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  • Writer's pictureSeth Lee

Extraversion in Negotiations

In this final installment of this series on how personality types can impact negotiations, we’re going to talk about extraversion in negotiations. Like with the other articles, we’re going to first talk about what it is, how it impacts negotiations, and what it all means in the end.

What is Extraversion?

Extraversion, according to SimplyPsychology, is how often we interact with others in our environment. However, extraversion isn’t just talking to people, but how often we do so. We ourselves can talk to others, but there can be days when we may want to take a break. Not necessarily because we aren't extraverted, more-so we are either tired or our social batteries have been exhausted. It’s also important to know the difference and a distinction between extraversion and extraverted. While we are analyzing how extraversion affects negotiations, extraversion is more of a measurement of a range of socialness, rather than the socialness itself. One can be very talkative for example, and that’ll make them extraverted, however one who may be introverted but also extraverted (or an ambivert) can also be classified as extraverted. It really depends on how much you are willing to socialize with others on a usual basis, some are used to doing so, others might be more introverted and tend to not talk as much to others as they may prefer to be by themselves. Being an extravert is someone who is sociable, energized by social interactions, and is generally outgoing. Crystalknows details what type of careers a highly extraverted person can thrive in, which include but are not limited to being a counselor, journalist, and event planner.

These are generally jobs that require a lot of socialization, which isn’t to suggest that an extraverted individual shouldn’t pursue a career such as engineering or accounting. Rather these are the types of jobs that best fit an extraverted personality as a job like a journalist will require lots of socialization compared to a job like accounting and it’ll make more sense that an extraverted personality will mesh together well in a job like that. However there do come with issues with being extraverted, which is the issue of compatibility. Extraverted people's social batteries are charged by constant interaction, while introverted people's batteries are charged by resting from constant interaction. This may lead to the issue of incompatibility between an extraverted and introverted actor where it can ironically work to the detriment of an extravert by interacting too much with an introvert, which will likely turn them away from interacting with them. That’s not to say that all extraverted people have this issue, as some are better at reading social cues, but this can be an issue with the aspect of too much extraversion itself. In contrast, lower extroversion (or being an introvert) is characterized as being reflective, reserved, and preferring solitude. In contrast with extraversion, introversion is more internal than external as evident by the differences in how their social batteries function. Crystalknows suggests that the type of careers that are best compatible with an introverted personality are engineers, programmers, and mechanics. It may sound best to be introverted, but likewise, there can come downsides with this. One being that introverts may not be willing to speak up for themselves all the time, as some may get ‘rolled’ socially by others. Rolled in this sense means getting pushed in a direction that you may not necessarily prefer, essentially being lightly coerced without being intimidated per say. An extraverted personality may speak up more for themselves since they are simply socializing with others even when they are dealing in a serious manner with others. But introverted personalities may be less willing-so since they may not want to stand out too much or speak too much as it does conflict with their type of personality, which can create problems. However, like with every other article on the subject of the Big Five, every trait varies with every person and it all depends on how someone uses it as not all introverted people are the same, same with extraverted people as well.

How Does Extraversion Play a Role into Negotiations?

It may sound like it’s best to be more extraverted considering that negotiations are transactional social interactions at the end of the day. Even for a distributive setting, extraverts can thrive as they can easily approach this like any other conversation except with a more competitive actor as they can use their energy to mold the conversation in their favor. Research conducted has found that “extroverts achieved less than introverts in a distributive-negotiation scenario” (Harvard.Pon) Explanations for this happening can be that having the ability to socialize with others doesn’t necessarily make one more competitive with others, as it’s more of a supplement to conversations rather than a conciliation towards conflict. Even when an extraverted negotiator is more competitive in nature and they are negotiating with another competitive negotiator, it could only lead to more conflict instead of an outcome that best benefits both sides. Compared to an introverted negotiator, who may be not as expressive but also more introspective,

ironically better outcomes can be better obtained since decisions are made based more on reason than immediate emotion.

In contrast, within Integrative Negotiations, research has found that unlike distributive negotiations, extroversion “...had no effect on outcomes….” (Barry, 357) Reasons for this being that integrative negotiations are based on mutual benefit, which means concessions need to be made from both sides in order to assume a balanced outcome. Highly extraverted personalities may help continue a negotiation as it may encourage both sides to socialize more (but this can vary depending on the persons negotiating) Some may appreciate friendly small talk, but it doesn’t make a big impact on outcomes since integrative negotiations aren’t only based on social interaction but also on bargaining and transactions. Bargaining does involve socialization, but it doesn’t only involve socialization as it involves strategy as well, which is related to introspection and reason more-so than just interaction and communication. It’s not to say that being more extraverted or introverted is better than the other, rather it depends on the other side and it may not matter at all whether one side is more talkative than the other. Rather what does matter is what you are offering and how well you can negotiate with the other side, which may involve much more than just talking.

What Does This Mean?

In the end of this series, it appears that neither of the Big Five personality traits influence a negotiation outcome. Extraversion, just like with conscientiousness, may have a varying effect on negotiations, but not necessarily a major one that has to be considered too much. It may be surprising, but it can also be relieving to know that it doesn’t matter what personality type one has, some can be agreeable or extroverted or neurotic, but that doesn’t mean that they will seek a worse outcome compare to one another. There are other studies out there in terms of how other external factors can impact negotiations, so it’s not to say that it doesn’t matter what you do. What does matter the most is what type of negotiation strategy you are using and what the negotiation is about, and how well you can manage navigating through it.


About Intellext™

Intellext is an AI startup that is revolutionizing the way contracts are negotiated, accelerating time to close, and improving deal terms. Intellext’s Intelligent Negotiation Platform™ eliminates the complexities of contract redlines and stakeholder collaboration and optimizes deal terms by applying machine learning during the negotiation process.

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