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types of power in negotiation

What are Types of Power in Negotiation?

Social psychologists have described different types of power that exist in society, and negotiators can leverage these types of power in negotiation as well.

There are multiple types of power in negotiation. Your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, is often your best source of bargaining power. By cultivating a strong outside alternative, you gain the power you need to walk away from an unappealing deal.

However, some positions, roles, and titles grant power simply due to the authority or control they exert over a wide range of important outcomes. Another form of power that you can bring to your negotiations is psychological power. In fact, it’s possible for you to have a psychological sense of power even when you lack objective power.

To take advantage of these types of power in negotiation, it’s important to prepare thoroughly. For example, learn as much as you can about what is possible or appropriate when heading into a salary negotiation or contract negotiations. Research industry norms, investigate precedent, and talk to others who are already employed at the firm or in the industry.

And remember that when preparing for a negotiation with a powerful counterpart, try to increase your own sense of power on as many of these levels as possible.

Discover the four building blocks that can help you create effective working relationships with the people you lead and augment your leadership skills with this free special report, Real Leaders Negotiate: Understanding the Difference Between Leadership and Management, from Harvard Law School. Learn how to resolve disputes, build coalitions, and more!

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In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part

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Negotiators involved in high-stakes mergers and acquisitions typically come to the table armored in meticulously tailored apparel and designer shoes. But as Dana Mattioli reports in a recent Wall Street Journal negotiation topics in business article, those who are trying to woo business from an apparel company often end up dressing down at the bargaining … Read In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part