What form of control do you exercise in your negotiations? What is control in a negotiation, how does one go about getting and maintaining control, and when is it beneficial to relinquish control in a negotiation? During a negotiation to what degree does it behoove you to exercise aspects of control? The factors detailing such can be daunting. Since they have such a profound impact on the flow and outcome of a negotiation, it behooves you to understand the variances in order win more negotiations.
This article addresses those questions and details how to increase your negotiation win rate.
Negotiation Tip: Like most aspects in life, control is perceptional. That’s to say, if you think you have it, you do. Of course the person with whom you’re negotiating with has a lot to say about the amount of control you do or do not have in a negotiation, but still, it’s perceptional.
Exercising Control in a Negotiation:
Exercising control in a negotiation is the fine balance of knowing when to lead, when to be led, and when to maintain a steadfast position. It also entails controlling your emotions and those of the other negotiator.
Getting Control in a Negotiation:
In reality, the only way you can get control in a negotiation is by having the other negotiator follow your lead. The stimuli used to do so can be from several perspectives. You can cajole, be stern, be condescending, be conciliatory and/or employ a number of other strategies. The one you employ is dependent on the type of negotiator she is (hard nose, easy going, soft), but you need to match your style to one that’s suited to her demeanor, based on what’s being negotiated for at the time. By using the appropriate approach, you enhance your abilities to control the negotiation.
Maintaining Control of a Negotiation:
Maintaining control during a negotiation entails the fine balance of leading and giving the impression of being led. You give the impression of leading when you express offers as being beneficial to the other negotiator’s needs for the negotiation. You give the impression of being led by adopting a position of accepting her offer/perspective, etc. In either case, make sure those goals are also aligned with yours, less you’re not really exercising control at all.
Relinquishing Control in a Negotiation:
Giving the appearance of relinquishing control promotes the perception of being controlled by the other negotiator. By doing so, you endear yourself to her. She feels empowered, because she’s taking the lead, which means she’s in control. During such times allow your body language to be in alignment with the persona you project (e.g. softer tone of voice, open body gestures, smaller physical appearance, etc.). If your words and body language are aligned, your relinquishing of control will be more believable and accepted as such, even more so at a subliminal level by her, which gives you an additional advantage.
As you can see, the perception and exercise of control during a negotiation has a great impact on the flow and outcome of the negotiation. In your next negotiation, adopt the points mentioned above and observe its flow. In particular take note of how exercising the different forms of control influences the outcome of the negotiation. Continue to improve on your ability to exercise control by focusing on the aspects of control in your negotiations. As you get better at implementing the facets of control, your negotiation win rate will increase … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!