Having a strong power position during a business negotiation is crucial. Power provides leverage, yet power is often about perception. At times, if you have a high status, the other party may ascribe more power to you.

Dr. Chester L. Karrass counsels that you should never reveal your total power too early, and advises instead to develop your power position slowly to allow the other party time for opinion change.

There are different ways to show your power, and also to gain power. Perhaps they are tied to your power style. According to Maggie Craddock writing in the Harvard Business Review blog, your power style may have developed in childhood. She found four power types. These are:

  1. The pleaser: tries to connect with the other party on a personal level
  2. The charmer: tries to manipulate relationships using charm
  3. The commander: is strict and results-oriented
  4. The inspirer: Uses creative thinking to inspire action from the other party

Craddock reminds us that:

As you identify your own power style, it’s important to bear in mind that there are no “good” or “bad” power styles, and remember not to make snap judgments about others or about yourself. Most of us employ more than one power style, and you may even switch styles depending upon the situation.

There may be other ways to typify power styles and types. Whatever your style, Dr. Karrass recommends you never underestimate the amount of power you have during a negotiation. If the other party is at the table with you, he/she believes you have the power to negotiate.

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