A discussion addressing the Big Five personality traits, how they impact negotiation, and areas where these personality traits reveal strengths and weaknesses of the author’s own ability to negotiate.
The Big Five and Negotiation 3 The Big Five or Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality consists of five separate traits that have been identified and determined to play a role in the overall makeup of a person’s personality.The five traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism), when applied to situations and activities, may or may not provide insight into how well suited a person may be in a particular role or situation depending upon their strengths in these areas, the situation and context, their culture, and also there immediate outlook and focus. Several factors play a role in how well an individual performs in the art of negotiation. Along with personality traits such as those listed in the Big Five, there are other factors such as culture.Research has show that individuals scoring high on Big Five tests in the areas of Agreeableness and Extraversion tend to fair poorly in relation to others that do not score as high in these areas (Liu et. al. , 2005). Traits such as assertiveness (a factor of Openness, Neuroticism and perhaps to a lesser degree Extraversion) must be relatively strong in order to be a successful negotiator (Wolfe, 2006).
As stated by Wolfe: Personality implications for negotiation include assertiveness, need to be liked, positive toward people, insight, frustration tolerance, criticism tolerance and self-control.Factors such as those stated above essentially point to Agreeableness, Openness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism as deterministic when assessing an individual’s negotiating abilities. Big Five factors also influence different types of negotiation differently. For example, of all the Big 5 factors, individuals scoring high in Agreeableness and Extraversion tend to perform poorly in distributive bargaining while the Big Five appears not to have an impact in the success of individuals engaged in complex integrative bargaining as well as those that have high personal The Big Five and Negotiation 4 performance aspirations (Lewicki et. al. , 2010).So although the Big Five may provide some indication as to whether or not an individual would perform well in negotiation, the determination of Big Five impact is dependant upon other factors including the type of negotiation in which they are engaging as well as the context of the negotiation.
My Big Five measurements point to being relatively well suited for distributive bargaining because my scores in both Extraversion and Agreeableness are not extremely high.However, I do believe that negotiation performance does include a situational element. If I am well prepared and have concrete strategy and goals going into negotiation, I will perform much better than if pulled into an impromptu negotiation situation. So I do believe the supposition that high personal performance aspirations (in my case strengthened and solidified by preparedness) tend to diminish the impact of the Big 5 personality factors such that they have little impact on the outcome of negotiations when there is strong presence of focus on personal performance aspirations (Lewicki, et.
al. , 2010).