Types of Negotiations

We may not notice it, but negotiate with people more than we think – it is a part of our everyday life. Find out the two types of negotiations that are commonly used.

Negotiating is not an acquired skill; it is actually distinctive in every person, so whether you like it or not, you are a negotiator and you definitely use negotiation techniques almost every day of your life. As kids we negotiate with our playmates, trading cards, toys or even candies. As adults, we negotiate with our boss when we ask for a salary increase. Having mentioned such situations, negotiation is really a part of our life and in all aspects of it, be it in the work place with colleagues, at home with family and maybe even friends.


To further your knowledge and skills in negotiations, it is important to know that there are actually two types of negotiating. Each is used in certain levels or situations by people who often have to negotiate especially when it comes to work or business.

Integrative Negotiation

The first type of negotiation is the integrative negotiation, also known as principled negotiation, cooperative bargaining or win-win negotiation. Integrative negotiation is as type or style of negotiation wherein the parties cooperate in order for them to reach a pleasing agreement for all those involved. The approach of this type of negotiation is non-competitive; instead both parties are working on looking for a resolution for the conflict, trying to come up with an advantageous outcome for both. Also, the integrative negotiation usually takes place in negotiations where there are numerous things that should be negotiated or talked about.

When going through an integrative negotiation, try to learn as much from the other party that you will be dealing with. Get information about their motivations, their needs, their preferences, their interests and their concerns.

Distributive Bargaining

The other type of negotiation is the distributive bargaining, also known as the positional bargaining, zero-sum negotiation, competitive negotiation or negotiation win-lose. This type of negotiation is one where parties compete for the distribution of a fixed amount or value and at the end, only one party will win. Distributive bargaining usually happens in negotiations that are based on the sale of products where the only thing that matters is the price such as in the sale of an automobile or real estate.

Distributive bargaining has some important characteristics that you must know about before you can actually put it into action. First is the bargaining power. This talks about the benefits that you have in order to win the negotiation. Second is perception. In distributive bargaining, it is not about what you have, it is more of what the other party will think you have. The third characteristic of distributive bargaining is alternatives. This kind of works hand in hand with the first characteristic because the more options you are able to present, the more bargaining power you have. This basically aims to shape the perception of the other party to the limits of what can be agreed upon, making them change their point of view about the whole thing and eventually having them agree to what you are negotiating for.