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Consulting Separating Partners From Nonpartners

December 4, 2008

Decision Makers Who Make Good Partners

Manager Type Characteristics Negotiation Modes
Bureaucrat Rational, formal, impersonal, disciplined, jealous of rights and prerogatives of office, well-versed in organizational politics. Follows rules; stickler for compliance; more concerned with tasks than with people; logical strategist (but can be a nitpicker); predictable negotiator.
Zealot Competent loner, impatient, outspoken, a nuisance to bureaucrats, insensitive to others, minimal political skills. Devoted to good of organization; aggressive and domineering negotiator; blunt and direct; totally task-oriented.
Executive Dominant but not domineering, directive but permits freedom, consultative but not participative, sizes up people well but relates only on a surface level, cordial but at arm’s length. Organization-oriented; high task concentration; assertive negotiator; adroit strategist; flexible and resourceful.
Integrator Egalitarian, supportive, participative, excellent interpersonal skills, a born team builder, a catalyst who is adept at unifying conflicting values. Shares leadership; permits freedom of decisions and delegates authority; welcomes ideas; open and honest negotiator who seeks win-win relationships.
Gamesperson Fast-moving, flexible, upward- moving, impersonal, risk taker, one convinced that winning is everything, innovative, opportunistic but ethical, plays the game fairly but will give nothing away. Wants to win every negotiation; enjoys competition of ideas, jockeying for position, and maneuvers of the mind; sharp, skilled, and tough negotiator; can be a win-win strategist.
Autocrat Paternalistic, patronizing, closed to new ideas that are not invented here, not consultative or participative, but partnerable on own terms. Binds people emotionally; rules from position of authority; makes pronouncements of policy; a sharp trader who negotiates on a tit-for-tat basis.

Decision Makers Who Make Difficult Partners

Manager Type Characteristics Negotiation Modes
Machiavellian Self-oriented, shrewd, devious, and calculating, insightful into weaknesses of others, opportunistic, suave and charismatic, can turn in an instant from collaboration to aggression. An exploiter of people; cooperates only for selfish interests; totally impersonal negotiator, unmoved by human appeals; will win as inexpensively as possible, but will win at all costs.
Missionary Smoother of conflict, blender of ideas, must be liked, identifies harmony with acceptance, highly subjective and personal. A seeker of compromise and leveler of ideas to lowest common denominator; negotiates emotionally with personal appeals to agree for own sake.
Exploiter Arrogant, what’s-in-it-for-me attitude, coercive, domineering, rigid, prejudiced, takes advantage of weakness, makes snap judgments, unswayed by evidence. Exerts constrictive personal control over negotiation; makes others vulnerable by using pressure and fear to get own way; demands subservience; sees others as obstacles to be overcome.

Climber Striving, driving, smooth and polished demeanor that masks aggression, opportunistic, without loyalty to others, goes with flow. Excellent politician; uses self-propelling change to call attention to self; always thinking ahead; self-serving negotiator based on what-will-this-do-for-me?
Conserver Defends status quo, resists change, favors evolutionary improvement, uses the system skillfully to safeguard personal position and prerogatives. Imposes own sense of order and nonimmediacy on negotiation; slows everything down; preaches traditional values; defensively blocks innovation and undermines agreements before implementation.
Glad-hander Superficially friendly to new ideas but essentially a nondoer, effusive, socially skilled and politically skillful, superior survival instincts. Overreactive and overstimulated by everything but impressed by little; promises support but then fades away; endorses only sure things that can do some personal good; never takes risks.
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