Overcome Your Weakness as a Negotiator: Accommodator Personality

    

No matter how sharp your skills are, you’re bound to have some weaknesses as a negotiator. By identifying those weaknesses and getting in enough low-stakes reps as practice, you can strengthen your skills and achieve better negotiation outcomes.

The Black Swan Group often talks about the three negotiator personality types: Assertives, Analysts, and Accommodators. For this post, we will examine how to deal with an Accommodator and some things to keep in mind if you are an Accommodator.

Not sure what your negotiator personality type is? Download our free guide today.

Overcoming Your Weaknesses When Your Counterpart Is an Accommodator

woman negotiating contract with group of business people

When you see an Accommodator across the table, you need to understand that this individual is looking for a relationship and wants to feel a personal connection with you. Should they ultimately feel that way, they will be more willing to work things out with you, and the conversation will be smooth.

But although the conversation might be easy, it might not pertain to what you sat down at the table to discuss. So, in the moment, the Accommodator will try to please you and make you feel comfortable. The problem is that they might not mean it—they just don’t want to ruin the relationship.

It’s not uncommon for Accommodators to ghost after a meeting. They may promise you the moon to improve your relationship, but those promises might be cheap talk.

If you find yourself negotiating with an Accommodator, it’s important to aim for Tactical Empathy™, which will ultimately lead to reciprocity. To do this, use Calibrated Questions™—like How do you see this playing out?—to make them stop and think. Keep at it and get them to clarify their position several times to ensure they see things exactly as you do.

The Black Swan Group often talks about the Rule of 3, or the idea that your counterpart needs to agree with you three times to ensure there is a deal to be had. For Accommodators, you need six or seven agreements to know that you have a deal.

Overcoming Your Weakness When You Are an Accommodator

If you’re an Accommodator, you need to be aware that you will be predisposed to avoid hurting your counterpart’s feelings. You may think that you’re approaching the conversation in a helpful way, but in reality, you’re not.

The truth is that people want you to pull the Band-Aid off and get down to the facts as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Accommodators don’t do this.

At the same time, there might come a point in the conversation when you feel as though the other side is manipulating you, and you no longer think there’s a relationship to be had. This causes your personality to change. When that happens, it’s easy to become vindictive without feeling remorse. 

When that happens, Tactical Empathy goes out the window, and it’s that much harder to persuade your counterpart.

My colleague Derek Gaunt says that you stand a better chance of scratching a bobcat behind the ears in a phone booth then angering an Accommodator and thinking there’s still a deal. When the going gets tough, it’s important to keep a level head. For the best results, you need a strategy and process that enables you to stay focused and respect the other person’s time so you can move forward confidently. 

Conquering Your Weakness as a Negotiator by Understanding Personality Types

Getting the best negotiation outcomes starts with understanding as much as you can about the person sitting across the table from you. 

When you’re ready to continue your learning, download our free guide, Three Negotiator Types, to learn how to recognize each negotiation personality and the tactics to employ with them.

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Milton “Troy” Smith

About The Author

Milton “Troy” Smith is a Negotiation Instructor and Coach at The Black Swan Group who joined the team in July 2020. Troy is a retired San Antonio Police Department officer who spent 23 years with the department, including 22 years in specialized units—such as the SWAT/Crisis Negotiators team and the U.S. Marshals’ Fugitive Task Force. During his career, Troy was involved in more than 300 hostage negotiations, including 270 as a lead negotiator, and never lost one of them.