Ask Alignor

What are the main personality types and how should I deal with them?

This is a common question. Many opinions have been published, claiming to categorize people into personality “types.” Similarly, many self-assessments have been developed (and sold), claiming to help you understand your personality type. The Alignor interest-based approach to negotiation does not claim to have any such insights. You may have experienced negotiations and situations in life where one moment you or others may seem like a hard-charging “Type A” personality and the next minute you or others feel more like a passive Type B or C or D. It is impossible to list all the factors that influence one’s personality from one situation to the next. The aggressive bull at home may be a lamb at work, or may vary in approach from meeting to meeting. The good news is it is not necessary to know the personality “type” of another person in order to negotiate effectively with them. If you can understand the other person’s interests, find creative ways to satisfy those interests, and figure out the risks and possible rewards of not coming to agreement, you should be able to negotiate effectively with any so-called personality “type!”