How Gratitude Enhances Your Negotiation Power: A RED BEAR Guide

By RED BEAR November 2, 2023 | 8 min read

Gratitude: it’s one of RED BEAR’s Core Values.

But it’s more than a cornerstone of how we do business; it’s an essential element of our negotiation methodology.

While many think negotiation is all about competitive self-interested behaviors, that’s just not the case. It plays a critical role in discussions, surely, but is only truly effective when balanced with the Collaborative Dimension of negotiation.

To find that balance between the Competitive Dimension and the Collaborative Dimension and unlock the power of healthy tension, negotiators need to know the full range and strength of their negotiation power

One of those sources of power is personal power — and gratitude is a critical element of building that personal power muscle.

Even in tense discussions, a little gratitude goes a long way. Let’s explore the role of gratitude in negotiations and uncover how negotiators can leverage this essential quality of expressing appreciation.

Here at RED BEAR, we’re committed to transforming individuals into world-class negotiators. Our comprehensive negotiation methodology provides your team with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in any negotiation. 

In the spirit of gratitude, for our 10-Year Anniversary, we’re bringing back retro pricing.

This November through December 15, we’re offering any former, existing, or new client 10-year-old pricing. We’ll be giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars in training — the same training utilized by 45% of the Fortune 500.

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Understanding Personal Power

There are Six Sources of Power in any negotiation. Alongside personal power, there are:

  • Situational power
  • Knowledge of the other party
  • Informational power
  • Organizational power
  • Planning power

Today, we’re going to focus on personal power and the role of gratitude. But, for a deeper dive into how the Sources of Power affect negotiations, be sure to check out our blog on the topic.

This isn’t to say gratitude does not impact other Sources of Power — far from it. But genuine gratitude is a personal trait, so we’ll start there.

Personal power revolves around the ability to influence decisions based on one’s inherent qualities. This involves aspects of personality such as confidence, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and, of course, gratitude.

Unlike other Sources of Power like organizational power, which might derive from a position or rank, personal power doesn't come from any external source; it comes from within.

It’s the sum total of a negotiator's credibility, competence, and character.

Components of Personal Power

Research tells us that 25% of business leaders think the chemistry between each side is a major part of their B2B decision-making process. 

It’s not complex. As psychologist and compliance specialist Robert Cialdini puts it in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, “People prefer to say yes to individuals they like.”

But this can be a double-edged sword. Negotiators can’t use canned strategies or manipulative tactics to get others to like them. It might work every once in a while, but if even a whiff of emotional manipulation comes up, the other party is sure to shift to mistrust quickly.

That’s why it’s important to build your personal power in an authentic and genuine way.

To help you understand how, let’s break down personal power even further.

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Communication Skills

Communication is not just about conveying information; it's about connecting with people emotionally and intellectually. This means listening actively, asking the right questions, and articulating your points in a way that’s both compelling and understandable. 

Clear communication helps in eliminating misunderstandings and allows for a smoother negotiation process.

Commitment and Belief

If you don’t believe in your product/service, why should the other party?

There’s no denying that there’s a certain magnetism that comes from someone deeply committed to what they are doing. This level of conviction shines in almost every interaction. 

People are more likely to work with someone they believe is committed and sincere; it reduces the perception of risk and makes the whole process feel more worthwhile. It also goes a long way in building trust. If there is a belief that you’ll follow through on your promises no matter what, you can bet the other party will be more keen to make their own commitments.

Trust and Relationship Building

In negotiations, trust is a form of social capital.

People are more willing to make concessions, share information, and entertain creative solutions when they trust you. Trust, though, is not something you can buy or negotiate. Building trust comes from honest interactions and a commitment to mutual benefit (the Collaborative Dimensions of negotiation).

To build negotiation power, you need to build trust. The more trust you build, the easier it becomes to balance the Collaborative and Competitive Dimensions to unlock the power of healthy tension and find creative solutions to break stubborn impasses.

The Role of Gratitude in Negotiations

Gratitude is more than just an emotion or state of being thankful; it’s a dynamic tool that can significantly enhance your personal power in negotiations.

“Gratitude is more than just an emotion or state of being thankful; it’s a dynamic tool that can significantly enhance your personal power in negotiations.”

Why is gratitude so powerful?

Well, whether it’s in our personal lives or in business, gratitude helps satisfy the higher psychological need of belonging to something greater than ourselves. It helps us develop a sense of meaning at work. When we feel appreciated, valued, and respected, we’re empowered to reach our full potential — or, in the context of negotiation, the best possible outcome for both parties.

Unfortunately, the power of gratitude is often misunderstood. Research suggests that most people simply underestimate the impact of showing gratitude.

To put the power of gratitude into perspective, let’s explore how it integrates with the elements of personal power.

Gratitude In Action

Let’s start with communication skills.

Imagine a sales negotiation where you expressed gratitude for the client’s time and consideration before diving into your value proposition. This simple act sets a positive tone and might open up a clearer communication channel, leading to a more fruitful negotiation.

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When you approach negotiations with a sense of gratitude, you're likely to be more open, patient, and attentive.

What about commitment and belief? Well, when you're thankful for the opportunities you have and the products or services you represent, that positivity radiates outward. It impacts how you present your case and strengthens your conviction, which in turn can be incredibly persuasive in negotiations.

Last up is gratitude and trust. Gratitude can be the glue that holds long-term relationships together. It creates a positive feedback loop that makes both parties more willing to trust and work with each other.

For instance, let’s say that for every procurement negotiation client you work with, you send a handwritten thank-you note regardless of whether the outcome was successful or not. Over the years, this small act of gratitude can turn into better deals, stronger relationships, and a level of trust and respect that can’t be negotiated.

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Gratitude is not just a feel-good emotion but a powerful enhancer of personal power in negotiations. It enriches your communication, amplifies your commitment and belief, and fortifies trust and relationships, making it a must-have tool in your negotiation arsenal.

Negotiation Power: The Value of RED BEAR

Negotiation power comes from many sources. One that is often misunderstood but can have a lasting and positive impact is gratitude. This personal power is much more than saying “thank you.” It’s about sincerely and genuinely expressing appreciation. It’s about building trust and relationships.

That’s exactly why gratitude is our first Core Value here at RED BEAR.

We’re grateful every day for the clients we get to work with — past, present, and future. We believe that this sense of gratitude enhances our negotiation methodology, serving as the bedrock upon which successful deals are built and long-lasting relationships are established.

The proof is in the results. For every dollar invested in RED BEAR's training courses, our clients receive an average return of $54. But the return isn't just financial; it's also in the form of stronger relationships, more sustainable agreements, and a reputation for fair and effective negotiation.

And don’t forget about our 10th Anniversary Pricing Special. That’s 10-year old pricing for all our clients — talk about value!

To get started on your own negotiation training journey, connect with the RED BEAR team today.

Fill out our contact form and we will be back to you in no later than one business day.

 

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