The Power of Risk Taking
When negotiating, be prepared to take risks by mixing courage with common sense. Not to do so may result in being out-negotiated. That means avoid becoming emotionally attached to a position wherein the other party can manipulate you with ease. Intelligent risk taking involves a knowledge of the odds plus a philosophical willingness to walk away and absorb a manageable loss without worry.
The Power of Competition
Successful negotiators develop options. By creating competition, what you have to offer moves up in value. The more people who want to participate competitively in a project, the further the budget will go. This applies not only to products or services, but also to ideas. The more competition that is generated for creative ideas in support of the project, from whatever source, the more commitment there is likely to be towards the project and the more successful it will turn out.
The Power of Rewarding or Punishing
The perception that one party can help physically, financially or psychologically gives that party muscle in a relationship. The actual reality of the situation is immaterial, it is the perception that counts. Here are two things to remember:
1. No one will come to the negotiating table in any significant way unless they are convinced that their adversary might help them or hurt them.
2. In this adversarial relationship, never diffuse this perception of power, unless something is obtained in return. This might be a concession or a repositioning on their part that is truly beneficial.
The Power of Legitimacy
Another source of power for the project manager is the power of legitimacy. In Western society, people are conditioned to regard the printed word, documents and printouts as having authority. Most people tend not to question them. By all means use the power of legitimacy but you should challenge that power when it is to your advantage to do so.