“The Intrinsic Value of Influence in a Negotiation”


The Intrinsic Value of Influence in a Negotiation


How do you calculate the intrinsic value of influence in a negotiation?

Recently I earned and received a very distinguished award from an association of which I’m a member. For years I’d looked at that distinction as a way that some assessed value per the value one possessed in the association, and I wasn’t going to play their game.

Since I have received awards of distinction from a governor and other political figures, CEO’s of major organizations, US Congress, and sat on major corporate boards, I did not appreciate the intrinsic value that this latest designation possessed. Do you make such mistakes when you’re negotiating (you’re always negotiating)? My perspective was, “I’m already good enough. I don’t have to change for you.”


Per your goals when negotiating, what intrinsic value do you possess per the influence such effects have as seen by the opposing negotiator? You should always consider that question when negotiating, because what matters to those you wish to influence is what matters to them!

In my mind I was saying, “Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know what I’ve achieved? Don’t you know the value I offer?” Through the actions of the association it said, no, nor do we care. It wasn’t until I received the designation that a light shined. I imagined it saying, “Look, he’s alive”.


As you know, value is perceptional. Thus, you have it based on the person/people with whom you’re negotiating.


Here are a few tips per how you can increase your perceived value and enhance the intrinsic value of influence when negotiating.

  1. Set the stage by having those that have influence with the other negotiator state that you are influential.


  1. Borrow influence per the perceived credibility you’re perceived as having by being seen with those that are influential per your negotiation target.


  1. Write articles/post/videos on the subject(s) that’s important to the other negotiator in places that he’ll see them.


  1. Obtain designations that are credibility builders as perceived by those with whom you negotiate.


  1. After doing number 4, let your reputation speak for you, but be prepared to offer assistance if doing so will position you in a better light.


Tie body language into your persona (i.e. make actions match words).

  1. Project the image that you wish to be perceived as and be consistent about it.


  1. Learn how to use your body and body language like a walking billboard to project your persona (e.g. head held high or low (humble) when appropriate.


  1. Remember, you’re always negotiating and that’s particularly important as related to body language. Some studies have indicated as much as 90% of our communication is conveyed via our body language. If you’ve been following my writings for a while, you know the body always attempts to convey the thoughts you believe to be the truth. Thus, if you feel weak, your body will convey such in the way you project yourself.


  1. Be mindful of how you cast what might be perceived as swagger. Some negotiators make snap judgments about those that are too smooth, too graceful, too … (you fill in the blank). As such if you possess too much swagger, some people will place you in a, ‘Be cautious of him; he’s not like us’, category. That will squelch your prospects of having influence on/with that negotiator.


You can’t play big with a small mind. To the degree others see you in a particular light that doesn’t serve you and you fight it, you could be doing yourself harm as it relates to your goals in a negotiation. To that point, assess how important it is to compromise your values to display in actions the mindset that’s needed to influence others. Once you enhance their perception of you, you can begin to influence them per what you have of value to offer … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!



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