The Power and Mind Game Of Leverage During a Negotiation.

Each side’s leverage during a negotiation is the principal, compelling component determining how the exchange will turn out. Leverage is power. Whoever has the most… wins.

Here are some primary questions you must ask yourself when you are negotiating: “Who has the superior bargaining position? Why is it superior?”

The next question you must ask is, “How and when can you use your leverage to your foremost advantage?” Timing and technique matter.

Ok, you’ve asked the above questions. Now, as you analyze your situation, realize that everything the opposing person wants or needs for agreement is to your advantage (as long as you understand their reasons). On the other hand, everything you need or desire for an agreement adds to the other side's leverage (also only if they comprehend your reasons).

Hopefully your preparation has given you as much information as you need to be a strong negotiator. As you negotiate, new information will come up that will help you understand where the other person is coming from.

Here is a key point - as much as possible, make sure you don’t give too much information to the other side. Try not to contribute any knowledge that would grant them superior power. This is not easy, but the better you do it, the better your leverage during a negotiation.

You have to evaluate your leverage over and over again as well as the leverage the other person is showing you. Why? Because as talks move forward, events, positions, and attitudes change.

More than likely, your adversary is also performing the same calculations. It's very much like a chess match. Each advance changes the posture of the game. The correct moves at the proper time can threaten your contestant's king. So you should deliberate many times on how and when to use your leverage during a negotiation to achieve dominance.

If you fail to stay updated and informed as the process unfolds, you may not maintain any advantage. As an example, if you require an emergency appendectomy the doctor and the hospital obviously has the advantage and the most leverage. You're are not in the position to negotiate the cost of the operation while you're rolling on a gurney to the operating room. However should the opportunity to purchase a corporation whose stock value has just taken a fall, your leverage increases because the other person is dramatically weaker and in need.

Here’s another factor: It's not entirely the scrutiny of powerful positions that creates leverage. It's also how that force is handled. You can use it subtly or with a hammer. You can apply it when circumstances are proper and when you are at your best, or use it at the improper time and destroy your superiority.

Finally, analyzing leverage is a delicate game. You can conclude a lot from the existing information of circumstances, but in reality, perceptions also play a part. Wars are sometimes won not by the armies you keep, but the armies they believe you maintain. There’s a big difference there. And again, your rival will do the exact same thing.

Here are two important questions to ask yourself continually: Who needs it more? Who has the greater motivation? If you determine the other side's needs are greater than its wants, you have the advantage.

Gaining greater leverage as the negotiation moves forward is not easy, but if you fail here, chances are you won't get as much out of life as you desire. The more you work on this, the better you develop your negotiating skills, the more you'll get.


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