Perspective Taking and Negotiations


What color is the dress?

Is it white and gold or is it black and blue?

Some say the dress color is contingent upon what mindset you are in.

Personally, I think the color of the dress has nothing to do with your current mindset.

The dress has always been white and gold because of my perspective, not my emotional state when I look at it.

Have you ever been in a negotiation and not have the desired outcome you were anticipating?

Swiked 2015

In business and in your daily living your ability to see the other person’s perspective has altered the result of your negotiation. The outcome from your negotiation may have occurred because you were not prepared, the odds were against you from the beginning, or you did not have the right tools to influence a decision that’s in your favor. Take a minute and think to yourself how your perspective impacted the outcomes of past negotiations.

Perspective taking over the years has been a hot research topic in psychology. In general, perspective taking is the ability to see and develop an understanding from another person’s point-of-view. There are many areas perspective taking is applied and for this blog post I will focus on perspective taking when negotiating deals business. Think of perspective taking as developing the skill to temporarily suspend your own opinion so can see the situation from the other person’s point-of-view.

Negotiating with intelligence doesn’t’ just come from one tool, like perspective taking. Try to be mindful rather than mindless and prepare yourself by knowing who you are negotiating with and what their personality is like. Ask yourself, “Is the person laid back and relaxed, are they a ticking time bomb, or are they somewhere in between.” These are very important question and understanding personality types will only make you a stronger negotiator.


4 personality types you want to know:

Analytical personalities have traits that are orderly, procedural, precise, undemonstrative, quiet, and conservative. You can always tell an analytical by the few plants and pictures they have in their office. Typically, their style sense is very dry and impersonal. Analytics speak quietly, are precise and use words carefully, and might make insensitive remarks and not even know it. If you approach an analytic, be careful and don’t start the small talk. Make sure to use evidence to support your argument, like facts and data, and most importantly avoid invading their ‘space’.

Driver personalities are result oriented, impatient, high energy, very time conscious, and controlling. Clues that a driver will give you is they will have massive, dark furniture, clocks strategically placed in their office. For example, they will have a clock that is visible to them but not the person sitting in the chair in front of their desk. Pictures of important people, awards, and other control symbols are visible in their office. Drivers will give you a firm handshake, aggressive body language, talk rapidly and loud. Drivers judge people and situations quick. When you approach a driver you will want to make sure there is little small talk. You want to be assertive and not overwhelm them. Most importantly when speaking to a driver give them options.

Rene Magritte 1933

Amiable personalities are emotional, team players, warm, caring, good listeners because they care what you have to say, and are low-key and relaxed. Some clues they will give you is their office will have style with positive pictures, people, and places. They will dress using warm and bright colors that reflect the mood they are currently in. Amiable behavior is light-hearted, friendly, shy, soft voice, and slower speech. They are relaxed, not concerned with time, and makes slower decisions. They are hard to get commitments from because of their relaxed personality.

Expressive personalities are outgoing, need to be the center of attention, task and results oriented, positive about life and accomplishing goals, and have high energy. Their office will have warm and bright decor, lots of accessories. They will have many large plants, pictures of people, awards, posters with results, and witty quotes. Expressive personalities dress more flamboyant using lots of colors and trendy styles. Expressive personalities will wear jewelry that is heavy with diamonds and gold that complement their striped suits, high in contrast, and name brand leather shoes. They will speak very fast, using gestures to emphasize the point they are trying to make, use jokes, and stories. Expressive personalities have trouble managing time, and will wonder easily during tasks. When you approach an amiable make sure you are personable, listen well, ask questions, and emphasize results. Attempt to use dynamic language and belief statements (eg. I feel…), close quickly, and if at all possible do not argue with them because they will attack.

David Straker 2015




Do you think you have the ability to negotiate and get the outcome you desire?

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