In my programs on becoming influential, I make a distinction between influence strategy, and negotiation. In America, we are quite comfortable with the idea of negotiation, even in the workplace. Negotiation is where you go in willing to give up certain things in order to reach a middle ground so that you can move forward with some type of solution. Often with negotiation, if the apposing person or group is not interested in meeting you in the middle, you walk away feeling it was a loss.
Influence is the strategy of creating buy-in. Influence is about taking steps towards having people lean in, say yes to your idea or solution, and want to be a part of achieving it.
More often, negotiation is an event: we sit down at the table, we try to make it work, and if it doesn’t we move on. Influence is a process. It is about knowing ultimately your desired outcome, and then following the process towards planning small wins in order to eventually get people in agreement with making that desired outcome happen. Influence is for when you have more time. Negotiation is for when you have less.
Do you influence others to lean in and say yes?