From the book, The Agile Manager’s Guide to Influencing People by John R. Hook.
To lead a robust communication you need two things –
- A vision of what you want to change and why
- The capacity to persuade others to move with you in a new direction
“Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.” – Lord Macaulay (1930)
Negotiation is the overall process of seeking agreement when two people have different goals or conflicting approaches to achieving goals. It is the overall process of designing a strategy to get what you want and setting the tone for discussions. It also includes careful consideration for whether or not to attempt to persuade. Influence is a soft approach to educate others to your point of view through logic, an appeal to their emotions or values, or through joint development of a solution or course of action. It is more subtle than power. Power is a tougher approach to use when influence fails, yet when getting your way is essential. Conflict management is dealing with differences in viewpoints throughout the negotiations process.
7-Step Negotiation Process:
- Clarify your process
- Identify the right person to approach/persuade
- Assess the negotiation situation
- Try using influence
- Apply power if influence fails
- Manage conflicts
- Achieve an acceptable solution
To use this process always try influence first. Do so by asking the following questions:
- Whom do I want to influence?
- In what order should I influence people?
- Confidentiality – some people feel it is important to know the message before others
- Credibility – some people feel it is important to hear the reactions of those your approached previously
- Learning – some people have the expertise you need; approach them first.
- What do I want to happen; what do you want from each person and at each meeting or at least the target person?
- What influence styles should I use?
- What actual arguments should I use?
- What conflict should I expect; how should I deal with it?
- How can I polish my act? Practice, practice, practice.
“Power is not revealed by striking hard and often, but by striking true.” – Honore’ de Balzac
When influence does not work, move to power. Determine which form of power to use:
- Position power
- Legitimate power
- Reward power
- Coercive power
- Expert power
- Personal power
- Referent power
- Connection power
Ask the following 9 questions before using power:
- What aremyobjectives?
- Do I need to use power now?
- What power bases do I have at my disposal?
- Is the use of power permissible in my organization?
- What’s the other person like?
- What is my relationship with the other person like?
- What power bases should I use?
- What conflicts should I expect?
- What do I do if things bog down?
When dealing with conflict determine if you want to
- Accommodate – willing to sacrifice your position for the goal
- Compromise – give folks part of what they want to get part of what you want
- Avoid – temporarily suspend negotiations to resolve conflict later; no one wins, no one loses
- Collaborate – use when both parties need to get their way fully