“7 New Ways Leaders Can Overcome Resistance – How To Win More Negotiations” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Mountain tops spur leaders to rise higher. But what they learn in the valleys determines how high they will rise.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert  (Click to Tweet)

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“7 New Ways Leaders Can Overcome Resistance – How To Win More Negotiations”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Negotiations can be challenging for a leader, especially when they encounter resistance from the other party. And resistance can come in many forms, such as pushback on ideas, refusal to compromise, or resistance to change.

So, what are some good leader negotiation components? And how can they overcome the resistance during negotiations with those they engage?

Here are some tips to help you overcome resistance and win more negotiations.

1. Identify Sources Of Resistance

Before overcoming resistance, leaders need to understand its sources. That may sound highly elementary. But it is something that everyone should consider before negotiating, which is especially true for leaders.

Is resistance due to a lack of information, a difference in goals, personality conflict, or something else? Once you have identified the sources of the resistance, you can tailor your approach accordingly.

2. Prepare Thoroughly

A leader needs to be well-prepared before entering a negotiation. Those following the leader will be banking on the leader’s performance to assess the degree they should continue extending their support.

Preparing means understanding the sources motivating the leader’s actions and what will motivate the other party’s needs and concerns during negotiation. Being well-prepared promotes confidence and helps the leader stay calm and focused, even when faced with resistance.  

3. Be Transparent With Your Team

In a negotiation, one of the leading causes of resistance can be a lack of information or understanding. And as a leader, it is essential to clearly and transparently communicate your goals and reasoning for a negotiation.

That will ensure stakeholders and those involved aligned with the leader’s goals stay engaged. Hence, they perceive the benefits of supporting the leader. In addition, being transparent in a leader’s communication may evoke empathy for the leader from those that otherwise might oppose them.

4. Involve Team And Stakeholders In The Negotiation Process

One way to ensure a leader meets with resistance is to ignore those who want input into the negotiation. Thus, another way to overcome resistance is to involve your team and colleagues in the negotiation process.

That could mean asking for their input and feedback or allowing them to lead parts of the negotiation. When people have favorable input, they are more likely to be invested in the talks and less resistant to a leader’s ideas.

Nevertheless, to that end, a leader cannot allow everyone seeking input to give it. Savvy leaders know whom to tap and whose advice to forgo. But, if things go askew in the negotiation and the outcome is less than expected, the leader has cohorts with whom to commensurate. And leaders should be mindful of not shifting blame to supporters if things do not turn out as expected. Just remember, the buck stops with the leader.  

5. Use Your Leadership Skills

As a leader, you are used to negotiating. Accordingly, you have a unique set of skills and abilities that you can use to persuade and inspire others. Use charisma, empathy, and communication skills to better connect with other parties and convince them to see your point of view.

To persuade other parties, use evidence-based logic to support your position, deliver your words in a manner that makes your argument more compelling, and use emotions to connect with other parties on a deeper level. And while that may be easier said than done, if you are aware of their sources of motivation, you will know better how to motivate them to get what you want.

6. Be Flexible About Compromising

A leader must always be flexible in their dealings with others. For one, today’s allies may become tomorrow’s enemies, and enemies may become allies. Accordingly, a leader must be open and appear affable when compromising in negotiation and do so strategically.

Not all compromises are equal. While a leader may have strong convictions about their position, it is essential to be willing to make concessions to find mutually beneficial solutions. That does not mean the leader should give in to every demand. It does mean they should seek creative solutions that meet as many of the needs of the parties involved. And savvy leaders will know which compromises lead to the greatest return.

7. Stay Calm And Focused

Negotiations are stressful, especially when a leader encounters resistance. During such times, it is more important for a leader to stay calm and focused, even in the face of adversity.

Suppose a leader loses their cool when meeting resistance. That can lead to anxiety and hesitation and project a perceived lack of leadership abilities. To offset that dilemma, the leader should maintain an unincumbered mind. That will help the leader think clearly and make better decisions, which will ultimately help win more negotiations.


Leaders who follow the tips mentioned can overcome resistance and win more negotiations. To do that, they must communicate clearly and transparently, involve their team or colleagues in the negotiation process, use their leadership skills, be open to compromise, and stay calm and focused.

With these strategies in mind, the leader will be well-equipped to handle resistance better and emerge victorious from negotiations. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

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After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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