Negotiation Styles - What's Yours?

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Cherry Creek FA.100067131

How do you negotiate? Do you know what your predominate style is? I know mine!

Recently I attended a Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) course on negotiation. Among many other great tidbits, we were presented with R.G. Shell's five basic negotiation styles and it was discussed that we typically have a predominant style, though we might use different styles for different situations and our style might change over time.

My typical style turns out to be Collaborating.

This does not surprise me in the least, as I engage in collaboration every day at my day job in the Information Technology world. Every project, issue, or enhancement involves multiple people, personalities, teams, and agendas as well as multiple ways to get to the desired outcome. We all have to play nicely together and work to get the job done; we have to leave emotion and personal conflicts out of it, and also avoid being either push-overs or steam-rollers as these are people we have to work with on a long-term basis.

Eliciting requirements and thinking of creative ways to meet them is sometimes half the fun of the IT work I do. I suspect this will be the same when working with buyers and sellers in the real estate world. 

Shell's description of the collaboration style:

"Individuals who use the collaborating style enjoy negotiations, especially those that require creative solutions. These individuals are good at using negotiation to understand the other party’s interests and concerns. They can, however, unnecessarily complicate simple transactions."

My thinking:

PRO: We're the problem-solvers. The what-if this option? and the how about that pathway? people of the world. The let's think outside the box if we have to folks because we want everyone to be satisfied with the solution. Note I did not say happy. They might also be happy, which is, of course, a desirable end-product. At the least, though, the parties involved are satisfied with the outcome and fully understand the what and why of their options when they make their decisions. 

CON: I agree with the con in Shell's description. We collaborators can tend to over-complicate things at times because we do want to explore the options and possibilities, just for the fun of it and/or the knowledge gained if nothing else.  We need to keep this in mind so we can recognize it and thus avoid it.

What's your style?


Shell's Five Basic Negotiation Styles as presented in the GRI course:

An individual’s negotiation style is integral to how he or she relates to the world and views relationships. Depending on the individual and the situation, one or more of the negotiation styles may be used. Moreover, styles may change over time:

Competing: Individuals who use the competing style enjoy the opportunity to win! These individuals have strong instincts for negotiating and are strategic. These tough negotiators may go for the win at the expense of the relationship.

Avoiding: Individuals who use the avoiding style do not like to negotiate and don’t do it unless required. They tend to defer and dodge confrontational aspects but are often perceived as tactful and diplomatic.

Compromising: Individuals who use the compromising style want to close the deal by being fair to everyone. These individuals and their style may be good to use when there is limited time, but they may often unnecessarily rush the process and concede too quickly.

Collaborating: Individuals who use the collaborating style enjoy negotiations, especially those that require creative solutions. These individuals are good at using negotiation to understand the other party’s interests and concerns. They can, however, unnecessarily complicate simple transactions.

Accommodating: Individuals who use the accommodating style enjoy solving problems and preserving personal relationships. They are sensitive to others, including the other party’s emotional state and body language.

Source: Bargaining for Advantage by R.G. Shell


Cross-posted from my blog, At Your Service.

Posted by -  fB


Me!Rebecca Rasmussen, REALTOR®, GRI
SpinOne Group

Associate Broker 

HomeSmart Cherry Creek

Home Smart Cherry Creek
HomeSmart Cherry Creek
8300 E Maplewood Ave Suite 100
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
(303) 858-8100


South Metro Denver Area, Colorado
License # FA.100067131
(303) 915-4176

Realtor Equal Housing Opportunity

Comments (11)

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Becca, glad to see you are taking the GRI courses, they are great!   Down the road you may want to look into the CNE certification too, and learn more about negotiation styles.   The collaboration style is usually the best, and with best results!  GREAT post!  

Apr 14, 2016 02:54 AM
Becca Rasmussen

Thanks! The CNE sounds like a great course to investigate, thanks for the recommendation. :0)

Apr 14, 2016 03:02 AM
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

I try to live in the collaborating world, but I also keep cards very close to my chest. you need to specialize in all forms depending on the specific situation.

Apr 14, 2016 12:25 PM
Becca Rasmussen

Ahhh, cards. A poker face. My dad and his brothers brought my brother and me and our cousins up on penny poker. :0)

Apr 14, 2016 09:05 PM
Becca Rasmussen

Do you choose your style purposefully for the situation?

Apr 17, 2016 01:21 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Becca, taking the GRI courses is a great way to begin your career in real estate. And what an interesting post!  I think I'm usually in collaborating mode, but accommodation certainly does creep in.

Apr 16, 2016 11:07 AM
Becca Rasmussen

Thanks and I'm enjoying the GRI courses so far. As Mark Loewenberg says, different situations might call for different styles. Do you choose your style purposefully for the situation?

Apr 17, 2016 01:21 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I seek Win/Win.

First I spend a lot ot time and concentration listening and learning, then I find solutions that will work for all sides.

Apr 16, 2016 02:38 PM
Becca Rasmussen

Listening would definitely be a prime skill in negotiations, methinks. Mediation too. :0)

Apr 17, 2016 01:11 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Becca, I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Apr 17, 2016 04:16 AM
Becca Rasmussen

Awesome, thanks! :0)

Apr 17, 2016 05:34 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


This was a great read, and such an important aspect of what is going on in our market these days. I took a negotiation class a year ago and it was very helpful. I'd say I am collaborative!


Apr 17, 2016 05:28 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Becca Rasmussen As Joan Cox stated, you may want to look into the CNE of the best courses I have taken in my career.

Apr 17, 2016 12:55 PM
Becca Rasmussen

I looked into after Joan mentioned it. They look interesting, and the gentleman who taught the GRI course also teaches the CNE courses nearest to me. Go figure. ;) I wish I could afford to take everything *now*.

Apr 17, 2016 08:39 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Collaborating   and keeping things on a win win basis.  Tying to find the common ground and hopefully keeping the parties from getting "stuck" in an position rather than looking at their individual goals.

Apr 17, 2016 01:05 PM
Becca Rasmussen

"Stuck" prevention is a great goal. :0)

Apr 18, 2016 09:57 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I'm Collaborating/Accommodating: I simplify though; save the drama for your mama, I seek solutions for the big picture; ego not included.

Apr 18, 2016 02:28 PM
Becca Rasmussen

My mama doesn't even want the drama. ;)  I like your big picture attitude. 

Apr 18, 2016 09:50 PM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Somewhere between collaborating and accomodating seems to work best. The problem with determining what's "fair" is that fairness is entirely subjective.

Apr 20, 2016 04:10 AM
Becca Rasmussen

So true of the subjectiveness of it all. :0)

Apr 21, 2016 02:05 AM
Don Taber
RE/MAX Complete - Wilson - Wilson, NC

Like Eric said Fairness is entirely subjective.  And who are we being paid to be fair to? We have to work to help our client first while being honest and treating everyone with respect.  If I am trying to be overly fair to the seller when the buyer is my client am I really working for the best of my client?  I generally enjoy the negotiation process because I like to do the best I can for my clients.  I once had a builder get irritated with me and ask me why I never bring him a "good" offer.  A good offer in his mind was a full price offer asking for nothing for my buyer.  I told him he was not my client.  If he had been my client I would have brought him a very different offer.

Apr 21, 2016 03:14 PM
Becca Rasmussen

Makes sense. :0) "Fair" comes up in the compromising style. With that one, it's true, a client might decide to give up something they want in an effort to be "fair" to the other side and in order to close the deal. The key concept there is that it is the client's decision

May 10, 2016 11:28 PM