes people more amenable. The perception is that you’re on good terms and all is going well. It’s hard to distinguish between the emotional rewards of the moment and the factual rewards you were out to get. They’ll likely divulge more information and talk more.
Being an extrovert can be useful in sales. However, it’s not the easiest trait for successful negotiations. Your personality trait drives you to overshare and to want to please others. It’s a dangerous trap.
When someone asks more questions—and withholds their satisfaction at getting you to open up—the motivated extrovert will overshare. If you’re extroverted, practice talking less. Avoid your inner urge to say something and force yourself to count to 10. It’s invaluable.
Using your personality type to your advantage
Are you meeting the needs of the gratification of the emotional state in the moment—or are you leveraging the long-term factual reward in the future? Your ability to leverage the emotional state of the moment may outweigh your need to achieve actual factual returns in the long term.
If you manage to feed an emotional distractor reward to your counterpart, you’re likely to get more in the contract where it actually counts. Conversely, if you fight for the rewards in the moment, you might compromise on something more important.
Don’t see gratification from your counterparty
Some negotiators are happy that they achieved any of their demands, so they avoid placing more demands. Others want to be right so badly that when they get what they want, they take things a step further. They force their counterpart to acknowledge that their reasoning is profound.
How do you avoid doing things like this that harm your negotiation? You have to consciously guide yourself. You can say out loud or even write down, “I’m getting my acknowledgment from anywhere else but not from my negotiation partner.” You can’t go into a negotiation to get positive appraisal and acknowledgment.
Learn more about navigating negotiations leveraging your personality type (and how to avoid emotional triggers) in episode #329 of Negotiations Ninja!