Power in Negotiation

Physics defines power as work divided by time. Work, in turn, is the application of force in a direction. Power, then, can be thought of as the ability to get things moving (more) quickly in a desired direction. The same definition applies in social interactions like negotiation.  Power is the ability to get desired things done more optimally than one could in its absence. Whether “more optimally” means “more quickly,” “more completely,” ” more profitably” or something else depends on the negotiators’ goals.Unfortunately, the simple comparison ends there. Negotiation power is variable. It can speed things up, slow things down, stop them, send them backward, or change direction (i.e. choose a different goal, method, or priority).

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