Tactics & The Perceptions Of Power

One of the secrets of successful negotiators is that once you identify a tactic the other party is using, it helps remove the power that tactic might have over you.

Perceptions are important

Modern business negotiations are often perceived as won or lost on the slimmest of margins. These negotiations are greatly influenced by the parties' perceptions of power. And perceptions can be purposefully modified by the use of tactics before, during and after negotiation meetings and briefings.

Power is a perception

Perceived power gives control during negotiations. The key to resisting attacks on your powerbase is to identify the sources of power.

Not all power comes from physical prowess. Look at the way athletes encourage noisy spectator involvement to enhance their performance. Like athletes, skillful negotiators identify where power resides; only then can they increase or decrease the influence of that power. They understand that while power lies in the substance of the negotiation, this is often less important than ‘process power’ - how they manage the negotiation tactically.

Some Tips on Tactics

Before The Negotiation Meeting:

  • Prepare a list of tactics the other party is likely to use and develop counters.

During The Negotiation:

  • Continually ask yourself what tactic is the other party using.
  • Combine your tactics so they are camouflaged.
  • Note that timing the application of tactics is crucial.
  • Restrict the urge to inflict a short-term payback that affects long-term relations.

After The Negotiation:

  • Audit what tactics were used and how they influenced perceptions of power.
  • Plan how to manage tactics better next time, both yours and theirs.

To discuss this article in more depth and explore developing your negotiation capabilities, please contact us via email or call +612 9299 9688.

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ENS International (ENSI) provides negotiation consulting and training services helping people and organizations think and act differently to achieve more. 

Negotiators gain the edge using proven ENSI influencing processes incorporating commercial psychology with a deep understanding of human behaviour. ENSI delivers through Consulting Services and In-House or Open Course training. 

With over 60 Practitioners working within 75 countries we have a depth of experience across a diverse range of sectors.

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