What is Your Negotiating Style?

Do you ever go to a meeting or social event and feel like you don’t fit in? I can feel that way when I’m around people who are more detail-oriented and technical in their thinking. Monthly I meet with a group of professional women called the “Diamonds” which is short for “Diamonds in the Rough” (as seen in the picture).

Many Diamonds are high-level executives or run companies in technical fields and are really good at math! Because we think so differently, we frequently have a fresh approach to opportunities and challenges. Knowing your thinking and communication style, and that of others, is especially beneficial during a negotiation.

To ask powerfully, determine your negotiating or “DEAL” style and the DEAL styles of others. Then, build a strategy to accommodate their DEAL preference as Deciders, Engagers, Accommodators, and/or Leveragers.

I’m giving you free access to determine your DEAL style:

What’s My DEAL Style?

What’s Their DEAL Style?


Serious and effective, they are action-oriented, bottom-line focused, and like to make decisions. Deciders like the big picture and enjoy challenging questions.

What doesn’t work: Chitchat with unnecessary details. Don’t waste time.

How to negotiate: Ask right away and be ready to back up your request with supportive facts or examples. Use logic instead of emotion.

What to ask:

  • If you could address anything today, what would it be?

  • How will you determine if this attempt is successful?


Outgoing and fun, they are relationship driven and connect well. Engagers are often the life of the party or the most exciting person in the room.

What doesn’t work: Boring facts and serious information with no creativity or connection to other people.

How to negotiate: Ask them for innovative and inspirational ideas.

What to ask:

  • What are some creative ways we can lighten the mood around here?

  • How can we communicate this dry material in an engaging way?


Pleasant, approachable and agreeable, they focus on how requests benefit people. They appreciate when requests are respectful and considerate.

What doesn’t work: Treating them or those around them with disrespect. Jumping protocol or going around them will burn this bridge.

How to negotiate: Ask how they believe the request will benefit others.

What to ask:

  • How is the news of the change affecting people’s attitudes?

  • What would you do to begin recognizing the efforts of others?


Good with systems and processes, they like to learn. Leveragers are more likely to say “yes” if the request is supported by thoughtful consideration and if the best solution can be leveraged to improve efficiency.

What doesn’t work: Quick requests that rush the examination process or disregard systems in place. Undefined questions that aren’t clear about the information that is needed.

How to negotiate. Ask specific questions with time to consider your thought-out plan. They want to compare their logic and facts with yours.

What to ask:

  • What is the best way to ensure you have all the information needed?
  • When you think through the projects that were implemented correctly, what were the tools that measured them?
  • While everyone possesses all of these DEAL styles, usually people prefer to use one or two. The best negotiators adjust their styles to accommodate others’ DEAL preferences.

Journey On and Ask Outrageously!

P.S. Would you like me to speak at your conference? Need some help creating a professional group like the Diamonds? Do you want your team to get better results in the new year? I’d love to help you! Just ask.

About Linda: A recognized authority on negotiations, workplace issues and strategic communication, Linda Swindling, JD, CSP is an author, media expert, a “recovering” employment attorney, and a professional speaker. Contact us to book Linda to speak at your event.