“Power is perceptional. To control the perception of power, control how it’s perceived.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“The patient fussed with her fur coat as she sauntered up to the doctor’s receptionist. “I have an appointment in 15 minutes with the doctor. Is she on time to see her special patients today?” The receptionist replied with a taunt to her tone, “The doctor’s patients are all special to her. She’ll see you soon.” With that, the receptionist left her station and engaged in other activities.
Are you aware that you can be perceived as more powerful by the way you present yourself? Do you know how to be more powerful as a negotiator? Continue reading and you’ll discover how to enhance your power in your negotiations.
Display of Empathy:
In the story above, the patient ‘sauntered’ into the doctor’s office, fussing with her fur coat and positioned herself as the doctor’s special patient. She projected an image of someone that was self-absorbed. Had she taken the time to observe the receptionist’s activities, commented about them and conveyed a pleasantry, the patient would have been displaying empathy. In doing so, she would have enhanced her power. Instead, she diluted it.
The display of empathy towards another’s plight is one way to bond with that individual. It also says subliminally that you’re not just concerned about yourself. You recognize the other person for what they’re dealing with.
Never discount the value or role that empathy plays in any interaction. It humanizes you while strengthening the emotional ties between people. And that enhances power.
I’m the king. Bow down to me – Not! When you project an image of self-aggrandizement, some people will rebuff you. They’ll be appalled at the perception you have of yourself, which will cause them to become rigid to your request. While such a persona may work favorably with some people, over time, they too will become tired of it. Then, they will seek ways to avoid or demean you.
Your persona changes over the course of your life. Always attempt to align it with how you’d like to be perceived. During a negotiation, you can dilute a powerful position simply because your persona rubs someone the wrong way.
Demeanor When Rebuffed:
When you’re rebuffed, how do you feel? I’m sure your answer is dependent on who the person is, what the subject matter was, and where it occurred. Just as your answer depends on those variables, so it does with those you engage with.
To possess more power, limit its display to environments where it’s less likely challenged (e.g. boss vs. subordinate, etc.). In addition, if you know you’ll be in an unfriendly environment, have retorts ready that will subdue the subject of the rebuff. Just make sure you don’t escalate the situation and cause yourself distress.
Some of the reasons people are perceived as more or less powerful are mentioned above. There are more reasons but let those be a starting point. To enhance your negotiation efforts and outcomes, always be mindful of how you’re perceived. To the degree it fits the negotiation, align your perceived power based on the person you’re negotiating with. If it’s not perceived as being threatening or overbearing and that’s what you’re striving to achieve, you will have aligned the perception of your power successfully. That will make you appear to be more powerful … and everything will be right with the world.
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
To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/
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