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During negotiations, it’s crucial to understand how the other party operates. If you’re constantly getting your ideas turned down, it’s probably because you haven’t figured out the other person’s negotiation style yet.

Based on the article “Change the Way You Persuade” by Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller, we’ll be delving into each of the negotiation styles. If you haven’t read the introduction, go back and read that first.


These are the people that you can always find talking to everyone, never at a loss for words. They’re extremely interested in new ideas and concepts, which drives them to constantly want to learn more about everything around them. This type has an abundance of energy and their mood (rain or shine) is contagious around the office.


Celebrity Examples

Richard Branson, Lee Iacocca, Herb Kelleher, Oprah Winfrey


How They’re Convinced

Charismatics will be the most passionate and enthusiastic about your ideas, but they need to have all of their facts before making a decision. They have a short attention span and struggle with follow-through.

While their enthusiasm is easy to get caught up in, it’s important not to get sucked into their high energy. Bring balance into the conversation by presenting facts that validate their excitement, and also be clear about the risks and possible downsides. Concentrate on how this concept will make the company more competitive and how it will be better off in the long run. It’s also recommended to use plenty of visual aids to keep their focus, as this type can be easily sidetracked.

Charismatics are easy to persuade, but they can be difficult to get to commit. They need time to make a decision, and they’re willing to take risks. They’re also very open to new ideas.

When trying to persuade a Charismatic, you need to be prepared for their excitement. One tactic is to initially undersell your ideas and then focus energy on the items that he greets with enthusiasm.

When it comes to negotiating with Charismatics, always stay focused on results. You need to be able to clearly articulate what you want to achieve, and why your proposal is the best way to get there. Provide information about the benefits of your proposal, highlighting how your proposal will benefit the bottom line.

If ever there was a time for a fancy visual to emphasize a positive outcome; this is that time. Charismatics are visual people and will want time to study the potential results —so make sure you provide that for them, even if they don’t ask.

Charismatics are usually well aware of the potential for failure, yet they’re often willing to take risks if they believe the potential rewards are worth it. Even though it may be tempting to skirt around the negatives, it’s important to bring up the risks and have a plan for how to overcome them. This will keep the concept grounded and establish the credibility that you’ve done your due diligence.

Starting with the most critical information in a meeting is important for holding the attention of Charismatics. As Charismatics have a short attention span, it is essential to start with the most crucial points so that they do not tune out before you’ve had the chance to get to the good part.

You also may have noticed from past encounters that your Charismatic boss tends to interrupt or get easily sidetracked. Don’t be surprised if you’re prodded to “get to the point” or if they start moving about the room. While this may come off as boredom, be reassured that these are signs that your boss is interested in what you’re saying and is actively processing the new information. Leave room for questions and discussion.

When it comes to making decisions, Charismatics can often be a bit of a wild card. On the surface, they may appear to be independent thinkers, but in reality, they often rely on other high-profile executives in the company for guidance. As a result, if you’re waiting for a decision from a Charismatic leader, it’s important to be patient and allow them the time they need to consult with others and mull over the facts. This may be frustrating when their initial positive reaction leaves you expecting it’s all engines go, but it’s important to remember that they need time to process all of the information before they can commit.


Helpful Buzzwords

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Charismatics are some of the most fun executives to work with. They’re open to new ideas, excited about possibilities, and willing to take risks. However, they can also be difficult to get to commit, as they need time to make a decision and can be easily distracted.

When trying to persuade a Charismatic, focus on the benefits of your proposal and back it up with visual aids. Always stay focused on results and make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. And finally, when it comes to making decisions, be patient and allow them the time and space to think it through.


This is the first negotiation style within a multi-part series based on Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller’s article, Change the Way You Persuade (Harvard Business Review, published May 2002).

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