What type of negotiator are you?

Skills of negotiation go far beyond the ability to argue your point or get your own way. You don’t want to be stuck in the little bowl  because you can’t negotiate!

Google Image

Google Image

One of the best ways to reach your full potential within a negotiation and  increase confidence is to understand what type of negotiator you are.

Common perceptions about negotiation believe that there are two main types of negotiators; these are SOFT negotiators and HARD negotiators.

Characteristics of the SOFT negotiator:

  • Try to avoid conflict
  • Generally more willing to give in
  • Often more trustworthy and honest
  • Focus is on building relationship
  • They are usually interest- based negotiators searching for a mutually beneficial result

Characteristics of the HARD negotiator:

  • Aim for complete victory
  • Can pressurise the other party
  • Often lack consideration for the needs of the other party
  • Can be seen as a ‘haggler’
  • They are usually power- based negotiators who view successful negotiation as completely getting their own way

Each of these negotiator types has strengths and weaknesses. Push too hard and risk no negotiation being made or not push hard enough and get results that are of no value.

Google image- Win/Lose situations

Google Image- Win/Lose situations

Imagine some of the conflicts employers face from employees; salary, position, even grievances between workers. We have all seen The Apprentice and it is obvious that Lord Sugar is a HARD negotiator. However; although he is an extremely successful business man, this approach is not always best.

Google Image- The Apprentice

Google Image- The Apprentice

To be a successful negotiator, what you need to have is BATNA!…try not to get that confused with BANTA!

BATNA refers to the:

 “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.” –Fisher & Ury (1981)

This technique is a valuable tool within negotiation as it can be viewed as a safety net so that both parties do not come to a negotiation that of no value. If the result of a negotiation does not contribute to you meeting your objectives in some way, you have not used the BATNA technique. It is important to consider at which point you will settle and where you draw the line within a negotiation, the MOST IMPORTANT factor within any negotiation is to know where to draw the line and having the ability to STICK to that decision.

Google Image- BATNA

Google Image- BATNA

What type of negotiator are you? The HARD car salesman type, the SOFT relationship builder OR do you have BATNA?


3 Steps to Successful Workplace Negotiation

As a third year PR student I recognise that job hunting is never easy. To make it even more difficult there are a million other students in the same situation seeking the same job who may settle for less when it comes to negotiating a job offer.

This is where the situation gets tricky, do you belly flop in to the ice cold water and risk settling for a salary which you cannot afford to live on in fear of somebody else getting the job or do you hold out and negotiate so that you can land that perfect swan dive.

Swan Dive

Swan Dive (Google Image)

It is often difficult in terms of negotiation to know when you may be over-stepping the mark, I’m sure that employers receive some ridiculous demands from potential employees in terms of salary, holiday and hours, and those are often the people who do not get the job.

From my research in to the best ways of negotiating a job offer, I have come up with my own 3 steps on how to successfully negotiate:


Realise that negotiation is not about winning, it is about COMPROMISE. It is important to realise that you may not be able to always get your desired result, however, see any improvements as a positive result. You need to be realistic within your expectations, if you are a student coming straight out of University you cannot expect your own office complete with a personal assistant and your own water cooler…that’s just not going to happen.

“As a consciously competent negotiator your first task is to be pro-active. That is, take control of the way you negotiate, and, in doing so negotiate each agreement in a way that will serve your objectives.” – Steve Gates, 2011 (The Negotiation Book)


How far can you actually go in terms of negotiation? If their final offer after hours of negotiation is higher than the original but still leaves you struggling to live, do you take the job? Maybe you can come to an agreement such as a 3 month progress review where a salary increase could be discussed again? Consider how far you can negotiate before it is simply not worthwhile.

3.      BE PREPARED.

You want a higher salary? Why do YOU deserve a higher salary when there are another 500 applicants willing to settle? The ability to prove your worth is one of the biggest assets you will have when making this employer see that the company NEEDS you on their side. You need to be able to back everything up, demonstrate that you have experience, contacts, knowledge, and skills. If you do additional courses to make you an expert in that field TELL THEM…in fact don’t just tell them, bring PROOF. You want to overwhelm this employer with facts to make them believe that not employing you would be a substantial loss for the organisation.


All of these points seem very simple and obvious, however negotiation does take courage. Do you have the kahunas? If not, practice. Practice negotiating a job offer with friends, family, colleagues. Nothing about job hunting is easy, but the key to successful negotiation is preparation.

I’d be interested to hear other ideas about the best ways to negotiate a job offer so feel free to leave a comment and answer the poll below!

The Uphill Struggle of Defining PR

ImageThe on-going conflict of defining PR as a profession has haunted the industry for many years.  As an industry that prides itself on communication, it seems almost silly that it is still unable to define the profession. Is this because practitioners feel the need to peacock about their own area of PR or is it simply a question that PR cannot be defined as it is such a multifaceted industry?


Unlike other professions, PR cannot be easily distinguished. One PR practitioner’s role could be on the other end of the spectrum compared to another practitioner. Differences in clients, values, needs and organisations are all contributing factors to this dilemma.

Conflicting views about what the profession offers surely has some impact on how it is viewed by both clients and the public. It is my own opinion that the lack of definition of PR is fuelling shows such as ‘What happens in Kavos’ and the nightclub industry to believe that standing outside of clubs and handing out flyers is ’PR’. Although any practitioner could assure these people that it is certainly not, what is the industry doing to prove its value?


Often, negotiation is the key to settling a dilemma; acting as mutual understanding to resolve differences, however it has not proven to be successful for providing PR with a definition as practitioners simply disagree and often provide their own to clients.

Some PR definitions include:

“The management of communication between an organisation and its publics.”- Grunig & Hunt

The result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”- CIPR

“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other. Public Relations broadly applies to organizations as a collective group, not just a business; and publics encompass the variety of different stakeholders.”- PRSA

My view is that three words which should be used within every definition of PR include communication, engagement and reputation. My reasoning behind the three words is this; without communication PR would not exist, without engagement PR would not be able to prove its success and reputation is the final result of the communication and engagement.

Do you think PR practitioners simply need to ‘agree to disagree’?  OR is a final negotiation for a formal definition required?