How to Negotiate With Any Personality Type

Jeff Cochran


To negotiate successfully, understand each potential client needs a different negotiation style. Which negotiation approach you use depends on your client’s personality. Below, we’ve outlined four basic personality types and the best ways to negotiate with each.

Type 1: The Choleric

Choleric people, sometimes known as “drivers,” are “bottom line” people. They like to get things done as quickly, efficiently, and correctly as possible. They make quick judgments and are usually right, and they want things done their way. When negotiating with a choleric, logic is your best friend. Present the facts and explain why the deal makes logical sense. Focus on results – what’s in it for the choleric if he or she agrees with you? Be assertive; choleric people can become inflexible if you disagree with them, but you may need to do so to get the deal.

Type 2: The Sanguine

Sanguine people, sometimes called socializers, love people. They’re the ones who will laugh at your jokes – and tell their own – and share stories. With a sanguine, focus on what your idea or product will mean for relationships. Will the sanguine’s company like it? Will it benefit people? Is it fun? Use stories and experiences to keep this person focused; otherwise he or she may drift. Present facts optimistically and show the sanguine how he or she can use your idea or product in creative ways.

Type 3: The Melancholic

Melancholic people are often called clinicians because they analyze everything, sometimes too much. They love order and want everything perfect. This type of person wants to know the details and feel secure. Successful negotiation with a melancholic depends on details. Present both the positives and negatives of your product or idea, and give specific reasons why they need it. Allow them time to think through a decision, and show interest in building deep rapport.

Type 4: The Phlegmatic

Phlegmatic people are known for being amiable. They like to do things the easy way without ruffling feathers. They can be agreeable and sensitive to a fault, and they like working in groups and building personal bridges. Never make a phlegmatic feel patronized; this person has an iron will and will shut down if you do. Instead, be patient and build rapport. Keep words and body language open. Focus your discussion on how the product or idea works. Emphasize how negotiation benefits both parties, and stay away from too many statements about “my” product or “my” services. Otherwise, the phlegmatic might feel railroaded.

How to Conduct a Successful Employee Review

Jeff Cochran


Bosses and their employees alike fear the dreaded performance review. While it is an extremely useful tool for corporate managers and employees, any criticism delivered incorrectly can easily backfire and cause a loss of motivation. The main purpose of a review is to give your employees feedback, offering them advice on their weak points and praise for their strengths. If you are feeling anxious about giving your employees a review, here are a few tips that will help mitigate the stress for both parties.

Create a Balance Between Formal and Informal

While an annual formal review is your designated time to give detailed and individualized feedback to an employee, it should not be the only time you offer critiques. One formal review per year can hang over an employee’s head like a cloud. Instead, offer casual reviews throughout the year. Check in with your employees regularly and let them know what they are doing right and where there is room for improvement. This is particularly helpful for new employees, who appreciate a bit of structure. If your employees are accustomed to getting your feedback in a casual setting, an annual formal review will not seem so stressful.

Make It Into a Conversation

A performance review should not be one-sided because this may leave your employee feeling berated. Keep conversation lines open throughout the review. It should be a mutual process to grow and learn. You have valuable information to give to them, and they might have some to give to you, as well. A performance review lets your employees learn how to be better workers, but it also might give you insight into ways to streamline workflow or job duties. Consider holding the review in a low-key environment, like a coffee shop or a quiet corner of the office. It can be much easier to get a message across when you have broken the formality barrier.

Address What Your Employee Is Doing Right, Too

If your employee is lacking in some areas and thriving in others, make sure to outline both. Of course, a performance review is about how employees can improve, but most people are motivated by praise. Tell your employee what his or her strong points are in addition to pointing out areas that need improvement. The added praise will give him or her the boost needed to do better in other ways.

Build a Performance Improvement Plan 

If your employee is not performing to expectations, he or she may benefit from a performance improvement plan. Simply handing a plan over to your employee may make him or her feel punished. Instead, create one together. Identify key areas where your employee needs to show improvement, and then identify concrete ways for him or her to achieve it. If you develop the plan together, your employee will be more engaged, have a better handle on expectations, and be much more motivated to improve.