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Power Tactics in Negotiation 

The power of a negotiator starts with the variety of power tactics that can be used to gain an advantage in a conversation. Power tactics can be specific to the personalities and characteristics of the situation. The distributive negotiations tend to be more direct and assertive because of the relationship between the parties. General tactics in negotiation include: 

  • Rationality 

  • Ingratiation 

  • Coalition building 

  • Exchange (quid pro quo bargaining) 

  • Upward Appeal 

  • Assertiveness 

  • Imposing Sanctions 

Rationality uses reason and logical presentation of facts or data. For instance, if a party doesn't agree with you, it can seem illogical that they would want to disagree based on the facts and data presented in your argument. In cases like small claims, there can be a strong bases in rationality tactics if there has been a record time conflict, receipt of purchase, or statements created that show the other party sustainable facts. Reasoning and logical understanding can be implicit and need to be showed through face value to get the clear reason behind the rationality claims. By showing the other party the clear facts and records you can win your case.

Ingratiation is another generic tactics used in a diverse settings that involves being friendly to the other party to get them to like you. Presenting yourself to be likeable will help bring the negotiations to an cooperative and agreeable standard. Business professionals use this type of negotiation when meeting with a new client or partner for a settlement deal. Many of the negotiators want to be friendly, polite, remembered and intelligent to persuade the other party to their negotiation requests. 

Coalition building involves obtaining the support of and forming an alliance with others. This negotiation tactic is built on the idea that strength in numbers and is most often used when you don't think you have enough influence to get what you want on your own. An example of this is a teachers' union or a school district that is involved in labor contract negotiation and seeks the support of parent groups and taxpayers in the community to bolster their position at the bargaining table. If the teachers' union gains the enough signatures and petitions to submit they might have enough merit to gain a higher negotiation bargaining chip. Coalition building is useful negotiation tactic because it can change the lives of so many that are within the coalition for necessities they need for their jobs and their livelihoods. 

Exchange (quid pro quo bargaining) is based on a barter system. The success of the quid pro quo bargaining depends on what you have to trade with the other party. The other party must find that your bargaining deal attractive to make a settlement. However, if the other party doesn't find your bargaining deal attractive then they have no incentive to make a settlement with you. The more something is of high value to the other party the more power you gain and probability that you will get what you want from the other party. 

Upward Appeal involves using a direct and forceful approach to push your own agenda and or attack the other party's position. Many self-represented litigants find this negotiation skill useful when filing a claim for a civil dispute. reaching out to a lawyer advocacy group or pro bono legal service that can help them resolve the dispute besides the other party can help find a new resolution. Oftentimes, parties will have a legal counsel with them during a settlement agreement and prefer this negotiation tactic because it has upward appeal (the legal services) that can bring a new perspective and protect their client from making wrong decisions while negotiating a deal. 

Assertiveness involves using a direct and forceful approach to push your own agenda and/ or attack the other party's position. In major organizations, assertiveness is usually used by a upper management to get their employees to be productive and complete new work tasks. However, a negative aspect can be overtly aggressive when negotiating new work related tasks with an employee. If you come off as overtly aggressive you can be seen as expressing workplace bullying or harassment. As a negotiator you must know when to draw a firm line between assertiveness for your negotiated claims or aggressiveness. For instance, tone of voice can be a prime example of assertiveness. The manager can state a firm "no" response and achieve the desired respect needed for the work. However, the manage can yell in a loud tone of voice and come off as being overtly aggressive which will not give the employee response they were looking for. 

Imposing sanctions involves the use of coercive power to achieve and desired results. In common business practices these types of sanctions are due to not following the rules. For many small claims disputes like utilities, taxes, credit cards, insurance, or rent the sanctions can be not paying your bills by the due date and a late fee will be placed on your account. Sanctions can start off as a late fee or percentage of the bill fee added to the account but it can quickly start to add up and result in more severe penalties. For instance, if you continue to be late it can result in utilities being shut off, credit cards can be cancelled, cars repossessed, and rent evictions. You comply with the other party to avoid the penalties. In some cases, the penalty is framed as an incentive, as with the once-standard industry terms "2/10 net 30," where the full amount was due in 30 days, but if you paid within 10 days you received a 2% discount. Another form of payment can be a reduction in total costs and interest fees waived if the disputant pays the debt within a certain time frame (2 months, 3 months, 4 months). In a 2 month period the disputant can pay 50% off the total dispute and interest waived, in a 3 month period the disputant can pay 40% off the total dispute and interest waived, in a 4 month period the disputant can pay 30% off the total dispute and interest waived. In these instances, the debt collector wants the payment in full therefore they are willing to bargain with the disputant on a time basis to get the money request filled for the debt petitioner. 

Sanctions can be the most difficult type of negotiation settlement. If you get yourself in a similar situation you can negotiate a deal that allows you to still manage a standard of living based on your pay checks or salary base. You can use a combination of these negotiation tactics to help manage your money, time and resources. If you feel like you cannot manage these negotiation tactics by yourself, please find legal services that can help you build your claims or represent you in a dispute. 

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