The Impact of Bargaining Transactions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 58, No. 1
The author is the Leroy S. Merrifield Research Professor of Law at George Washington University. He is the author of Effective Legal Negotiations and Settlement (4th ed. Lexis 2001) and The Intelligent Negotiator (Prima/Crown 2002). He is also the co-author (with Edward Brunet) of Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Advocate’s Perspective (2nd ed. Lexis 2001).
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Everyone wants to be an effective negotiator. But what makes a negotiator effective? This article looks at the characteristics of cooperative problem-solvers and competitive adversarial bargainers and discusses how they interact. It reports on the effectiveness of these two negotiation styles, as well as a hybrid style that employs qualities of both. Perhaps the most effective negotiators are competitive problem-solvers who hope to obtain good deals for themselves, while simultaneously trying to improve the results for opponents.
Attorneys and business-people negotiate constantly. They negotiate within their own organizations with superiors, subordinates and colleagues. They negotiate with prospective and current clients and customers, and on behalf of their clients and customers with other public and private entities. Most negotiators employ relatively “cooperative” or “competitive” styles.1
Cooperative bargainers tend to behave more pleasantly, and they strive to generate mutually beneficial agreements. Competitive bargainers are often less pleasant, and they work to obtain optimal results for their own sides. Individuals look forward to interactions with cooperative opponents but often dread encounters with competitive adversaries.
Negotiator styles significantly affect bargaining interactions. This article looks at different negotiator styles and the impact of these styles on bargaining encounters.