There are different negotiating styles that people might not even be aware they are doing.  Here are five common problematic negotiating styles to avoid.

1. The “NAKU-tiator”
This type of negotiator is the one who gets caught with his pants down. Owing to lack of systematic preparation, this negotiator fails to anticipate concession demands. NAKU-tiators further fall into two sub-categories at the extreme ends of a spectrum. The first is that of assertive-impatient ones who take a leap of faith that usually turns out to be a leap of “FATE” . . . fatally culminating to an ill-assessed losing deal!   The second is that of the conservative-risk-averse ones blessed for their prudence, but they may constantly end up wasting opportunities, time, money and effort that could have been saved with ample preparation.

2. The “Ne-GUT-iator”
This Narcissistic fellow relies so much on tactical maneuvering. He considers planning a waste of time.  This over-skewed bias for action falls easiest prey to strategic entrapment by well-prepared counterparts. The worst part of it is that Mr. Ne-GUT-iator does not even realize when he has been had!  Based on my consulting experience, a lot of unnecessary concessions are wasted by the conceited Mr. Ne-GUT-iator while plenty of counter concessions fail to be availed of.  Indeed, he gets the sale or the purchase but at unnecessarily high costs of resources.  Sadly, I’ve seen too many of these cocky fellows end up jobless after the next “rigodon” of management and an internal business review that reveal their inefficiencies.

3. The “NO GO-tiator”
This next negotiator comes out as an annoying, issue-focused, blinder-sporting, communication-constipated fellow you wish you can just wave a wand to shrink him to oblivion.  This myopic negotiator’s favorite word is “NO!” In fact the more creative ones, albeit there is just about one in a million, have so many synonyms for NO, you can vandalize every inch of a high school washroom enough to spare your alma mater from painting expenses.  This fellow is most prone to end up in deadlocks.

4. The “NAIVE-gotiator”
This negotiator does not know how to diagnose negotiation gambits (encounter plays of negotiators that tend to secure more concessions and/or give less ranging from defensive to outright offensive and oppressive) and handle them effectively. Most can’t tell a gambit even if it was downright staring at them. The good news is that, we have “taxonomized” (named) and developed sequentially progressing antidotes for most of these gambits or ploys.

5. The “NECRO-tiator”
This next fellow falls into dead-ends. Magnet-sensitivity to deadlocks is not surprising at all, considering their alternative to Plan A is to rephrase and to insist on Plan A until her counterpart gets mummified in dire frustration. And yet still, should they encounter each other in the after-life, Ms. NECRO-tiator will continue to insist on Plan A. This usually happens because Ms. NECRO-tiator has prepared only one plan and has become infatuated with it, not realizing that the other side also has their valid views and plans.

To avoid falling into the aforementioned styles, let’s use Mansmith’s framework-based process, “S.S.S.” in determining the negotiating style to use and these refer to: 1-Situation, 2-Stratics (strategy & tactics) and 3-Style. What this means is that situational assessment and the analysis precedes everything. This involves objective-interest assessment, nego-math-aided determination of concession exchange possibilities, power and pressure analysis and backdoor exit-parachute option assessment.  Strategy is then developed based on such analysis. This involves nego-sphere quadrant mobility planning, scenario nego-mapping, sequencing and optimization-sub-optimization analysis. Tactics of concession exchange follows including gambit play anticipation and countermove preps.  Only thereafter can style be logically ascertained. In other words, style has to conform to stratics and stratics have to be anchored on the given situation.

Using a negotiating style at random, mimicry without anchorage and fixation with a single style are grossly unscientific and regrettably perilous to the deal, the relationship or both.  Nowadays, the best negotiators employ more science than just the art of negotiations. So instead of falling in love with style, it is best to use what is contextually and optimally appropriate.

Rowen is a Partner and Chief Sales Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc. and is the developer/training master of three Negotiation Courses (Tactical, Strategic and Language of Negotiation), where related framework, processes, strategies and tools can exclusively be learned.Please send your questions, comments or feedback to You can also visit or call 0918-81-168-88.