Not all negotiations are adversarial. So it’s essential to choose your demeanor and voice intentionally – based on what you’re trying to achieve.
In situations where you need buy-in from others or have to build consensus, imposing an authoritative presence won’t be as successful as exerting influence.
What’s the difference? What is using influence instead of authority?
In today’s episode, I look at why being influential is more effective than being authoritative when we want others to come over to our side. I give the details that you need to be able to wield that soft approach of influence instead of authority.
Authority is closely associated with power and aggression. Exploiting authority intensifies emotional volatility, decreases the likelihood of wanting to work with
others and zaps motivation to make a deal. Feelings of resentment set in and participants become more entrenched in their positions.
Influence, on the other hand, is soft power – stealth, subtle, and persuasive. It creates space and permission to hear and receive different viewpoints, work around conflicting interests, and a space to create outcomes participants can agree to.
Exercising influence instead of authority, is the ability to use a soft touch for conflicting and seemingly incompatible interests.
To use influence instead of authority we need to:
Identify similar interests in a room full of vastly differing views and values
Overcome obstacles to reach consensus for feasible solutions
Avoid specific, focused interests from overtaking the main objective
The ability to bring opposing sides together, to create space to acknowledge different viewpoints, is a talent that only someone with influence can pull off.
When I talk about finding your voice in negotiation and conflict – this is what I mean. I’m talking about developing a persuasive communication style that commands respect, and that can sway outcomes.
To gain more insight into wielding influence instead of authority, consider this: your negotiation style is an integral part of your personal brand or your company’s brand identity. Your voice is powerful.
You can use your negotiation style to change the dynamics in the room when participants are far apart on critical issues.
Power and authority can be punitive, highlight failure, focus on the negative and most importantly, diminishes others. Influence, on the other hand, is subtle, powerful, and effective because it focuses on success and desired outcomes consistently.
Watch the Video:
Have you had experience with people using authority instead of influence?
If you found this video helpful, share it with a friend and comment below what other topics you would like me to address.
You might also enjoy How to Use Silence as a Strategy.
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