Negotiating in Life September 5, 2007

Perceptual Power

I recently celebrated another birthday and one of the comic cards I received illustrates a great negotiation lesson. Picture a small goldfish swimming in the fish tank. Strapped to the goldfish is a shark's fin, which protrudes out of the tank several inches.

Now, how much power does this little goldfish have? If the other occupants of the tank accept that fin as real, has the goldfish grown real power or perceptual power?

How much value is there in perceptual power? It is easy to dismiss perceptual power as bluff or fake, but you might be interested in some other's thoughts:

  • Re Jesse Helms: "…he plugs into no important levers, controls no important network, has relatively scant rewards to offer and penalties to impose on his own." "…such power as he has is strictly a function of their own willingness to let him push them around." Meg Greenfield, Newsweek, August 1, 1997
  • The idea of power lies in the mind of those involved in the bargaining. J. Winkler
  • (Power) It is relative to the assumed power of the other party. J. Winkler
  • Their power exists if you accept their power. Karrass
  • In an Article titled, "Cheney: Not What He Used to be" in THE WEEK magazine, November 11, 2005, re Cheney losing power in W.DC, "…in a city where power is the appearance of power."

Too many people quit in the planning stage of a negotiation because, "I don't have anything to work with." They move quickly into damage control and away from finding the best agreement for both parties. The RESULT BECOME self-fulfilling. We can't afford to respond soley to our evaluation of our real power and our estimate of the other party's power. From now on, think about how to grow the perception of our power and test our estimates of the other party's power.

Jim Sauerwein

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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