“How To Win More Negotiations – Use Influence and Consensus Building”


Influence consensus building 3


Prior to negotiating, do you attempt to build consensus and what role do you assign the influence needed to do so? The strength of any negotiation is built on leverage, which is derived from sources from which you can draw power. To the degree you have influence with those that are needed to provide leverage, you enhance the probability of consensus building and achieving the goals of the negotiation.


This article highlights points that you can implement to gain influence, build coalitions, and gather consensus in the construction of a winning negotiation.


Gaining Influence:

One aspect in gaining influence with others entails supporting them. When it comes to supporting them the manner and time frame in which you give support determines the degree of influence you’ll gain. As an example, if you support someone while they’re experiencing peril you’re more likely to gain greater influence than if you did so during less stressful times. Also keep in mind that influence is fluid, meaning the further you move away from situations that allowed you to gain influence with someone the less influence you’ll have. The point is, you maximize the influence you have by using it when it’s at its peak. Once it begins to wain your ability to influence lessens.


Building Coalitions:

When building coalitions, you must consider the issues that serve as the glue to keep the coalition together. To the degree the coalition’s issues and incentives are at odds with one another, you’ll have more of a difficult challenge assembling and keeping it together. If you find yourself in such a dilemma consider focusing on the common threads to which all parties involved can benefit, the time frame for which the coalition needs to be assembled (negotiate quickly if you sense your coalition lacks long-term cohesion), and consider pressure points/leverage you can use to keep the coalition together.


Consensus Building:

The more aligned a coalition is to a single purpose that’s beneficial to all parties and the stronger that purpose is, the easier it will be to build a consensus. Thus, you must be cautious not to add too many demands/covenants upon the coalition. To do so enhances the probability of weakening the ability to formulate and build a consensus. Another fact to consider is the verbiage used to represent the consensus of your coalition. If statements are too strong per some members of your coalition the consensus will also be influenced by possible negativity. You must also consider on whose behalf those that your consensus is negotiation on and to what affect it has on those at the negotiation table. Therein may lay the potential lack of influence that might degrade your ability to build and keep a consensus intact.



As you can observe, the above components make for an interesting recipe for successful negotiations. While there may be mitigating circumstances that require alterations to the combination of the ingredients mentioned above, those ingredients serve as the foundation of all successful negotiations. When it comes to gaining influence, building coalitions, and consensus building, think about your end game; that means think about how your efforts will come to a conclusion and what becomes of your coalition past that point. You may need to assemble and utilize the coalition in the future. If that’s the case, consider what you can do to keep the coalition aligned with the goals that serve all involved. By doing so the coalition will stay together longer and more aligned with the purpose for which it was initially formed … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


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