“Leaders Increase Leadership Success Skills How To Make Negotiation Demands” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Leaders, beware of the light from the open door. It may beckon you to glory, but it may also lead to darkness into which your leadership descends, never to see the light again.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert  Click to Tweet

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“Leaders Increase Leadership Success Skills

How To Make Negotiation Demands”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

As a leader, to increase your leadership success, you must possess outstanding negotiation skills. Part of that negotiation skillset is knowing how and when to make negotiation demands. And when you are leading a team of leaders, your negotiation skills must be heightened to keep subordinates aligned with your goals and pulling in the same direction.

If not, you, your team, and those following you will never experience your full leadership potential. So, knowing how to make negotiation demands is essential to your success.

The following are thoughts about increasing your leadership skills, insights into how you can make better demands in a negotiation, and the best time to do so.

1. Leaders Know Your Goals

Before leaders negotiate with others, leaders need to know and understand why they are seeking their goals. A leader should define that in the planning stage of negotiations. In that phase, leaders should also assess the probability of pitfalls and roadblocks that might impede their progress.

That means leaders should take time to define the outcomes they want, know who they can rely on for assistance, and who they might need to monitor while implementing the plans to reach their goals. Assembling that information will allow leaders to make more timely and better demands, along with the expected success they might experience.

2. Leaders Identify Your Bargaining Power

One of the significant aspects of making negotiation demands is understanding your bargaining power and its source. That includes factors like your level of authority, resources at your disposal, and your ability to walk away from the negotiation; leaders should always be prepared to walk away if things do not go as expected.

Engaging in negotiation when a leader’s power is waning will only weaken the perception of that leader’s authority. Thus, when leaders clearly understand their bargaining power and its sources, they can make demands that are more likely to be met.

3. Understand The Mindset Of Those You Lead

Before considering how and when you make demands in a negotiation, you must understand the mindset of those with whom you are negotiating. Leaders can find their plans upended by overlooking this component of their leadership.

And when I say understand the mindset, I do not mean understanding at a cursory level; I am talking about going deep into the thinking of whomever you are leading to understand their thought process – how they arrive at their decisions.

The deeper you go, the greater will become your understanding of what others might do based on the situation. With that insight, you can be better prepared to address their actions. Plus, it will allow you to lead more effectively while meeting fewer challenges to your demands and leadership. And leaders should make demands when they are in stronger negotiation positions than those that may oppose them.  

4. Control The Negotiation Narrative

Good leaders attempt to control negotiations. And in a negotiation, control flows from one negotiator to the other throughout the talks. With leaders, control of discussions begins with who sets the agenda and what is on it. During that process, leaders should assess where strong versus milder demands may be required. And to do that effectively, leaders should:

A.) Understand The Interests Of Those Involved

Understanding the interest of those involved in negotiations is essential for determining when and how to escalate demands. And before a leader can decide how to proceed, they need to know what those involved seek and the concessions they are willing to make. Suffice it to say, as a leader, always take time to understand the interests of others before escalating demands.

B.) Measure Other’s Resistance

When leaders assess a demand’s viability, they should measure resistance – which is critical to the success of their requests. Because if others resist requests, it may be time to increase them – a negotiation strategy to make the prior demands more appealing. But, if others are docile and open to making concessions, do not escalate requests; instead, continue as before.

C.) Prepare For Compromise

When making demands, leaders need to be prepared to compromise. That means being willing to make concessions to achieve their goals. But the way you compromise will impact how your demands are received.

Leaders can make concessions slowly to increase the perceived value of what they concede. The more others feel they have won something, the more they will value it. So, allow them the sensation of victory when you compromise. That will make them feel better and more likely to concede to your demands.

D.) Walking Away

It is vitally important to know when to walk away from a negotiation. As a leader, if others are unwilling to meet your demands, or you feel the negotiation is becoming too adversarial, it may be time to walk away. Knowing when to walk away will give you the power to escalate your demands when necessary and ultimately result in a better outcome.


How and when to make demands in a negotiation can be tricky. But it is essential for leaders, if they want to increase their leadership skills and have others perceive them as good leaders.

By knowing their goals, identifying their bargaining power, understanding the mindset of others, and controlling the negotiation, leaders can make better decisions about when and how to elevate their demands. Since timing is a determining factor in success, leaders will increase their perceived leadership abilities by having those insights and implementing them at the right time. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Check out this offer to learn more about negotiating better and reading body language!

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

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