CPG Series Post: Status as a Pillar of Negotiation

  • Elite Status

As part of our ongoing series on the Pillars of Negotiation, today we will examine the role of Status. Regardless of whether is it apparent or not, Status plays a large role in how we perceive and interact with others. This can be a powerful tool in negotiation, especially for today’s Soldiers.

For the warfighter negotiating at a community level, acknowledging status is essential. It is imperative to recognize the status of the village elder or shaman to understand the weight others in the community give to him or her. This is not to say that one should not extend the same courtesy to others they may not be trying to negotiate with, in fact a little courtesy can go a long way. Someone who has pull with the person of status may prove an important ally when negotiations become tough.

In the office, status can be used as a tool for intimidation in negotiation. Fisher and Shapiro point out some of the tricks negotiators may use to appeal to a sense of status. One of the most popular would be to meet in the office of the negotiator, immediately putting the other person on their guard. They may even take care to have the opposite chair sit at a lower height so that guests are forced to view them from a position considered more subservient.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Big fish in a little pond”? This phrase is all about status. Everyone wants to feel like someone. With status, words hold more weight. Consider all the instances that you or someone you know has lent credence to the advice of someone based on the M.D. or the Ph.D. behind their name. This is not to demean the advice of doctors, but to highlight how their status plays a role in the weight their words hold. Take note of this and be sure you are not unduly influenced by someone’s status rather than sound advice.

How have you used Status in negotiation? Have you ever been on the other end of someone using Status to negotiate with you? Leave us a comment below!

Photo courtesy: Larry Johnson 

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Cognitive Performance Group, LLC is a woman-owned small business with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Dr. Karol G. Ross, Jennifer K. Phillips, and William A. Ross. The three CPG Principals developed the concept for a company to support cognitive performance improvement in industry and government. (more...)

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