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12 Angry Men: The Importance Of Personality In Negotiation

1191 words - 5 pages

Personality can influence relationships, processes, style, and tactics during the negotiation process. Negotiating success can be attributed to the negotiator understanding his or her personality while being aware of the personalities of others (Budjac Corvette, 2007). Many times people understand themselves but do not fully understand their effect on others. A negotiator needs to take note of the common types of behaviors that people exhibit during negotiations when determining how the negotiation will unfold. In the movie “Twelve Angry Men”, juror number eight demonstrates an understanding of the effect of personality and behavior when building relationships, setting moods, and gaining power (Fonda & Rose, 1957).
To understand the effect personality has on negotiation one must first understand what personality is. According to Berens and Nardi, personality is both inborn and conditioned by the environment (1999). An individual’s personality consists of layers that build from the inside out. The core self exists from the day a person is born. The core self begins in a person’s DNA and defines ones predisposition to behave certain ways. The core tendencies one possesses can influence how one adapts, grows, and develops. This developed self is influenced by ones choices, interactions, and roles. The final layer of one’s personality is called the contextual self. This layer of one’s personality describes how one behaves in a given situation. Considering the interrelated layers that form an individual’s personality one can see that there are key components of personality that can affect a negotiators interaction (Budjac Corvette, 2007). Emotional stability, conscientiousness, locus of control, competitiveness, and self-monitoring are just a few of the components that make up an individual’s personality. Personality characteristics can make negotiations productive or unproductive. Negotiators who are aware of their own personality characteristics can adjust their behaviors to create favorable negotiations. Negotiators learn to observe and understand others’ personality characteristics begin to know what behaviors to expect and can make strategic adjustments. The personality characteristics and behavior strategies of juror number eight become apparent as the deliberations begin.
Juror eight is calm, collected, and confident as he casts his dissenting vote. This behavior suggests that he might have a Type B personality with a high emotional stability. He begins to organize his thoughts about the evidence and appears to be careful yet thorough, showing a high conscientiousness in his style. The juror displays an internal locus of control, which makes one believe he is in control of his life and the circumstances that arise. Juror eight shows a high level of self-monitoring as he begins to adjust his behavior in the jury room to suit the other jurors and the situation. The Type B character can be described as coming form the core...

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