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Quiz yourself ... What’s your negotiation style?

Are you always spoiling for a fight or do you flee at the first sign of trouble? Quiz yourself to find out how you argue …

1. A friend wants you to go with him to a party tonight but you feel like you should stay in and study, what do you do?

  • A. Put off answering until the last minute, you’d rather not cause an argument
  • B. Shout at him. How could he be so insensitive? He knows that you need to study for this exam!
  • C. Say yes, it feels mean to say no
  • D. Agree to go but a bit later, and only if you manage to read the first two chapters of your study book

2. An assistant in a shop gives you the wrong change, do you say something?

  • A. No way, it’s not worth it, you’re out of there
  • B. Of course, why wouldn’t you, and you intend to talk to the manager too – this is unacceptable!
  • C. You think about it but then you back out, you wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings
  • D. Yes. You point out politely that you have the wrong change. Can they recount it?

3.  You’re really pushed for this next essay deadline as you’ve had a lot going on in your personal life, what do you say to your tutor?

  • A. Nothing. You’d rather not talk about it. You might send an email
  • B. It’s unfair! You’re not writing that essay, and if you tutor makes you do it you’re going to make a real fuss!
  • C. You try to ask for an extension but wouldn’t want the tutor to look bad
  • D. You tell the tutor about what’s been going on for you and ask if it’s possible to give in the essay a week late.

4. You come home and your housemate is watching another episode of Desperate Housewives but you’d rather watch True Blood, what do you do?

  • A. Go to your room, it’s not worth the fuss
  • B. Grab the remote and switch it over, they always have their own way.
  • C. Sit through it and grit your teeth, even though it’s the fifth time this week
  • D. Mention that there’s been a lot of Desperate Housewives recently and it’d be nice to watch something different.

5. You’re making a dinner for a friend but he arrives early and starts telling you what you’re doing wrong so what do you do?

  • A. Let them take over the cooking, they obviously no more about it than you do
  • B. Tell them to get out of the kitchen – it’s your house, so your rules.
  • C. Agree that you’re awful and decide never to cook again
  • D. Say that next time they cook they can do it their way, but this time you’re going to try it this way. 

How you answered …

  • Mostly As: The runner

You’ll do anything to avoid an argument, even if it means sitting through repeat episodes of Desperate Housewives – you’d rather not make a fuss. You shy away from anything that could potentially turn into something volatile. But in the end, are you the one that’s losing out?

TRY: Talking about how you feel. There are ways to let other people know that you’re unhappy, without causing an argument. You’re bound to feel happier if you are open and communicate if you’re not satisfied with a situation. Take what happened with the tutor, if you had mentioned that you’ve got a lot going on, your tutor might have been happy to give you an extension. Maybe sometimes it’s worth taking a risk and sharing your problems.

  • Mostly Bs: The fighter

Slow down there, you’re always looking for a fight. No matter what the situation, you seem to be ready for fisticuffs. You’re not very good at compromising, and feel upset when you don’t get your own way.

TRY: Taking a step back. When something happens and you can feel your blood pressure rising take a few deep breaths. Try to think in the other person’s shoes, what are they trying to get out of the situation? Are they intentionally trying to wind you up or are they just doing their job? Always looking for a fight isn’t a sure fire way of guaranteeing a solid support network that you can turn to when things get tough, so try making a compromise. What about – when you’re doing something you can do it your way – when someone else is doing something, let them do it their way.   

  • Mostly Cs: The crowd pleaser

You’re always thinking about everyone else, what they’re feeling, what they’re thinking – are they happy? But what about you? It’s good to give up responsibility and let people have their way once in a while, but not all the time. You’re risking pleasing everyone else and leaving yourself feeling dissatisfied.

TRY: Taking care of your own needs. It’s not your responsibility to look after everyone else’s feelings, and sometimes people are going to get upset. This week try sticking up for yourself. When something happens and you feel underfoot, remember that your needs are important and you have the right to stick up for what you want.

  • Mostly Ds: The compromiser

You’re pretty good at asserting yourself when needed, and taking a step back when you feel it’s not worth making a fuss. You’re also fantastic at negotiating a compromise. The your way this time and my way tomorrow method seems to be working a treat. And you’ll benefit and learn from giving other people’s approaches a try too.

TRY: keeping it up. You’re good at making compromises and it can help in all areas of your life, your work and with relationships. There are different ways to make a compromise – you’re way this time, my way next time. We’ll do it your way when you’re doing the task, my way when I’m doing the task or just lets get a takeaway from one of those places that delivers from both an Indian takeaway and an Italian pizzeria.

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