Based on the way legendary college football coach Nick Saban prowls the sideline during games and answers questions at press conferences, imagine him trying a case in court. Picture this type of personality, in negotiating with an opponent, displaying that stern countenance and linear, purposeful “Just the facts” approach as he carries out a game plan as well-researched as any you could hope to find. This personality, while not necessarily unkind, is all about the task at hand and does not waste time with meaningless chatter and small talk.


The phrase “Southern Gentleman” may come to mind in describing this personality in a courtroom. Think of a deep, syrupy drawl coming from the mouth of a silver-haired old warhorse who strikes you as good company over a plate of barbecue and a glass of sweet tea. Some of the best negotiators out there are underestimated because of how warm and easygoing they seem, and while the charm they exude may be completely genuine, these men and women have seen it all and know how to relate to juries as well as most any attorney.


Think about the big personalities you know, the people who by simply walking into a room can take it over. You will find them in the legal profession, and many make top-notch negotiators. They’re often entertaining, sometimes brash, and never seen to run out of energy. While the sheer power of such a negotiation can create headaches (literally and figuratively) for the opposition, the extroverts among us can skillfully use their charisma to great advantage and get the best deal for those they represent.


This personality type may be feared as much as any in a negotiation, because the analytical personality is quietly observing (and making strategic changes on the fly) while most likely wearing an inscrutable poker face. Likewise, the analytical personality often brings superior powers of deductive reasoning to the negotiating process. Not unlike the pragmatic negotiator, the analytical personality in a negotiation may not be terribly outgoing, but do not ever mistake a quieter, contemplative approach from this personality as inattention of lack of preparation.