“Never issue threats without considering the consequences. The consequences may leave you threatened.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Threats, Consequences: How To Make You Powerful”
Do you attempt to move others to action with threats? And do you think about the unintended consequences of your intent?
Implement the following thoughts when considering whether to use threats to persuade someone to adopt your position, carry out your wishes, or acquiesce to your demands.
How You’re Viewed:
When considering how you’ll project your power, remember the perception of its potency is determined by the perception of the receiver. Don’t project an image that’s too strong or weak for the situation. You’ll run the risk of being perceived as someone that’s overbearing or meek if you do. Suffice it to say, if your body language is misaligned with the persona displayed, you’ll detract from the strength of your persona and message.
Some people rail at threats, while others acquiesce to them. Thus, you must know a person’s propensity to move, based on the application of your threats. If you use threats to chide someone and they view them as a challenge, you may unlock their stubborn beast. That could further cement them in their current position. If that was not your intent, you may have unforeseen consequences to confront. Always assess a threat’s probability of success to determine its viability.
In every situation, there are consequences to adopting one action versus another. When considering if you should utilize threats to coerce someone into adopting your will, consider the consequences they’re willing to undergo to deny your request. You should question the timing of your request, too.
If someone can subdue your consequences, due to alternative ways of escaping punishment, you will weaken those consequences. Your threats will be less impactful and less likely to move someone to the action you seek.
Know the person’s demeanor as it shifts in the moment, the probability of what they might do if you’re too stringent, and their tolerance for pressure. If you know that, you’ll have a better idea of how far you can pursue the conquering of their will.
There will be times when to look forward, you should reason backward. Thus, in some cases, if you start with the end in mind and work back from there, the action you should adopt in a situation will be waiting for your discovery. Once you assemble a winning plan that outlines the best ways to utilize the power of threats, you will be on your way to being perceived as a more powerful person in every situation you’re in … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
Anytime you wish to make a threat stronger in a negotiation, use it when your subject is reliant upon your good will. If they don’t have avenues of shelter to avoid your threats, you’ll be in a stronger position. They’ll be more likely to accept your mandates. By delivering your mandate with a voice of authority, you’ll increase the perception of its strength.
Threats affect the actions of all negotiators. To be more efficient in your negotiations, understand the mindset of the other negotiator, what she’s attempting to achieve, and how you might help her obtain it. With that, think about the different ways you can use threats to move her closer to your goals.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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