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Creativity is that ability to see what others do not see. It is a right- brain function; however, just as with the other characteristics addressed here, creativity can be developed; and, just as with the other characteristics addressed here, creativity varies among indi- viduals. Traits and skills that may be linked to creativity include openness to new experiences and new ideas, fondness for complex- ity, the ability to think critically as well as integratively, the ability to see multiple views, and a high level of self-confidence. You may see similarities to the intuitive preference we have discussed as well as to the cognitive style of assimilators and divergers already dis- cussed. Persons who are intuitors, assimilators, and/or divergers may find it easier to develop their creativity. The ability to think creatively is a valuable skill in negotiation.

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Charisma is somewhat like sex appeal—difficult to describe, but you know it when you feel it! Furthermore, like sex appeal, charisma is not the same to all individuals. Charisma is a personal force that draws people—that causes people to like, admire, and agree.

You will, perhaps, obtain the most useful information on your level of charisma by querying your friends. You may ask them the following questions:

● Do I pay close attention when you are talking? ● Do you trust me?


“A charismatic CEO can win every argument regardless of the facts. A noncharismatic CEO has to win on the merits of the argument.”

Jim Collins, author of

Good to Great

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● Do you understand what I say? ● Do I appear too fearful of failure? ● Do I help you attain your goals? ● Do you respect my views? ● Do I respect you and your feelings? ● Am I competent? ● Am I persuasive? ● Do you like to be with me?

It is possible to learn to be charismatic. Key attributes associated with charisma include vision, energy, and the expression of empathy (Nadler and Tushman 1990; Waldman and Yammarino 1999). One may focus on developing those attributes to become charismatic.


The term emotional intelligence is used to describe an individual’s ability to excel in human interaction. Certain competencies have been suggested to comprise emotional intelligence (see Davies, Stankov, and Roberts 1998). The development of self-knowledge, self-management, self-motivation, and empathy will increase your emotional intelligence (EI).

Performance Checklist

✓ Personality is the package of an individual’s distinctive emo- tional, cognitive, and spiritual attributes.

✓ Facets of your personality that affect your negotiation include emotional stability, conscientiousness, locus of control, self- monitoring, competitiveness, Type A and B, need for achieve- ment, need for power, need for affiliation, Machiavellianism, extroversion, introversion, sensing, intuiting, thinking, feeling, perceiving, judging, learning style, right-brain/left-brain domi- nance, creativity, charisma, and emotional intelligence. Since facets of personality may change with age and in response to environmental changes, you should assess yourself periodically.

✓ Your negotiating success depends upon understanding and using your unique personality as well as perceiving and under- standing the personalities of others. You must know yourself to tap your personal power. You must understand yourself before you can understand others. Using your learning from this

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chapter you should review your profile recorded on Exhibit 1 according to the consistency check provided on the form.

Key Terms, Phrases, and Concepts

Emotional Stability


Locus of Control


Type A and B


Needs for Achievement, Power, and Affiliation

Personal Source of Energy

Manner of Taking in Information

Style of Processing Information

Style of Structuring or Interacting with the Outside World

Learning Style

Right-Brain/Left-Brain Dominance

Emotional Intelligence

Review Questions

Mark each of questions 1 and 2 as True (T) or False (F) and answer questions 3 through 10.

T F 1. It is not possible to change any aspect of one’s personality.

T F 2. It is possible to change your characteristic behaviors.

3. Consider the question “What do I know and how do I know it?” in light of how you take in information.

4. Consider how you know what you know in light of your learning style.

5. Develop a working definition of personality in your own words.

6. Describe in your own words your primary learning style.

7. Identify a left-brain activity that you do well.

8. Identify a right-brain activity that you do well.

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9. Critically evaluate the behavioral differences that may be observed when comparing a person with a high level of competitiveness with others to a person who has high competitiveness with herself.

10. Critically evaluate the difference between a need for personal power and a need for social power.

Case 1

Since your goal is to learn how to identify key personality charac- teristics when interacting in live situations, rather than presenting a written case here, you are asked to tune into a television program or movie for a live case. Watch for ten to fifteen minutes. You may also recall an experience or a vignette from memory. Try to identify in each character as many of the personality and behavioral charac- teristics studied in this chapter as you can.

Case Discussion Questions

1. Was the task difficult?

2. Did you find it difficult to differentiate among or between any aspects? If so, you might study those aspects again.

3. Were the overwhelming majority of the personality aspects identified the same or similar to your personality aspects? If so, you may want to reflect on why and do the case again.

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From Conflict Management: A Practical Guide to Developing Negotiation Strategies. Barbara A. Budjac Corvette. Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Prentice Hall. All rights reserved.




“On a cold winter’s day, a group of porcupines huddled together to stay warm and keep from freezing. But soon they felt one another’s quills and moved apart. When the need for warmth brought them closer together again, their quills again forced them apart. They were driven back and forth . . . until . . . [they found] maximum of warmth and a minimum of pain.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

PERFORMANCE COMPETENCIES FOR THIS CHAPTER ● To learn the nature of conflict and its relationship to


● To assess your personal approach to conflict

● To use systems thinking to diagnose and analyze conflict

● To understand the difference between managing, resolving, and avoiding conflict

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Conflict is the antecedent of negotiation. We seek to change someone’s opinion because it conflicts with ours. We seek to change someone’s behavior because it conflicts with what we want. We seek to cause someone to give us something or do something for us because something conflicts with our ability to satisfy our need or otherwise get what we want by ourselves. Our view and analysis of conflict, therefore, directly affects negotiation approach and strategy.

As with most things in life, individuals develop attitudes and ways of thinking that often result in habits or patterns of behavior when dealing with conflict. Attitudes and patterns can interfere with attaining maximum negotiation effectiveness by clouding assess- ment of the situation and frustrating choice of appropriate strategies.

Before it is possible to develop an effective negotiation strat- egy, it is necessary to correctly diagnose the conflict. Before it is possible to correctly diagnose the conflict, it is necessary that we recognize our predispositions for dealing with conflict. The pro- priety of strategy varies with the nature of the conflict, the circum- stances, and the individuals involved. Armed with self-knowledge and basic conflict assessment tools, we may proceed to develop personal strategies that work to solve the right problem.

In this chapter you will have the opportunity to examine your approach to conflict. The strategies discussed in this chapter will serve as a foundation for integrating your personality and tem- perament with effective negotiation techniques. Interested readers may find the supplemental resources referenced in the footnotes in this chapter helpful for continued study.1


1 Individuals interested in advanced study may want to regularly check these journals for

articles of interest: Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Social Issues, Negotiation Journal Peace

and Change.

Before we begin our study, please complete the following exercises.

Exercise 1

Write down on a sheet of paper the first few things that come to your mind when asked, “What is negotiation?”

● Do not ponder this. Take only 30 to 45 seconds to respond.

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KEY POINT If every conflict

were truly a real incompatibility,

then negotiation

would be little

more than an

exercise in


Exercise 2

Write down on a sheet of paper the first things that come to your mind when you hear the word conflict.

● Again, do not think hard. Take only 30 to 45 seconds to respond.

Now put those thoughts aside while we begin to explore the subject of conflict.


Conflict exists wherever and whenever there is an incompatibility of cognitions or emotions within individuals or between individuals. It arises in personal relationships, in business and professional rela- tionships, in organizations, between groups and organizations, and between nations. Note that the definition implies as necessary a real or perceived interdependence. Conflict may be real or perceived. That is where the concept of cognition comes into our definition. Our thoughts—cognitions—include what we believe. Our beliefs are our beliefs—what we think we know—whether or not based in reality. In interpersonal interaction, perception is more important than real- ity. What we think—perceive—affects our behavior, attitude, and communication.

If what you seek is truly not possible, you are either focusing on the wrong problem or selecting the wrong solution. The keys for pur- poses of developing your negotiation skills are to underscore the words interdependence and perceived. If there is no interdependence, there is little the parties can or will do for each other, which is another way of saying that not everything is negotiable. If the negotiation has no potential to benefit you, you should not negotiate. In such cir- cumstances, a nonnegotiated option is the better alternative.

It is the perception or belief that opposing needs, wishes, ideas, interests, and goals exist that create what we commonly call con- flict. Conflict is everywhere, and it is inevitable. It arises from many sources. In addition to being the antecedent for negotiation, conflict may also arise during negotiation.

The subject of conflict is large and complex. Conflict, if misdi- agnosed or misdirected, can lead to a spiral of antagonistic interac- tion and aggravated, destructive behavior. Here we address only


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the most important issues relevant to developing effective negotia- tion skills. What we address, however, should assist you in all of your interactions.


Compare your automatic responses to the word negotiation in Exercise 1 to the words in the following lists to determine whether your current approach to negotiation is positive or negative.

Positive Approach Negative Approach

Interaction Contest Mutual benefit Win or lose Interdependence Control Opportunity Problem Difference Dispute Exchange Struggle Persuade Manipulate Exciting Frightening Stimulating Tension Challenging Difficult

The “wild card” is the word conflict. If one of your responses was the word conflict, you must assess your view of conflict to decide if, for you, it constitutes a negative or positive approach to negotiation.

Compare your automatic responses to the word conflict in Exercise 2 to the groups of words shown next to determine whether your current approach to conflict is positive or negative.

Positive Approach Negative Approach

Strengthening Destructive Developmental Pain Growth War Courageous Hostility Helpful Threat Exciting Violence Stimulating Competition Creative Anger Energizing Distress Clarifying Alienation Enriching Hopeless Good Bad

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Many perceive negotiation as conflict; but, if that comes with a negative attitude or view, it can produce an aversive drivelike state, which produces rigid thinking. Rigid thinking lessens the ability to see trade-offs necessary to integrate a win-win solution. A negative approach reduces general cognitive ability and creativity—the key skills necessary for successful resolution of conflict. It is advisable to try to think in terms of interdependence and mutuality. Our atti- tudes toward conflict and, therefore, negotiation develop from social learning in the context of our families and prior experiences.

If you already hold a positive view toward negotiation and con- flict, you will find such a view helpful in developing your personal negotiation effectiveness. If—as is the case for many individuals— you have a negative view of either or both, you will be well served to work on revising your view.



Suppose that someone offered you a coin toss proposition. He offers to flip a quarter while you call heads or tails. If you make the call correctly, he will give you one million dollars. If you call the toss incorrectly, you must pay him one hundred thousand dollars. What is your first impulse? First thought? Do you take the chance?

Analyze your thought process. Do you think the guy is crazy to give you ten-to-one odds on a fifty-fifty chance? Is your immediate thought what you will do with a million dollars or how you will feel giving up one hundred thousand dollars? Can you afford to give up one hundred thousand dollars?

Your first thought may reflect your general positive or negative attitude. The evaluation of whether or not you can afford losing, of course, should ultimately determine whether or not you may con- sider taking this chance.


You may think of the term approach, used in the preceding section, as synonymous with your general view and attitude toward conflict and negotiation. Your view of conflict and negotiation, along

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with key personality characteristics, affects your instinctive choice of interaction style. The next section provides information that should prove helpful in honing your personal approach to, or view of, conflict and negotiation generally.


There are three widely recognized schools of thought on conflict. The traditional view is that conflict is bad and should be avoided. This gen- eral approach to conflict fosters both avoidance and competitive behavior in interaction. This is the view that many people learn unconsciously, and it is a view that causes anxiety about negotiation and fosters avoidant negotiating styles. Such unconscious negative learning is predominant in Western cultures and is related to cultural norms and values. During our early years, we may be taught behav- iors that perpetuate the traditional view. Admonitions that may sound familiar and teach us that conflict is bad and should be avoided include phrases such as: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”; “Don’t start a fight”; “Be nice—just get along.”

The human relations school of thought, the second of the three, views conflict as natural and sometimes functional and other times dysfunctional. If the words you used in the exercises earlier in this chapter were neutral to positive, you may fit into the human rela- tions view. According to this view, conflict can be a mechanism through which views and opinions are made known and through which an opportunity for creativity and persuasion is born. Conflict can also increase communication and integration. This general approach to conflict encourages maintaining an open mind toward conflict. If you are able to begin to focus on the more positive aspects of conflict, you will expand and improve your negotiating strategies.

The third school of thought, the interactionist view, holds that conflict is inevitable and that maintaining and managing a certain degree of it can actually be helpful. This general approach to con- flict is to embrace it. This school of thought views conflict as a pos- itive force except when it is misdiagnosed, improperly avoided, or mismanaged. Some examples of positive effects from conflict include multiple views, diversity in all respects, cohesion, meeting deadlines, and creativity. Even though this is a positive view of con- flict and one that, if adopted, will aid in developing effective nego- tiation strategies, it is important to recognize that there are two

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keys. One key is correct diagnosis. The other is the appropriate strategy and action.

If your responses in the exercises earlier in this chapter were mostly positive, you may already hold an interactionist view of con- flict. Such a view will assist you in effective negotiation strategies.


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