What are Leadership Positions in Negotiation?
A behavior that’s not typically at the top of the list when we think of leadership qualities? Negotiation. Yet negotiation is a critical skill for people in leadership positions.
While we may often think of a leader as someone who is bold, decisive, visionary, assertive, and charismatic, those in leadership positions must also be excellent negotiators. Wise leaders negotiate not only with outside customers, suppliers, and creditors, but inside their organization as well, with their peers and subordinates.
It’s also essential that those in leadership positions understand the importance of building and nurturing relationships. In many negotiations, people lose sight of the fact that some of the most important moves take place away from the table.
In fact, strong organizational leadership is often needed to set up effective negotiations and save floundering deals. In one example, after the seeming demise of a deal between Sony and Disney over a licensing agreement for Spider Man movies, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger recalls a talk with actor Tom Holland, who played Spider Man.
“It was clear that he cared so much,” Iger said, “ . . . and that the fans wanted all this to happen.” A month later, the two studios reached a deal. The many millions they stand to earn from Spider Man films and merchandising had something to do with it. But according to Iger, there was a deeper lesson regarding organizational leadership and the role of those in leadership positions: “Sometimes companies . . . or people, when they’re negotiating with one another, they kind of forget that there are other folks out there who actually matter.”
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