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Quest WorkspacesJan 31, 2024 12:32:51 PM4 min read

How to Put Yourself in the Power Position During Negotiations

Negotiations are just as much an art as they are a science. While it's important to negotiate terms that are profitable to both sides—whether you're discussing a professional services contract or an employment contract—it's just as important to present your arguments and terms from a position of power. Follow these quick, strategic tips so you can win in any business negotiations that come your way.


1. Negotiate in person.

During the pandemic, the business world turbulently transitioned to virtual workspaces. But emails, phone calls, and Skype or Zoom calls are not a natural format for conducting business, especially when you're negotiating. Email and redlines in contract documents are exacting but can quickly become bulky and convoluted. Similarly, phone calls and video conferences can be disorganized and hard to feel in control of.

However, in-person negotiations facilitate:

  • Clearer communication through both verbal and non-verbal cues
  • More opportunities for building rapport and engaging in conversation before the meeting officially begins
  • Less stress, as in-person negotiations eliminate Zoom fatigue and the anxiety many people feel when confronted with videoconferencing
  • "Live" paper negotiations, as both parties can collaborate on redlines and writing in revisions to contract terms
  • More opportunities for the conventions of professional and courteous negotiations: handshakes, nodding, and friendly gestures

Whenever possible, schedule the initial and final negotiation conversations as in-person meetings. Even if you can't always meet in person, beginning and ending the negotiation phase this way can create a stickier relationship and outcome.


2. Choose professional settings or backgrounds.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may have met clients, business partners, or vendors in any number of locations: at an office, at a coffee shop or even at a networking event. Though when you need to be in a power position at an important negotiation, stack the deck in your favor by choosing a professional meeting place, such as a flexible workspace with a private office or conference room.

These environments are thoughtfully designed for in-person work and collaboration. They are quiet, secure, and have everything you expect in a meeting space. Hospitality-driven coworking spaces also have coffee and amenities for friendly small talk before the meeting starts or when negotiations are over. This type of meeting place is superior to coffee shops or public venues, which are often noisy and unpredictable.

Even if you can't arrange an in-person meeting and need to schedule a video call, position yourself in a flexible workspace that gives you confidence, quiet, and a beautiful, formal background. This creates a great impression as your background is professional, without background noise, and you are in control of your physical space.


3. Have confident body language—even before the meeting begins.

A firm handshake, steady eye contact, without nervous shifting are all hallmarks of a confident negotiator. There are many different cues that signal when you feel powerful, and they can affect how strong your counterarguments are, how willing the other party is to accept your final offer, and even how they feel about entering a business arrangement with you.

Along with those core elements of body language, here are some additional tactics:

  • Know your way around the building.
    • When you can effortlessly guide your guests to a meeting space or direct them to different areas of your office space, you seem more in control. You also will feel less nervous or worried about unknowns when you're already familiar with the location.
  • Be assertive but not combative.
    • Business negotiations often receive a negative reputation for requiring aggression and being a zero-sum game. Though skilled negotiatiors understand that is not the case—the best negotiations are those where everyone wins. So be definite with your gestures, actively listen to the other party's arguments and indicate that you empathize with their stance and move toward an agreement that benefits everyone.
  • Let mimicry happen.
    • Professionals who build rapport and communicate with each other naturally start to mimic one another. You may find yourself copying the other person's position or gestures—or notice them doing the same thing. This is a good thing, as it indicates that you both want to work together. It's also why in-person meetings are so important. There's more body language to assess and consciously or unconsciously mimic.

Location, Location, Location—Schedule Your Negotiations at Quest

In-person meetings, confident body language, and a good location where your conversation won't be derailed or interrupted are the foundational building blocks of a productive meeting, especially if you're conducting negotiations.


Put yourself in the power position by reserving a meeting space at Quest Workspaces. We have hybrid office space in buildings across Miami, Broward, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and New York City. 


Visit our nearest locations, or reach out to learn more about our features for one-off meetings and long-term memberships.



Quest Workspaces

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