Negotiation, noun, defined as: discussion aimed at reaching an agreement. It is also often described as a method by which people settle differences and reach mutually beneficial outcomes. And before you dismiss this article on the basis that you’re not a lawyer or a salesperson and therefore don’t have to be able to negotiate, have a think about your day to day life.  

At the end of the day, any social interaction is a form of negotiation, most conversations, a discussion on Rugby Union vs Rugby League, asking for that pay rise you deserve, purchasing property, divvying up workload with your peers, convincing your kids to complete their homework for 20 minutes of screentime, ok fine 30 minutes tops and you have to clean your room!! The list goes on. 

So how do we do this? How do we become good negotiators?  Enter Everything DiSC®.

Everything DiSC is a tool that holds a mirror up to ourselves, asks us to be honest with ourselves and then shows us how to develop our interpersonal skills to best benefit us and those around us.   

Negotiation is all about give and take to reach a point of agreement and mutual benefit and to do so effectively, you need to be able to recognise the differences between yourself and your audience and know how to adapt to these differences. This will assist you in making sure you are understood without coming across as too demanding, detached, over-emotional, or as a total pushover. This ability to adapt requires self-awareness, effective communication skills, emotional intelligence, and people reading skills, all of which are taught by Everything DiSC®. 

Everything DiSC® is a needs-driven behavioural model, which helps us to understand how behaviour we see demonstrated on a daily basis, which is characteristic of a person’s DiSC Style, is actually driven by underlying needs and priorities. These underlying needs are what you need to appeal to as a negotiator to improve your communication, build rapport, and get buy-in and agreement from your audience.

How you present yourself to different styles is very important and central to your ability to negotiate effectively as it will affect the connection between you and your negotiator. Everything DiSC® Sales and the Everything DiSC® Agile EQ profiles are valuable tools in developing your negotiation skills and interpersonal flexibility.

Everything DiSC® Sales

Let’s start with Everything DiSC Sales, which develops a participant’s people reading ability and teaches them how to adapt their selling style to a person’s buying style to achieve the best possible outcomes.   

Now you may think that you are meeting a persons’ needs by providing a product or service however, this is meeting the business’ needs, not those of the person you are negotiating with. At the end of the day, you are negotiating with a person, a person with needs who will buy from the salesperson he or she likes best (subconsciously or consciously).  For example, if you are dealing with a D Style negotiator, with a need for Action, they will want to feel that they have won something and driven a result. Therefore, you need to present yourself differently to how you would approach an S Style negotiator, who values harmony and has a need for Support and may feel uncomfortable with the more direct negotiation style valued by the D Style.

Another key tip is to look for whether your negotiation partner is faster-paced or slower-paced. This is one of the basic dimensions of DiSC ranging from the quicker paced D and i Styles, to the more reserved S and C Styles. If you can read and adapt to this behavioural preference, you will know whether you should push ahead and keep driving negotiations forward, or if it would pay off to stop and take the time to provide assurances or extra information and ask questions to find out about your audience on a personal level.  

We can then look at the horizontal axis of DiSC and ask if they seem to be more people-focused or task-oriented. The i Style negotiator wants a personal connection, they want to feel Influential and you may need to take the time to show the value you place on them as a person.  A C Style negotiator however will appreciate it if you stick to the facts, keep things professional, and can demonstrate your impressive product knowledge to win them over.

All of this is taught in the Everything DiSC Sales Profile, which is a valuable resource in learning how to negotiate thanks to its focus on developing people reading skills and learning to adapt your approach.  And what is negotiation but selling yourself to the best of your abilities?

Everything DiSC® Agile EQ

However, what happens in those situations that are not one-on-one sales, you are not sitting down with a client to sell to them, but to a group of people, conference style, as is typically the case in high-stakes negotiations. There is no way that you can adapt your selling style to suit everyone in the room, so what do you do to improve your negotiation position? Adapt your mindset to your environment that you are in. Enter Everything DiSC® Agile EQ.

Agile EQ is designed to teach participants to recognise the emotional and interpersonal needs of a situation and respond accordingly. For example, if you are an S Style person who struggles with conflict, being able to stand up and confidently back yourself is a skill you need to learn in case of negotiating to a group, or even to an individual with little emotional awareness who will just come in like a battering ram. This can be learnt by developing your Self-Assured mindset, a mentality typically utilised most naturally by D Styles.

Being able to adapt your mindset to the environment and situation you are in is incredibly important. Ask yourself; would you approach asking for a pay rise in the same way you would approach a divorce? No. Because the situation calls for different approaches. This is where Agile EQ can assist you in recognising your natural mindsets, and how to stretch beyond these to react in the most situationally appropriate and beneficial manner.

Preeminent human interaction human skills can be a huge business advantage and one of your best assets. We need to be improving our behavioural strengths and our emotional agility so that we can recognise the similarities and differences between ourselves and our audience and modify our approach accordingly. 

It’s time to dig out your profiles and start reviewing how you use DiSC, start people reading those around you, and see how developing your awareness and flexibility can benefit your negotiating prowess.

Written by: Samantha Pilz

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