Strengthening your own authority: Good arguments, but Lost discussion? This is how it works next time
There are many ways to win negotiations. One of the most important factors in the situation itself is authority. Without authority, you will not take the interlocutor seriously – and vice versa, you will not be taken seriously either. This can be prevented with a few tricks.
During a negotiation conversation, the person you are talking to takes positions that you consider completely wrong. At the business lunch that follows, he expresses political views that you consider to be inaccurate, even questionable. When the negotiation teams meet a few days later, he plays the clown and tries to entertain the group with inappropriate jokes. Later, during the tug-of-war, the interlocutor gives objective reasons to defend his position, but you are already not listening to him anymore. They consider the person and his / her utterances to be unreliable, no longer believe the statements made by this person, do not respect them. The person took care of that himself. Through statements and behaviors that were inappropriate and wrong in your eyes.
What if the person you were talking to had acted exactly the other way around? That is, if he had put forward positions and views, behaved in a way that you consider correct and correct?
About the expert Foad Forghani has been working as a negotiation consultant for large companies and also in politics for more than eleven years. He acts as a shadow negotiator in the background and advises his customers on negotiation and communication strategies. Forghani is the owner of FORGHANI NEGOTIATIONS .
When a person brings up correct views and interpretations in our eyes and himself behaves appropriately, then it first gains authority. Our unconscious assumption in this context is that the person’s follow-up statements should also tend to be accurate and correct. And vice versa.
Of course, this dynamic also applies to ourselves.
Authority as an important part of negotiations Gaining authority is an important part of the world of negotiation, as it enables us to better reach the negotiating partner and thus influence them better. However, it is quite difficult to keep repeating statements and views that the person you are speaking to probably considers to be correct. It is easier to non-verbally like this behave in such a way that one gains authority. At the same time, non-verbal communication is in some respects more subtle and therefore less vulnerable than verbal.
But which non-verbal behaviors give us more authority?
For this purpose, it is useful to adopt behaviors which leadership figures, whom we call alpha wolves or female wolves, exercise.
Slowness is an instrument of leadership. Alpha wolves tend to speak slowly, their gestures are characterized by slowness and suppleness. That is, they have a slow rather than fast speech rate and do not make hasty, twitching, or jerky movements with their hands or head.
In addition, is an alpha -Personality always relaxed – especially when the going gets tough. Relaxation communicates stability, confidence and inner strength. That is why it is so important in building authority. The posture, whether sitting or standing, should always be relaxed and, if possible, open and upright. A hunched, closed or rigid posture should be avoided.
Another characteristic is space requirements. Authority also means presence. That is why it is important to expand your own personal space requirements. Approximately 30 until 40 Centimeters is the personal space requirement of people in Central Europe. This is the space that you perceive as your own and personal. Expand this space by imagining a larger personal radius around yourself. If someone enters this zone, he should feel it.
Facial expressions and gestures play a decisive role in negotiations It is also useful to use gestures and facial expressions as non-verbal means in verbal communication, for example to visually underline what has been said. Not every statement has to be supported, but you gain attention and, if you want, you can convey more feelings if the verbal sentences are reproduced non-verbally.
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Read here more articles from our experts The next point is looking at the other person. The interlocutor should get the impression that he has our attention. For this purpose, the person is always looked at. Looking at the interlocutor a little longer than usual can certainly serve to increase one’s own authority. However, “longer” means only two, at most three seconds longer than usual. Because even longer eye contact is perceived as threatening. Just look, don’t stare.
The usual length of time to look at the other person can vary culturally. In Central Europe we are around three to 3.5 seconds for people we do not know. Looking at a known or even familiar person can take longer.
Many roads lead to victory Of course there are a number of other behaviors that can underline and thus increase authority. But less is more. Less is more when it comes to changing your behavior. Changes in behavior can only be implemented in the medium and long term, and if you take on too much, the result is usually not the change, but rather resistance and disappointment.
Those who take the behaviors mentioned to heart to heart and adopt them over time will already implement a lot and will definitely gain authority. It is true that you do not win the negotiation directly, but the chances increase in this way to design the negotiation better and thus also to be able to win.
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