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Confidence, Control, and Power in Negotiations (ChatGTP style)


This week Savage Macbeth has the theme 'Confidence, Control and Power' to present at the Equal Engineers Conference in London. With ChatGTP being the new big thing, I thought it might be fun to find out what content it might produce for a blog of this nature (and find out if I can be replaced as the blog writer!). The results are as follows.


ChatGTP says:


“Confidence, control, and power are all critical components of successful negotiations. When you enter a negotiation with confidence, you are more likely to make clear and effective arguments, and you are less likely to be intimidated or swayed by the other party. When you have control, you are better able to steer the negotiation in the direction you want, and you are more likely to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. When you have power, you are in a position of strength, and you are able to exert a greater influence on the outcome of the negotiation.


To build confidence, it's important to be well prepared. Do your research, gather all the relevant information, and make a list of the arguments you want to make. This will help you to feel more in control, and it will give you a roadmap to follow during the negotiation.


Another way to build confidence is to practice active listening. This means paying close attention to what the other party is saying and making a genuine effort to understand their perspective. When you understand their perspective, you are better able to respond to their arguments, and you are less likely to be intimidated or swayed by their position.


To maintain control, it's important to have a clear understanding of your goals and objectives. This will help you to stay focused and to avoid getting side tracked by issues that are not relevant to your interests. It's also important to be flexible and to be open to alternative solutions. This will help you to find mutually acceptable solutions, and it will give you greater control over the outcome of the negotiation.


Finally, to build power, it's important to establish your credentials and to demonstrate your expertise. When you are seen as an expert in your field, you are more likely to be respected and listened to by the other party, and you are in a stronger position to negotiate effectively.


In conclusion, confidence, control, and power are all critical components of successful negotiations. By being well prepared, practicing active listening, having a clear understanding of your goals, being flexible and open to alternative solutions, and establishing your credentials, you can increase your chances of success and reach a mutually acceptable agreement”.


So how has the AI fared against someone with more than 20 years teaching this subject?


Well, whilst it's very prescriptive and sticks to the brief like bees to honey, I have to say that I’m quite impressed by the answers. If I had to pick areas where improvements could be made it would be the following:

  • Confidence is a human emotion. If we’re not confident (e.g. fearful) it might be for a number of different reasons – it might be level of experience, the magnitude of the task, time pressure etc. If we can understand the reason for the lack of confidence we can address it.

  • It is a little short on the ‘how’ part. By our reckoning, there’s over 100 different skills a negotiator might use and many different models or processes that can be followed. Understanding these will provide the negotiator with more control.

  • The balance of power between you and your counterpart needs to be assessed ‘objectively’. We frequently see people negotiate with themselves before they even engage with the other side. We also often view people who underestimate their own power and overestimate the power on the other side of the table (see the confidence bullet above).


All in all, pretty good though – although I don’t think I’m out of a job just yet!


Sam Macbeth, 31st January 2023



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