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Wearing Different Hats - Viewing Power Dynamics, Negotiation, Persuasion Under the Bigger Umbrella of People Skills

Context

There are certainly many overlaps in all types of people skills.
I'm thinking that the differences all boil down to your objectives in social environments.

Let's put aside ethics first and frame this topic from the point of self-interest.

  • Power Dynamics - gaining long term power for your own benefit
  • Negotiation - coming to an agreement to maximise your own value, this can include subtle power negotiations which overlap with power dynamics
  • Persuasion - convincing others to follow your agenda
  • Conflict Resolution - smoothening out different interests to move forward together collaboratively for your own interest
  • Sales - convincing others that what you have to offer is good enough for them to give you resources for that

Motivation Behind This Topic

I would like to discuss this topic because sometimes it pays to wear different hats under different circumstances.

When Negotiating, Being High-Power May Not Be Wise

Such as, it usually pays to come off as high-power.
However, in negotiations, it is not good to come across as too powerful and as the primary decision-maker sometimes.
Because that means you have the ability to concede more, and your counter-party will gladly want you to concede more.

In long-term partnerships and deals, it probably pays more to come across higher power though.
Probably not at the start but as your relationship progresses.
So that both of you can bring more to the table and move things forward productively.

Difference Between Persuasion & Negotiation

Persuasion and negotiation also have some overlaps, but the mindset could be quite different.
Working with shrewd people, for example, persuasion techniques become less effective as they look more at what tangibly is on the table.
So you have to understand more about how to come to an agreement to maximise your own value.

Conflict Resolution in Business VS Personal Contexts

I believe conflict resolution skills are a subset of negotiation skills.
The best negotiators are adept at conflict resolution.

That being said, in personal conflicts, probably best to be more personal and vulnerable.
So conflict resolution could be quite different in business and personal contexts

Sales is Persuasion in the Business Context

Sales also overlaps with persuasion.
Though, in sales, you have to understand sales process, business objectives, market, customers, etc.
Sales has the technical elements in that sense in addition to the soft elements.

When to Wear Each Hat?

First, you have to determine the outcome that you want to achieve.
If you want to have more influence in your social environment, go for power dynamics and persuasion.
Probably some negotiation and conflict resolution skills are useful whenever you need to align different interests.

If you are closing a deal, then negotiation skills are a priority.
You should wear the negotiator hat.

If you get into an argument with your partner, conflict resolution skills are the most important.
Negotiation techniques could be applied as well like conceding strategically.

In everyday life, I believe power dynamics and social skills are the most important.
It allows you to maintain your personal power, not let people step over your boundaries and influence people positively.

Yes, I agree with you, there is a major overlap.

It's rare to be really good at one, and then very poor at another.

What was largely missing in the literature of social skills and that this website covered was:

  1. A more systematic approach to power dynamics, part of which is also in progress (including socially relevant and poorly developed topics like frames, manipulation, Machiavellianism, status negotiation in groups, etc.)
  2. A more practical approach to social strategies to reach determined goals

To go back to your point, I think we might call it as "wearing different hats" depending on the situation.
Once a good social intuition is developed, then you won't be thinking anymore in terms of "oh, now I'm selling, now I'm defending my power, and now I'm more in direct exchange talk and showing the value I bring to the table", but it will come more naturally.

You'd just think "this is the goal", and then pick the best strategy and approach, whether that's persuading, letting others come to you, inspiring, resolving conflicts, etc.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 15, 2021, 3:38 pm

To go back to your point, I think we might call it as "wearing different hats" depending on the situation.
Once a good social intuition is developed, then you won't be thinking anymore in terms of "oh, now I'm selling, now I'm defending my power, and now I'm more in direct exchange talk and showing the value I bring to the table", but it will come more naturally.

You'd just think "this is the goal", and then pick the best strategy and approach, whether that's persuading, letting others come to you, inspiring, resolving conflicts, etc.

I think sharpening social intuition is challenging.
Getting from beginner to advanced might actually be easier than going from advanced to elite for example. (imaginary scale)

That's why I wanted to open up this thread:
Sharpening Emotional Intelligence - Let's Discuss the Best Ways

CASE STUDIES

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 9, 2021, 2:55 pm from the above thread

Yes, definitely, to actively train social and power dynamics requires you to interact with people.

Other good ways:

  • The quizzes on PU: some of those quizzes help sharpen the "feel" for social interactions
  • WIIFT analyses: a thread I still believe is underrated, and there are some good analyses more from a social exchange point of view
  • Journaling: writing down your own interactions, which serves to gather more from first-hand experience and observation
  • Many threads on this forum: there are many threads with social analyses already

The detailed case studies are superb at honing social intuition.
Any sort of observation and analysis training helps a lot.

What I get a lot from this forum is evaluation.
In the sense, smoothening out the kinks in my social intuition.
The areas where I read the situation wrongly or sub-optimally.
I have a habit of journaling my thoughts on power dynamics on this forum.

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