“Leader Advice – Lead Better – Know How To Control Negotiations” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Leaders lead better and accomplish goals faster when they control negotiations.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

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In this article, I delve into valuable advice about how leaders can lead better and control negotiations effectively.

A good leader knows leadership revolves not only around issuing orders; it is about motivating, offering guidance, and influencing those they interact with to achieve common goals. To that end, leaders can lead better and accomplish goals faster by heightening their ability to negotiate better.

Whether dealing with stakeholders, managing projects, or leading teams, mastering negotiation techniques is vital for a leader’s success. Continue, and you will discover how to control negotiations and lead better.

Understanding The Leader’s Role In Negotiations

Leaders must understand their pivotal role in negotiations to lead effectively. To that end, leaders must maintain strong negotiation skills and be able to weave difficult situations into viable outcomes. They should also know when to seek win-win outcomes versus win-lose.

With each leader’s interaction, they lay the ground for the one to come – therein lies the hidden value of control. By being aware of the shifts in negotiations, leaders can better leverage their followers’ needs and inspire them to support the leader better.

Controlling Negotiation Environments

Before leaders interact with others, they must understand the mindset, intent, and sources of motivation that may drive the actions of those individuals. After accomplishing that:

1. Before negotiations, a leader should explain team members’ expected roles and set expectations about their performance; they should also verify that the team members understand and buy into their roles.

2. During negotiations, the leader should be attentive to how members project their roles and call time outs to speak privately with them if necessary adjustments are required.

3. After engagements, team leaders should debrief the interactions about what went right, what didn’t, and what could have occurred differently to enhance the talks.

By installing this three-step process into their negotiations and interactions with team members, leaders will create a continuous feedback loop. That loop will allow them to enhance their operations as they feed forward the insights that will improve those they support and those who support the leader.  

Strategies For Leaders To Lead Better Negotiations

Like control is with any situation, there are vital aspects that leaders must be aware of to secure the probability of leading and negotiating better.  

1. Planning Is Key

Before entering an exchange, especially those that will significantly impact the leader’s area, the leader must thoroughly prepare for the encounter(s). Winging it in such situations could lead to the leader having their wings clipped.

To plan better, leaders must consider all aspects that may affect the outcome of the interaction and create contingencies to address them. Also, they should consider how specific tactics will work better with a strategy based on the individuals and the environment’s makeup.

2. During Negotiations

To control negotiations better, leaders should listen with their eyes and see with their ears. Listening with their eyes means observing what is not displayed – for example, someone exhibiting sadness in a situation where they should be happy. The difference in a display can foretell hidden emotions. Seeing with a leader’s ears entails becoming attuned to inflections in someone’s voice; that will cue the leader, based on where the inflections fall, as to what is more important to someone.

Common Mistakes Made By Leaders During Negotiations

Leaders who are not savvy negotiators risk peril in their interactions with subordinates, peers, and upper management. They do so because they:  

1. Fail To Prepare For Interactions

Leader or not, when someone rushes into a negotiation unwittingly, they run towards risking what might have been a better outcome. I have highlighted the importance of preparing for negotiations. Suffice it to say unless leaders prepare for discussions by understanding those they will engage and creating a plan based on those individuals, they will be unprepared to maximize opportunities that may never materialize.  

2. Misplace Their Focus

Leaders must know where to place their focus. They must assess if they can achieve the outcome they seek more easily by employing a competing versus a collaborating strategy. And that should have been identified in the planning stage of the negotiation based on those with whom they were going to interact.   

3. Forget To Control Emotions

A lack of self-control can derail any interaction between people. With leaders, it can become magnified by causing those they engage to fuse into an uncontrollable force that mobilizes against them in the present and future.

Thus, leaders must always maintain control of their emotions in discussions. To do so better, they can practice responding to situations before they occur. Then, if they arise, leaders will be better prepared to address the circumstances according to their plans, not those of others.


Good leadership requires controlling environments and those in it. To become an effective leader in negotiations, a leader must combine their ability to think strategically, know how to control their emotions and those they engage, and possess a degree of flexibility that allows them to be nimble.

When leaders can assemble those components, they will be uniting a dynamic presence to lead better. They will have done that by knowing how to control the interactions and negotiations with others. And everything will be right with the world.

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://megaphone.link/CSN6318246585

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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