Tag archive: personality-traits
Knowing the Difference Between Needs and Wants
Some years ago I had a date with Charlene, at that time the world’s most famous marriage broker. I can tell you, Charlene knew a lot about life, love and negotiating. She helped me to see the difference between wants and needs by telling me about her business. When unmarried people came to her seeking help in finding a partner, she asked them what they wanted. Each specified a long list of personality and character traits as well as sporting and cultural interests they wanted in a prospective spouse. When I asked her if she met their specifications, she responded, “My job as a marriage broker is to listen to what they want and then discover what they really need. When I give them what they need, they forget about what they want.” I thought about it. Was Charlene being cynical? I don’t think so. She was doing what we do when negotiating. In any fairly complex negotiation, both parties start with all kinds of demands they would like to have met. Some are needs and some are wants. A need is an urgent requirement for something essential that is lacking, something that is indispensable to a particular end or goal. Charlene explained that few of the wants in her client’s lists were indispensable; most were just nice to have. It’s much the same in negotiation, where our job is to discover what the other says they want and what they really need. There are many ways to fill a need. For example, when someone at the office complains that it is always too hot when the window is closed and asks that it be kept open, you as the supervisor have a problem. Others, quite satisfied with the temperature, want the window closed. You suggest that they negotiate to reach agreement. Are there any other ways by which each side’s needs can be satisfied other than keeping the window open or closed as each wanted? Several come to mind as they negotiate. They can choose to seat the person who wanted the window closed elsewhere where his or her comfort levels are met. A window air conditioner with adjustable vents that provide variable temperatures in different areas might increase the satisfaction level for all. The discomfort level for both might be reduced by closing the window in the cool of the morning and raising it in the afternoon when it is warmer. Or the window could be open or closed on alternate days of the week. Lest we think this too simplistic, it was the way Israel and Egypt settled a serious border entry dispute. As the example indicates, needs may be filled in many innovative ways. The next time someone in a negotiation says, “I want this or that,” seek to discover what they need, then search for a satisfying solution based on that need. That’s how creative Both-Win deals emerge.Read more »
The Important Difference Between Needs and Wants: A Guide to Action
I once had dinner with a most unusual woman. Her name was Charlene, the world’s most famous marriage broker. Charlene was a wise lady who knew a lot about life, love and negotiating. She taught me the difference between wants and needs. When single men and women came to her seeking help in finding a marriage partner, she asked them what they wanted. All of them specified a long list of personality and character traits as well as social and sporting interests which they wanted in their prospective spouse. When I asked Charlene if she met their specifications, she responded by saying, “My job as a marriage broker is to listen to what they want and then discover what they need. When I give them what they need, they forget about what they want.” I thought about it. Was Charlene being cynical? I don’t think so. What she was doing was what we try to do when we negotiate. In any fairly complex transaction, both parties start with all kinds of demands they would like to have met. Some are needs and some are wants. Needs, according to one of Webster’s definitions, are an urgent requirement for something essential that is lacking, something that is indispensible to a particular end or goal. Charlene explained that few of her clients’ lists of wants were indispensible, most were just nice to have. It’s much the same in negotiation, where our job is to discover what the other side says they want and what they really need. If we can give the other party what they need, they will forget about many of the wants or demands they asked for at the beginning of the negotiation. That’s when both sides move toward agreement. The negotiator who understands the subtle difference between needs and wants knows what to listen for at every stage of the bargaining process. He or she moves the parties toward an intersection of their mutual interests-an agreement that best suits their needs, not their wants.Read more »
How to know when you are dealing with a bad negotiator
Have you ever dealt with someone who makes it hard to get to an agreement? There are some negotiators out there who do not have the right skills or personality traits to be good at business negotiations. We have discussed here on Negotiation Space what makes a good negotiator. According to Dr. Chester Karrass, good negotiators possess the following seven traits:Read more »
- Planning skill
- Ability to think clearly under stress
- General practical intelligence
- Verbal ability
- Product knowledge
- Personal integrity
- Ability to perceive and use power
- Does the other party seem stressed or disorganized?
- Can the other party give detailed answers to questions about the product or service in question?
- Does the other party seem to have a hard time making him/herself understood?
"Testosterone is a hormone associated with status-seeking and a need to save face," notes Adam Galinsky, the Kellogg professor who co-wrote the study. "It makes a powerful difference in how people respond to situations. "People with low testosterone -- that is, with a noticeable difference in the length of their second and fourth digits -- may perceive that they're being treated unfairly, but they're likely to go sulk in a corner." However, Galinsky says, "If you're looking across a bargaining table at someone who has a slight difference, or no difference, between the second and fourth digits, be careful." Make an extra effort to mollify that person and stroke his ego, because doing otherwise is "like slapping a sleeping tiger."How do you know when you are dealing with someone who will make getting a deal nearly impossible?
Do you have what it takes to be a great negotiator?
Whether we are buying a car, selling furniture, attempting to get a salary raise, or closing a big business deal, we all negotiate to a larger or smaller extent. Most people understand the basics of business negotiations, but some people are negotiation super-stars—whether by instinct or by training, they know what move to make when to succeed in achieving win-win deals. Great negotiators are persuasive and have a keen understanding of human nature, especially of how power and motivation work. Great negotiators don’t break under the pressure of a tense negotiation. Instead, they keep their calm, and may even have a sense of humor to diffuse the tension. If you are in a position to hire a negotiating team, you should probably know what traits these great negotiators have in common.Read more »
- Sound business judgment allowing them to discern what is important and what is not
- Ability to tolerate ambiguity and conflict
- Patience—and the wisdom to know when to wait and when to move
- Ability to read other people and find out if there are hidden issues
- Commitment to planning, strategy and understanding what is being negotiated
- Stable personality that doesn’t need approval or to be liked
It's all about people
In the end, all business is conducted between people. As much as the world has become computerized and automated, we still shake hands with a person to seal a deal. Who you do business with is important. Choose your partners carefully. The right partners can help close a deal, while the wrong partners can make things go south quickly. As Chester L. Karrass says in his book, Give and Take: “Long term relationships based on integrity are essential to negotiation and to the day-to-day administration of agreements that follow.” You may need to disassociate yourself from anyone that the other side may not like, who may have a bad reputation or who may act suspiciously. Obviously, shady characters (con men, deadbeats) are very bad partners—stay far away! The right partners, on the other hand, are people with personality traits such as: trustworthy, have integrity and who show goodwill. Dr. Karrass calls these people “reliable nice people.” Being reliable and being pleasant are two key characteristics of someone with whom you want to do business. According to former Secretary of State James Baker III, the traits of a good business negotiator are: 1) Someone who catches on quickly 2) Someone who is likeable 3) Being team player 4) Understands/penetrates the issues 5) Resourcefulness 6) Being knowledgeable 7) Being persuasive Notice that being likeable is near the top of the list. To do good business, do business with good people!Read more »
What's your personality?
In business, especially in business negotiations, you are always dealing with people: their personalities, their needs and their opinions. Business decisions are sometimes influenced by personal issues and not solely by business strategy and the bottom line. On this blog we’ve discussed issues like motivation, behavior and traits of a good negotiator because it is important to be aware that personality and personal needs come into play at the negotiating table. Personality affects issue such as aspiration and goals. Chester L. Karrass, in his book The Negotiating Game, identifies the relationship between personality and aspiration levels. He tells us that someone that is achievement oriented, who believe that hard work pays off, has a high aspiration level. And in negotiations, those who have a high aspiration level reach higher goals. Dr. Karrass recommends paying serious attention to the personalities of people on your negotiating team. His research found that personality factors are extremely important in effective negotiating. Personality is defined as the essential character of a person. Usually we can find a group of traits that define a personality type. For example, in this article (http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/191402/communications/how_to_communicate_to_the_four_main_personality_types.html) Lee Hopkins classifies four general business types: Extrovert Amiable Pragmatic Analytical He then suggests tailoring your message so that you can communicate effectively with each person. Clearly, personality influences how you understand and how you communicate. There are tests designed to discover your personality type. A very popular test is the Myers-Briggs, which classifies personalities into sixteen distinct types. Figuring out your personality, the personalities of those on your negotiating team and the personalities of those sitting opposite you on the negotiating table will be very valuable. Do you prefer to negotiate with certain personalities? How does it influence the outcome of a negotiation?Read more »
The Making of a Good Negotiator
Are good negotiators born or made? Certainly, there are innate personality traits that make some people become good, or even great, negotiators. However, there are some skills that can be learned, which also improve your negotiation ability. Here are some traits and skills of a good negotiator:Read more »
- Practical intelligence/common sense
- Verbal ability
- Ability to think and communicate clearly under stress
- Personal integrity
- Good self-esteem
- Emotional intelligence (ability to understand others, their motivations/reactions)
- Aspiration to achieve
- Planning skill
- Product knowledge
- Ability to research and understand market conditions
- Ability to stay calm under pressure
- Ability to deal with uncertainty
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could predict exactly what the other side was going to do during your next business negotiation? Well, you probably can, and no, you don’t need a crystal ball. All you need is an understanding of what the other side has done before. Most people are predictable. Perhaps you don’t act the same in every situation but you most likely follow a set pattern. You also tend to react predictably. For instance, some people will always use humor to defuse a stressful situation. In his book The Negotiating Game, Dr.Chester L. Karrass tell us the following about predicting behavior: “The best way to predict behavior is to look at a person’s history. A careful study of the other person’s habits, temperament, opinions and values will reveal useful patterns. The personality traits of a person tend to guide his or her behavior in accordance with the individual’s major intentions.” Knowing the other person will obviously help you predict his or her behavior. If you have negotiated with him or her before, you have a pretty good idea of how he or she will react. But what if you are negotiating with someone you don’t know and you haven’t had a chance to do more research on? The most important rule about predicting behavior is to know that people will always act to protect their self-interest and their self-image. Every negotiator would do well to become a student of human behavior. Being able to predict reactions and behavior will certainly give you an edge at negotiation time. You may even be able to adjust your behavior to elicit the type of reaction you are looking for. Have you been able to predict the other side’s behavior? Has that helped you when you are negotiating?Read more »