Healthcare contracting staff can approach health plan discussions with more confidence and knowledge if they understand five typical negotiating styles and when to use them. Certain negotiations may require using overlapping styles to produce positive results.
Accommodating (I lose-you win). The focus of this style is to preserve relationships. It should be used when you are at fault, your position is weak, or you are unprepared. Make sure you know the consequences of conceding before you do so.
Avoiding (I lose-you lose). Use this style when the issue being negotiated is trivial or when the value of resolving the conflict outweighs the benefit. Set expectations by both parties when using this negotiation style.
Collaborating (I win-you win). This should be the primary negotiation style. It requires understanding the other party’s point of view and motivations. Note that this style requires more time and may not work with competitive negotiators.
Competing (I win-you lose). This style often is used when relationships are not critical and one you need to get action quickly. During negotiations, use clear language (e.g., “we must have”) rather than weaker language (e.g., “we would like”).
Compromising (I lose/win some-you lose/win some). In this negotiation style, both parties value fair and equal resolution. Both parties can get fast results but it’s also possible to concede to certain terms too early without regard for all aspects of the negotiation.
See related article: Solid Negotiation Skills Have an Impact on Health Plan Terms
Source: “Contracts and Contracting: A Primer ,” Professional Case Management, 2016.