“Silent Power – How To Use It To Quickly Increase Your Negotiation Skills” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Power handled explosively can be dangerous. But silent power can avert explosions while protecting its source.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert   

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He used silent power to negotiate his deal. And when it was time to vote, he sat in the front of the room, all alone and off to one side; everyone saw him, and he never spoke. They felt his silent power. He wanted to close the deal, and participants granted him his wish.

That was the action of an individual with power, and he knew how to use it silently.

In your negotiations, silent power can easily glide back and forth between negotiators. It can also move between opponents as if in a tug-of-war.

Most people do not recognize the shifts that occur in the power dynamics of a negotiation – that is to their detriment. Others know how to wield it skillfully; they are the ones who have better negotiation skills and acquire better negotiation outcomes.

By continuing, you will discover what silent power is, how to set the ground to acquire it, its pros and cons, and how to utilize it in negotiations and life.

Negotiation Silent Power Definition

In this case, I will start by stating that silent power is not using the power of silence – although a negotiator can have silent power enhanced through the use of silence. It is strategically using the power one has in negotiation in a non-rambunctious or spirited manner; one should not seek to attract unnecessary attention by possessing this potent negotiation tool. Thus, if a negotiator uses it subduedly, they can increase their perceived power while warding off those that might otherwise challenge them.

Setting The Ground To Acquire Silent Power

The perception of power is fluid. It moves based on the impression of the people seeking it and who believe they have it. Thus, competing negotiators can have equal power simultaneously if both believe they do. Or, they may have no power or a varying degree of it compared to the other simultaneously.

That is a concept to firmly implant in your mind. If you think you have power, you do. If you feel you do not have it, you do not.  

So, how do you acquire silent power? You can gain it in serval ways.

1. Initially, you can tell people you are powerful. Some will believe your assertions without proof. Eventually, you will have to produce some evidence of your power.

2. You can set the expectations of an outcome sought by others. And if you are right, some will ascribe you as a power source. If you repeatedly engage in successful forecasting, followers will submit that you are a powerful source from which they can receive valuable information. The perception of your power will surge as long as your predictions remain valid.

3. You can acquire it by being forthright, trustworthy, and not being overbearing. People will think they can count on your word being your bond when they perceive you as trustworthy. Even if you make mistakes with the distribution of statements, people will be more forgiving due to their favorable perception of you.  

Any of those avenues can lead you to acquiring power. But, if you acquire it by being loud, obnoxious, or braggadocious, you will weaken and lose your chances of using it silently. So, for others to perceive you as having silent power, they must view you as being powerful while not perceiving you as bludgeoning them with it. 

Silent Power Pros And Cons

Like power usage in any negotiation, how you use it determines your advancement or the lack of development. That becomes magnified when employing the usage of silent power. Thus, I suggest you become highly mindful of the pros and cons of silent power. They are:


1. You can use it to control environments and emotions better. Because, in most situations, you will not need to weigh in on circumstances. Your projected power will do that silently.

2. Others will be less likely to challenge your position. Because if your projected power source is not entirely understood or known, people will hesitate to refute or attack.


1. In some negotiations, new entrants will test your power, causing you to expose your source and the degree to which it exists. To preserve your use of silent power, be aware of when such challenges may loom.

2. Silent power can create discomfort in some negotiators, causing them to ease their ill feelings by engaging in back-stabbing activities to thwart your efforts. This, too, is something to be alert to.

Using Silent Power In Negotiations

As stated, one of the cons of using silent power is that it can create discomfort. While that is true, you can turn that to your advantage. Examples would be:

1. If someone sought information and you did not respond promptly, the opposition might sense discomfort. But, because the opposition is unsure of your power, they may hesitate to challenge you for the information.

2. You could use silent power to gather information, too. Building from number one, which was just stated, your non-timely response will provoke an action in your opposite. That action will give insight into their thoughts, perspectives, and possible negotiation positions.


By understanding silent power, negotiators can gather information secretly, elevate their persona, and influence outcomes. They can use silent power to ward off potential challenges to their positions and appear more formidable, too. And everything will be right with the world.

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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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