When you negotiate, who has the majority of the power during the negotiation? Is it you, or is it the other negotiator?
Power is perceptional. So, power in a negotiation lies with the person perceiving him or her as processing it. In essence, power is a ‘mind game’. To the degree you allow someone to believe they have power during a negotiation, they have power. In so doing, you’re really the one possessing a certain amount of power. The amount of power you possess is based on the amount of power the other negotiator is allowing you to possess. Let’s examine the perception of power and the possession of it during a negotiation.
First, since power is given, never taken, the other negotiator has to acquiesce, in order for you to receive the power you’re seeking. You in turn have to grant power to her.
The reason power is given and not taken is because, if someone is willing to endure the consequences of not allowing you to have a point during a negotiation, but instead be willing to walk away, no matter what you do, you will not be able to win that point. The situation can worsen when dealing with friends and love ones, because you have to maintain the relationship, to the degree that it has importance to your life. Even then, you abstain from bestowing your power to the individual for the duration you see fit. If you’re upset or angry, you withhold your power until such time you no longer harbor such feelings.
In examining the conveyance of power, and how the manipulation of its perception can influence the outcome of a negotiation, you should consider:
- If you are in a position that you perceive to be weaker than the other negotiator and you wish to convey a stronger position, don’t convey weakness. If you reach a point whereby a covenant of the negotiation becomes dire, don’t allow your perception to be displayed through your verbiage or body language.
- If you’re in the same position as highlighted in statement number one and you wish to heighten the fact that you’re in a dire situation, convey it in your words and body language. The difference between the adaptations of the two maneuvers is the way by which you wish to be perceived and the amount of power you wish to give to the other negotiator.
- If the other negotiator is in a weaker negotiation position and you don’t wish to belittle that position, downplay your superior position so as not to highlight its importance. Allow the other negotiator to save face and maintain his decorum.
- Strive to understand the needs of the other negotiator when determining how much power to bestow upon her. In seeking to understand her needs for power and what she wishes to accomplish by possessing it, you’ll have a better gauge as to where she’s attempting to take the negotiation. Depending upon her mindset, you may consider an under or over compensation of power to enhance her perception of your position.
When negotiating, remember, power is perceptional. You are and will be as powerful as you perceive yourself to be. If you choose to forgo your power during negotiations, that’s your choice. If you use the allocation and delivery of your power appropriately during negotiations, you’ll be the more powerful negotiator of those negotiating. You’ll also be more adept and capable of controlling the flow of the negotiation … and everything will be right with the world.
The Negotiation Tips Are …
- Always remember, when negotiating, power is perceptive. You have as much or as little as you perceive yourself as having. Don’t let the other negotiator see you ‘sweat’, unless it’s in your interest to do so.
- If you are willing to endure the outcome of the negotiation, as the result of not succumbing to the demands of the other negotiator, you will not lose power in the negotiation.
- To ensure you negotiate from a position of power, always have alternate plans for how you will achieve the goals for which you’re currently negotiating.