Personal power in a negotiation is your knowledge of the negotiation process, your face-to-face influence skills, and your reputation as a negotiator. Your knowledge and experience allows you to see relationships among events in a negotiation. Negotiations follow certain patterns; your understanding of these patterns helps you to plan and to make effective on-line judgments and decisions. Knowing the overall process of a negotiation protects you from overreacting to specific events.
Confidence in your ability to use face-to-face influence skills in managing the negotiation process helps you achieve high-quality agreements and helps maximize the value of the currencies available to you. Your skill level determines the range of tactics you can use as well as your ability to successfully implement them. Other parties expect that skilled negotiators will be able to put a deal together.
A knowledgeable and skilled negotiator with little currency power is usually an even match for an unskilled negotiator with high currency power!
Having a reputation as an effective negotiator is an often over-looked source of power. When the other party believes that you have the skills necessary to achieve high-quality agreements, you are better able to manage the process toward that goal. Others’ expectations of your ability, based on your reputation, propels the agreement. Do not underestimate the value of your personal reputation as an effective negotiator.