Negotiating Styles

Module 3

This session helps you understand your negotiating style so you can navigate different personalities and situations in order to achieve your goals.


    1. Use the link in your Module 2 follow-up email to complete the "Negotiating Style Quiz"
    2. Once submitted, you'll receive an email from with your results and Takeaway Activities to complete before moving onto Module 4
    3. Reflect on what you learned about your preferred negotiating style(s) and how this might impact the way you negotiate in your life
    4. Refer back to this page for deeper explanations, takeaway activities and resources

As womxn, girls, and gender non-conforming people, it is often difficult for us to stand up for our point of view when others disagree. Therefore it’s important to understand our preferred negotiating style and be willing to use others when needed.

Please note: you must complete Module 2 in order to receive a link to the Module 3 Quiz

You've completed the Negotiating Style Quiz, What's Next?

Look at where your checkmarks land.

There are five possible ways to negotiate. Each one has an up and a down side. The more checks you have clustered in one spot, the more that’s your default. Or you might notice you use one way with certain people (parents, for instance) and another with friends.

The point of this quiz is for you to understand your default and practice using the other options depending on the circumstance.

The best thing is to understand what the five are, and to use them on purpose. Typically, we each have certain defaults, which means we are over using some styles and underusing others.


Asserting (Questions 1 to 4)

Asserting is the most adversarial style. Negotiation is seen as a competition with winners and losers. People who use this style a lot are results-oriented, self-confident, and are focused primarily on their point of view. They are powerful advocates for issues they see as important and willing to stand alone in a group or say things others are too “nice” to say. While they’re great at fighting for what they want, they may burn bridges along the way, and may not listen, but exaggerate, attack, and block so that they get their way.

Bargaining (Questions 5 to 8)

People who score high here believe in give-and-take tradeoffs, and accept moderate satisfaction of both sides’ needs. They are good at looking for a quick, obvious, and acceptable resolution. They suggest workable middle-ground positions and fair, workable settlements. But while they help create fast solutions, they may find themselves rushing to settle and creating solutions where no one is truly happy.

Collaborating (Questions 9 to 12)

Collaborating tries to make sure everyone’s needs are met by expanding the pie. People strong here focus on finding new, creative solutions that no one has thought of before, and suggest many alternatives for consideration. They believe that two heads are better than one and that together you can come up with a better answer than what either side started with. They’re likely very good at asking questions, listening to other points of view, and incorporating those viewpoints into solutions without making anyone defensive. However, they may also get caught in overanalyzing, or taking a very long time by continuing to brainstorm when it’s not working.

Avoiding (questions 13-16)

The Avoiding style tends to skirt issues rather than confront them. The point is to avoid conflict. Negotiators that exhibit this style will go to great lengths to keep conflict to a minimum. This helps them steer clear of issues that might take up more time than is warranted and postpone issues when the situation is emotionally heated and time to cool off is needed. On the downside, Avoiders may withhold information, make attempts to withdraw from the situation, procrastinate, pass responsibility onto someone else, fail to show adequate concern, or make an honest attempt to get to a solution.

Conciliating (questions 17-20)

Strong Conciliators enjoy resolving conflict by giving in to the other person even if it means neglecting their own best interest. They are good at maintaining strong relationships with the other party, smoothing over conflicts, and downplaying differences. Good listener and peacemakers, they excel at soothing hurt feelings and resentments, and serve as a shock absorber when people are under stress. But they have a tendency to sacrifice their own interests, which, depending on the circumstances, can be dangerous in the long run. Conciliators have a tendency to simmer with resentment under the surface because they don’t express their needs straightforwardly.

Takeaway Activity

Over the next two weeks, find one thing you need to work out with another person (to stay out later, borrow the car, decide on when you will meet to do something, etc.). Before you go talk about it, find someone you know who is good at a style you are not, and get their advice on how to do it.

To Go Deeper

The best book on negotiating is Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton. To learn more about negotiating styles, check out this document made by one of SheEO's Development Guides.