One of the most interesting parts of a negotiation is discovering the personality of your counterparts, and figuring out how to best work with them. But this is also one of the most stressful and challenging parts of a negotiation.
In this series, we’ll look at some of the personalities you may find sitting across the table from you during a negotiation, and discuss how to identify them, how to best work with them – and what to do if this is…you.
Negotiation & Personality: The Social Butterfly
How To Spot Them
First up out of their seat to great you, giving a warm handshake or even a hug – the Social Butterfly will be hard to miss. You’ll see that they’re often the ones that will initiate personal conversation during coffee breaks, extend invitations for dinner, and they’ll probably stay in touch even after the negotiations have come to a close.
How To Work With Them
Especially when you’re travelling to a new city to conduct negotiations, it can be a relief to have a counterpart that extends a warm welcome. Social Butterflies thrive on human connection, so sharing tidbits of information about your non-professional life will go a long way in securing trust and building a relationship with them. You don’t need to accept every invitation (there’s undoubtedly more work to be done back at the hotel, even after the day’s discussions have come to an end), but it will be important that they don’t feel you’re slighting them.
If there’s a Social Butterfly on your team, that can take a lot of the pressure off of the more reserved or private members of the group. You may want to consider assigning them the mandate of building the relationship upon which the negotiation will be based.
What If This Is You?
If connecting with people, sharing stories and forming strong social bonds is important to you, you’re well on your way to creating meaningful business relationships and easing the path of your negotiations. Two things to keep in mind though: Make sure it’s genuine and know when to reel it in. People can smell phonies a mile away, and you want to be known as friendly and warm…not smarmy. Also, pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal cues you’re getting from colleagues and counterparts. If your desire to connect is making them uncomfortable, it’s time to take a step back.
Have you ever worked with a Social Butterfly? Did they inspire you to spread your relationship wings? Or curl back up into the cocoon?
Devon Smiley is a Negotiation Consultant, who guides teams through the preparation and execution of negotiations with a distinct Corporate + Creative approach.