When it comes to negotiating, let’s start by looking at the four main styles of negotiators: the director dominant with big temper and impatience who seems to want to win at all costs, the charming extrovert who seeks to get everyone’s attention and acts as being the center of everything as he is in real thirst for recognition, the thinker and anxious analytical who needs data and details, and the amiable harmonizer who seeks harmony in all things. To better negotiate with your counterpart and achieve win-win outcomes, it’s a must to capture cues indicating the style of the person you’re dealing with. Which will help you determine which approach to adopt. How to distinguish them?


Impatient and direct, he seeks control and results. In negotiation, he can become a street fighter: he negotiates to get the results he wants. He’s convinced that there must be a winner and a loser, and he certainly wants to be the winner. His fight can sometimes seem fierce; he sees no reason to make concessions. His Achilles’ heel is his tendency to stubbornly maintain a fixed position, which can stretch negotiations. His greatest psychological injury is being tricked or feeling tricked.

My suggestion: Get straight to the point! Avoid long explanations and don’t tell him how you’re going to do it, but rather what you’re capable of doing. Give him choices and make him feel like he’s in charge. If you’re the dominant style, here are a few suggestions to apply in your future negotiations, and in your daily life as well:

  1. Listen carefully to incorporate your counterpart’s ideas into your statements, and don’t hesitate to acknowledge their contribution frequently. Please keep temporarily your ego in a drawer or a locker.
  2. When faced with negative behaviors, show some respect and interest in your counterpart’s arguments. You’ll have a better grasp of how to influence them, faster.
  3. Listen to objections without reacting negatively. Consider different points of view without making the other person feel wrong.


Thirsty for attention and love, extroverts seek excitement and recognition. Like a stormy sea, they’re so excited by their project that they tend to forget that others may not be as enthusiastic as they are. Easily influenced, he especially needs to improve his tendency to ignore the feelings or moods of others during a discussion. His main psychological wound lies in what people think of him.

My suggestion: With this style, you need to be lively, energetic, and stimulating, give him time to express himself, be bold and not shy, encourage his dreams and intentions, and recognize his abilities.

If you’re the extrovert type, here are a few suggestions to apply in your future negotiations and even daily life:

  1. Stop for a moment, look, observe the situation, and delay few seconds your response, as you often give the impression of impatience.
  2. Avoid overwhelming your counterpart with your ideas and expertise.
  3. Allow time for questions. Acknowledge your counterpart’s ideas and points of view, then incorporate them into your arguments.


The analytical people seek perfection in precision and detail. In fact, they need tangible data, evidence and statistics. They therefore never make hasty decisions so as not to regret them later on. Very rigid in their approach to negotiation, they are reluctant to show flexibility; they are so cautious and precise that they focus on each perspective approached, which often results in a lack of overall vision of the situation. Their psychological wound mainly lies in being criticized and the fear of making mistakes.

My suggestion: Graft into your conversation terms that will reassure the analytical, such as: let’s analyze the situation and let’s avoid pitfalls. This will sound like music to his/her ears. If you’re the analytical type, here are a few suggestions to apply both in your future negotiations and even in your daily life:

  1. Simplify your speech so that non-specialists can understand you.
  2. Be warm and attentive to your counterpart and avoid sounding too serious and stuffy.
  3. Pay attention to your counterpart’s ideas, needs and problems, rather than focusing solely on technical and factual aspects.


The amiable harmonizer seeks harmony and status quo. In contrast to the dominant negotiator, the amiable harmonizer becomes the peacemaker in a negotiation. His main goal is not to win the negotiation, but to ensure that everyone comes away happy. He fears meetings where pressure is omnipresent. Even if he doesn’t get everything he wants, he’s easy to convince.

My suggestion: Speak to him slowly and informally. It’s very important to gain his trust. Don’t hesitate to compliment his sensitivity and understanding and listen carefully.

If you’re an amiable, here are a few suggestions you can apply in your future negotiations, but also in your everyday life:

  1. Develop your assertiveness: you will appear more confident in your approach.
  2. Learn how to resolve conflicts rather than avoid them; this is an integral part of many successful interactions.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for fear of imposing. Ask for what you want and express your needs.


There’s no good or bad personality style. Fortunately, we all have the right to be different, and everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The important thing is to be aware of them. You can’t change what you don’t observe.

Now that you’ve realized that there are different styles, it’s time to recognize them. I encourage you to put the emphasis on practice in your next exchanges. Learn to discover each one of them: listen, observe, analyze, and validate, then you’ll be able to anticipate certain behaviors and reach more agreements in your win-win negotiations.

Click here to learn more about the different negotiation styles and Communicate DifferentlyMC(in French only). With the guide, you will receive a questionnaire in 3 copies:

  1. One copy to be completed by the participant
  2. Another copy to be completed by a parent/spouse
  3. And a third copy to be completed by a colleague/friend

Once the results have been compiled in the three grids, you’ll see the difference between how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you.

You’ll also receive a handbook on the strengths and weaknesses of each style, suggestions for moving temporarily through the grid, and detailed approaches to help you tackle each style successfully.


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