About this document


At key moments in the Bodyswaps experience, useful notes are added to the learner’s virtual journal as a memory prompt that they can refer back to, as and when required.

In VR, learners access their journal by looking at their avatar’s left hand. On other devices, it can be accessed via a ‘burger menu’ in the top left corner of the screen.

This document collates the journal entries in relation to the individual activities for this course.


Gaining influence and value in negotiations


To feel more comfortable extracting value from a negotiation when in a low power position


  • Understand sources of influence in negotiations
  • Discover tangible and intangible interests
  • Gain influence by adding issues and value to negotiations 
  • Use self-coaching to boost your confidence in gaining influence

Influencing without power

Where does influence come from?

When we think about power in a negotiation, what we’re actually thinking about is the potential to be influential: to affect the other side’s decisions.

There are many sources of influence:

  • Formal authority
  • A strong BATNA
  • Understanding others’ interests
  • Control over resources

A well-known source of influence is formal authority. This comes from being in a hierarchical position where you have more control over certain decisions and resources than your subordinates. 

For example, a manager who is in charge of distributing work and having the final say on their team’s direction.

People often find it hard to negotiate with those who have formal authority, because they feel like the person with the authority holds all the cards.


A BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) is the best option each person has available if no agreement is reached in a negotiation.

It exists even if it’s not good, as a bad alternative is still the ‘best’ you have if there’s no outcome.

Learn more about BATNA here:


A strong BATNA

Strong BATNAs can be a powerful way to barter a better deal, as they increase both your confidence and influence. 

Because you know you’ve got a safety net if the negotiation falls through, it  makes you feel more comfortable to push for more value.  

In terms of influence, if the other side knows you have a good alternative that you’re prepared to go with, they may be swayed to negotiate a better deal for you. 

Understanding others’ interests

When you understand the wants and needs of those you’re negotiating with, your potential to be influential and reach a better agreement greatly increases. 

This is because you can then try to offer things you have that fulfil their interests, which encourages reciprocation: they’ll help find ways to meet your interests in return. 

Anyone can understand others’ interests, making it a great strategy if you’re negotiating with those who have influence from the get go, like managers or important clients. 

Control over resources

Going hand in hand with understanding others’ interests, knowing what resources you control that the other side would value is a powerful way to increase your influence in negotiations. 

For example, your knowledge and skills, goods and services, or time. 

Offering resources can also strengthen your relationship with the person, because you send the message that you see it as a team effort, not a conflict.

Discovering tangible and intangible interests

Tangible and intangible interests

Tangible interests 

These are people’s quantifiable or physical wants and desires. For example:

  • Money, e.g. salary
  • Costs, e.g. a low bill
  • Your job’s duties
  • Goods and services
  • Working hours 
  • A project’s budget
  • Working conditions 
  • Length of a contract

Intangible interests 

These are people’s wants and needs in the form of feelings, beliefs, and values. For example:  

  • Respect
  • Being heard
  • Recognition
  • Rapport with others
  • Honesty
  • Privacy
  • Reputation
  • Fairness and justice

Alexis’ tangible and intangible interests


  • Prefers late morning starts
  • Wants to run more marketing campaigns
  • Wants to expand the team’s responsibilities


  • Seeks honesty from others
  • Likes being asked for her opinion
  • Wants a close-knit team

Adding, combining, and trading issues

Adding issues in a negotiation

Adding issues – or increasing the number of items that might form part of the agreement – often involves getting creative with ideas that can help both parties reach a better outcome. 

By adding issues, you can then explore which of them are valuable to both of you, or that you can trade for other issues that you do value. This gives you more ways to solve the problem.

Knowing the interests of the other side helps you add issues more effectively.