Magazine article Business Credit

Effective Negotiation Hinges on Power

Magazine article Business Credit

Effective Negotiation Hinges on Power

Article excerpt

Every day we are confronted with situations that require some degree of negotiation. These situations can occur anywhere from a formal business meeting with customer to a domestic issue with a spouse or child. Our ability to negotiate effectively will determine whether we can take charge and influence our environment in order to meet our needs or if we merely react to the external forces in our lives. Success is dependent on a realistic analysis of the variables which come into play during negotiation.

One of the broadest, most intangible variables that impacts any negotiation is power. This is the ability of the negotiator to influence the behavior of the opponent - the primary objective in most negotiations.

Power must be perceived if it is to exist. Power is reliant on a simple principle - if you think you have it, then you have it. This belief will help to convey a self-confident image which will determine how your opponent sees, believes, and reacts to you.

Your opponent must also believe in your power and must accept the authority of that power. Power is in the eye of the opponent, but it begins the negotiator.

There are eight known principles of power which must be understood before one can evaluate the balance of power between two parties. * Power is relative - rarely does either side

have complete power. * Power may be real or apparent. * Power can be exerted without action. * Power is always limited - its range depends

upon the situation, regulations,

ethical standards, and present and future

competition. * Power exists only to the extent it is accepted. * The ends of power cannot be separated

from the means - using power must be

evaluated in terms of consequences. * The exercise of power always has costs

and risks associated with it. * Power relationships change over time.

Assess Power Sources

There are many sources of power which contributed to the overall balance of power in a negotiation. You should assess these various source and apply them to the situation whenever possible.

First, develop an attitude of caring while remaining detached. You will be more relaxed and objective when dealing with the issues. If you become personally involved in an issue, you may take it too seriously. When emotions become involved, objectivity decreases, and stress increases. Negotiation situations should be treated as a game. You should always try your best. If your best is not good enough to win, life goes on. This attitude will convey power.

Next, you should be persistent - most people tend to give in too easily when faced with opposition. A good negotiator should hold his or her ground without giving up. Persistence will pay off.

In any negotiation there are always two objectives being bargained for. The first is the specific issue being negotiated which is stated openly. The second objective, and most crucial to be a ware of, is rarely verbalized. These are the real needs of the individuals which are the motivating forces behind each negotiation. Each person's needs are different. You should learn as much as possible about your opposition's likes, dislikes, prejudices, and risk level by observing and asking questions. If a reasonable guess can be established as to what your opponent's needs, are, then plans can be made accordingly. …

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