Essay by angelz2uCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2010

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Communication and Personality in Negotiation

Negotiation can be defined as the "bargaining (give and take) process between two or more parties (each with its own aims, needs, and viewpoints) seeking to discover a common ground and reach an agreement to settle a matter of mutual concern or resolve a conflict" (, 2010, p. 1). Many factors play into the negotiations including verbal and nonverbal communications. Communication and personality can play a major part in negotiation, especially in the negotiation of a salary in a new job. An analysis of communication and personality can show how these two factors can both detract and contribute to the negotiation.


Effective communication is crucial to successful negotiations and contributing to a favorable outcome for all parties involved in the negotiation. Verbal and nonverbal communications are factors that play into the negotiation. "In negotiation, language operates at two levels: the logical level (for proposals or offers) and the pragmatic level (semantics, syntax, and style). The meaning conveyed by a proposition or statement is a combination of one logical surface message and several pragmatic (i.e., hinted or inferred) messages" (Lewicki, Saunders, & Barry, 2006). Oftentimes, the nonverbal speaks louder than the actual verbal communication, as can the communications on the pragmatic levels. Personal characteristics, body language, and physical environment are three types of nonverbal communication. To avoid sending the wrong message and detracting from the negotiation, body language, the way the communication is inferred, the intensity of the communication, and the way the communication is perceived needs to be carefully watched.

Improving Communication

Without good communication, the negotiation process will break down. Many do not even realize that their communication skills are poor. To improve communication skills, several techniques are used including asking the right questions, active listening, and reversal of...