When you negotiate, do you understand the inherit power of influence? Do you know how to gain, display, and utilize influence in your negotiations?
Influence can be a very important ally in a negotiation. If used strategically, it can prove to be a decisive factor in the amount of power you have during the negotiation.
The following are tips and strategies you can use to gain and use influence in your negotiations, while increasing the perception of your power.
What is Influence and the benefits of having it?
Influence is a dynamic factor that sways opinions and perceptions in a negotiation. It’s considered to be a sometimes unforeseen force that allows people to trust and follow you. They may not know why they have so much trust in you, but that too is a benefit of influence; it can be a silent source of motivation that you can use to your benefit, while benefiting the other negotiator. Thus, in a negotiation, the more influence you have, the more the other negotiator will follow your lead. In so doing, he’ll consent his power to you and you will have gained more power through which you can influence the decisions he accepts. This means, you’ll possess more power to influence the outcome of the negotiation.
How is Influence acquired?
Influence is perceptional. Thus, if you’re perceived as being influential you are to those perceiving you as being such. You can acquire the perception of being influential (as stated by Brendon Burchard, recognized and acknowledged worldwide personal development guru) by teaching people how to think differently, challenging them to perform/become better, and role modeling the way to a better environment. To do so, Brendon states, you ask yourself, “if I’m going to be influential with this person/group, they would need to believe I’m a person who _________.”
By casting yourself in the image that’s perceived as what the other negotiator seeks to become and/or someone that he can trust that will be of benefit to him, and teaching him a new way to think, you gain influence. Just a FYI, the stage should be set prior to getting anywhere near the negotiation table. This can be accomplished by writing articles you know will be read by the other entity, appearing in magazines, TV/radio, social media, etc.
How is Influence used in a negotiation?
Once you’ve set the stage by which your perceived as being influential, the other negotiator enters the negotiation with deference to you. At that point, he’s already acquiesced his power. By showing him the positiveness of thinking differently and challenging him when appropriate, as you guide the negotiation down the path you seek, you gain more power over the negotiation, which allows you to be more persuasive in suggesting the course of action he should take. To the degree your actions are perceived to be aligned with his best interest, he’ll follow more of your suggestions. This will make the negotiation more manageable for you, which will also enhance the probability of you reaching the outcome you seek for the negotiation.
Negotiation Tip: In utilizing influence in your negotiations, always attempt to have the other negotiator perceive your efforts as being in his best interest. By doing so, you’ll be displaying through your actions that you can be trusted, which will enhance the level of influence you have. In so doing, you’re negotiations will flow more smoothly, you’ll gain more from your negotiation efforts … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!