“A leader is someone that can lead or follow. Always know the role of your leader.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Don’t Hurt The Leader’s Position”
In the daily activities of everyone’s life, everyone follows someone. Thus, those that you follow have influence by the fact that you anoint them as someone to lead you. You embolden them with that privilege by the fact that you follow their edict/mandate/suggestions. That being the case, don’t undermine the leader by:
- going off-point per a strategy that has been discussed and agreed upon (e.g. going around the leader to gain attention for yourself, etc.)
- engaging with outside sources that have not been agreed upon – make sure the leader knows what you’re planning to do
- creating ad-hoc strategies when you’re in the midst of interactions with those that are not on your team/group
When you subvert the direction of the lead that you’ve granted to someone else, you forgo potential opportunities, and diminish your team’s ability to implement the plan that’s been agreed upon; that can be costly in time and opportunities. You may also be cloaking into darkness the light of opportunities that may have shown themselves to you in the future (i.e. if you prove not to be a team player, no one will want you on their team.)
If you’re going to be a team player, play follow the leader by supporting the person that you’ve chosen to follow. Do so to the degree that such returns are beneficial to you and the team. Once you decide that you no longer wish to engage, inform the leader of your intent and disengage. Don’t just drop out without any communication. If you restrict the flow of communications, you don’t know what potential door(s) you’ll close that might have offered opportunities that could lead you to higher heights.
As long as you’ve decided to follow the leader, don’t hurt her. You’ve made a conscious decision to allow her to lead. So, follow her lead as long as it serves you and her … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
In a team negotiation environment, the leader of the team can position and pose as any of its members; it doesn’t have to be the person that projects the image of a leader at the negotiation table. Depending on the strategy chosen by the team, the leader may pose as someone that’s in a strategic position for a particular negotiation. He may also be positioned as someone that a senior person on the team can replace once the negotiation has reached a certain point.
The point is, once you have a strategy in place, don’t undermine it by undermining the person that’s the lead for the negotiation. Not only will you be weakening her, you’ll also be weakening your team’s negotiation position and the perspective beneficial outcome of the negotiation for all of you.
What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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Remember, you’re always negotiating.
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