Leadership vs. Management Related to Negotiations

Leadership vs. Management Related to Negotiations

“”Real leaders negotiate.  Understand the difference between leadership and management”.  This is the title of an article from the Program on Negotiation from the Harvard Law School.   If you click on the link it will lead you to a free download of a 34 page report on this topic.  Besides presenting the highlights of the article I offer a tip that ties into this commentary for your consideration.

Some key points from this article are:

“Practice interest based decision making”

That is explore the interests of individuals and shape your messages and actions to meet those interests.

“Negotiate relationships”

That is encourage two way communications and listen by demonstrating commitment, honesty and integrity.

“Find the right leadership voice”

Personal interactions are the best and say a lot about how we interact with one another.

“Negotiate a vision for the organization”

Build a coalition to develop a common vision.

The article goes on to share lessons learned from Nelson Mandela.  Think of what he accomplished in his lifetime and the obstacles he had to overcome. Don’t allow your principles to get in the way of the greater good.

“Build strong relationships in business relationships”

We all know this.   Building a strong relationship in a negotiation is key.  A great example is presented.   We need to understand the other side’s perspective.   Get to know the other side. 

“Confront conflict”

The authors suggest:

“In their book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin, 2010), Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen explain that every tough conversation is made up of three different conversations: the “What happened?” conversation, the “feelings” conversation, and the “identity” conversation.”

The article suggests you embrace both sides.   Share feelings.                  Don’t blame yourself or others.

“Bruce Wasserstein and the negotiation game”

This deal maker developed several key attributes for negotiations these are:

“Look forward and reason back.

Build coalitions through incentives.

Weaken deal spoilers.”

“When leading multiparty negotiations, break it down”

Consensus is good enough and often means working behind the scenes with individual parties. Break the negotiation up into bite size components.    Develop an open process that relies on negotiation. 

“Lead the way resolving in house disputes”

Consider mediation, arbitration, or begin with mediation but in the end as the manager you have the authority to arbitrate.

“Match the process with your objectives”

                “Objective 1: Finding lasting solutions to problems”

                “Objective 2: Increasing perceived fairness”

                “Objective 3: Maximizing value”

                “Objective 4: Minimizing time costs”

                “Objective 5: Establishing policy or precedent”

                “Objective 6: Redressing an ethical violation or power imbalance”

“Tension in the Office? Negotiate Workplace Conflict”

“Reappraise anger”

“Respond to challenging moves”

                “interrupt the move by taking a break”

                “try naming the move”

                “correct the move”

                “divert the move”

“Mediate a resolution”

“Create accountability”

Besides these items from the article I would like to offer some additional ideas.

From “The Servant Manager: 203 tips from the best places to work in America” I would like to share with you tip 184

Tip 184 Leadership is an Art and it’s up to Me

“Leadership is an art and it is up to me. Leadership is up to you and your attitude. You need to decide what is important and spend your time there. Pick your battles carefully. You only have so much time and only so much political capital with others. Political capital in this instance has nothing to do with politicians, but it has everything to do with how much time and energy you want to expend on something and with others. There is only so much time as was presented in Chapter 10 on Time and Priorities. If you elect to spend time on something with your supervisor, peers or employees for example, it is at the cost of not bringing up and addressing something else with them. When you decide to spend time on an issue, you are electing to spend political capital on this issue in favor of something else. Going to your supervisor, peer or employee too often with an issue can be perceived negatively. Not going to the same person often enough can be an issue too. Determining the right mix is important as well as when to pick our battles.

Max DePree in Leadership is an Art published by Dell Publishing 1990 is considered an outstanding leadership book. It is short concise and to the point. I would recommend this for your library as a reference. Why? I think it is an excellent reference. While writing this book some outstanding managers recommended this to me as a reference without any solicitation, and many of the best places to work provide this or this type of reference to their managers. Need I say more?

The commentary that follows in this tip comes from excerpts from this book or my paraphrasing commentary from this book.

The Art of Leadership

  • Frees employees to do their job in the most effective and humane way possible.
  • The leader serves his or her followers – in essence the manager is a servant to his or her employees
  • The leader obtains resources and removes obstacles that prevent followers from doing their jobs well
  • Enables his or her followers to realize their true potential in the job and in life
  • A listener who listens to ideas, needs, aspirations, and wishes of the followers and responds to them appropriately

To do this you as a leader need to be clear about what your own beliefs are.


Leadership is about the “why” of institutional and corporate life rather than about the “how. Many businesses focus on profit. Although profit is a hoped for result of “how” it is only a way to measure where the business is at any given point in time. It is like driving down the road and noting the mile marker on the expressway. Why we get those results is more important. If we understand the why, we can take steps to improve. With too much of an emphasis on profit it possible to lose focus. With too much of an emphasis on short term profits there is a risk long term decay and potentially disaster.


Understanding and accepting diversity enables employees and demonstrates that all of us have gifts to bring to the team. We need everybody on the team. We need to abandon our belief to do it alone. Everyone has strengths. These should be allowed to shine. We cannot do everything. We see that the art of leadership lies in promoting, liberating and enabling the gifts of others.

Responsibility of a Leader

Your first responsibility as a leader is to be a reality check on the situation. You also need to be there in the end and to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader. True leaders are there to help. They are not there to inflict pain. An outstanding leader is spotted by the nature of his or her followers. The followers are reaching their true potential. They are learning. They are volunteering to serve. They achieve the required results. They are graceful to one another. They manage conflict well. The leader is one who serves.

Future Leaders

A true leader is always developing future leaders including the leader’s successor. This comment ties into chapter 15 in this book on Succession Development.

Contrary Opinions

A truly effective leader encourages contrary opinions of others. This helps ensure that potential obstacles are identified early and appropriately addressed. This is an important source of energy to make sure the direction makes sense.

Roving Leadership

Roving leadership means that the person with the skills, not the rank in the organizational hierarchy is permitted to share ownership of the problem. Although you are responsible for the end result, in effect, the roving leader takes possession of a situation. This makes demands on each of the members of the team. Whether you are a hierarchical leader, a roving leader or a good follower this process demands that we enable one another.

Being Faithful

As you reflect on the art of leadership, being faithful is more important than being successful. You may not be successful in every situation. Being true to your values, being faithful and by sticking up for your employees you are demonstrating leadership.

Reaching Potential

As a servant leader you must understand that reaching your potential and your employees reaching their potential is more important than reaching your goals. I know there are those that disagree with this concept. What this means is that you may not have as good a result this time, but next time you have the potential of doing even better. You have the potential of doing better because of what was learned this time. You win when you and or your employee reach their true potential.


The word educate comes from two Latin words that mean to ‘lead’ or ‘draw out’. In order to draw out someone, you have to encourage him or her through good communication and coaching.

A Future Leader

  • Knows him or herself
  • Has consistent and dependable integrity
  • Cherishes heterogeneity and diversity
  • Searches out competence
  • Is open to contrary opinion
  • Communicates easily to all levels
  • Understands the concept of equity
  • Advocates for equity consistently
  • Leads through serving
  • Is vulnerable to the skills and talents of others
  • Is intimate with the organization and its work
  • Is able to see the big picture (beyond his or her own area and focus)
  • Is a spokesperson and diplomat
  • Is a team storyteller (an important way of transmitting our corporate culture)
  • Tells why rather than how pages


Another excellent book on leadership is The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All by Michael Useem, the Director of Wharton School’s Center for Leadership and Change Management. This book provides some very riveting examples on leadership that really bring home the points. In summary the nine stories bring home these central themes:

Know yourself: You need to take a good look at yourself and decide what your values are, what you want to do, what your goals are, and this will help guide you on what paths you want to take in life

Explain yourself: Your employees can only understand where you want to go if you explain this to them. Then they can decide if they want to go with you or not.

Expect much: Set high expectations. Only by setting high expectations can you demand the best from others.

Gain commitment: By engaging others ahead of time, gaining a consensus on what we have to do together, you will be able to mobilize your group.

Build now: You need to begin to seek and gain support on your first day. If you work on this every day, when crunch time comes your employees will be there for you.

Prepare yourself: You need to seek varied and challenging assignments to broaden your perspective and prepare yourself for your next position. This develops the necessary skills and confidence for you to succeed.

Move fast: Being comfortable with where you are means you are falling behind compared to others. Being inactive can lead to disaster.

Find yourself: You need to match your leadership skills and potential to the right organization.

Remain steadfast: If you remain steadfast in your vision with your employees your followers will see your commitment and stay with you.

The foundations of Leadership are both organizational and personal.

Organizational Leadership

Great organizations inspire leaders to transform the organization to be more effective.

Empowerment: Delegating responsibility and promoting team building

Reorganizing: Examining the organization and redesigning, reassessing, and reassembling the organization to address customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and business results

Personal Leadership

These are the individual qualities that you bring to the job and that are developed in your position.

Expertise: The experience, information, and technical skills that brought you to your position

Character: Your honesty, integrity, commitment, and determination

Given your managerial position, you now have the authority that comes with being a manager

Manager’s Authority

Power to reward: The power to hire, assign work, promote others, and recommend raises and awards

Power to punish: The ability to recognize and to constructively criticize, reassign work, demote someone, and fire someone

Power to budget: The ability to approve, revise, reduce, potentially justify an increase, and to reallocate resources

These two reference books really speak to leadership and have been used by many of the best places to work. Purchase these books or check them out at a local library.









About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]