Notes on Currency: a series on personality, power and persuasion

What’s your currency? And at what value do you exchange it for, in return for the currency of others? What are key markers for that currency? How, through interactions, do you value others’ currency and does this necessarily have to be in relation to yours? Are you fixed or floating in your endeavors and does that give you a higher or lower valuation?

More so since the end of the MBA, I’ve been preoccupied with measurements of value. But while it could be said programs like MBA condition a person to be mindful of the ‘How?’, the questions I’ve found myself reflecting on more, have to do with the ‘Why?’ of value’ and, somewhat related, implications of this on ‘Who’ is considered powerful and who possesses the power of influence on others.

Our day-to-day lives are rife with minor and major negotiations, from trying to decide where to enjoy a meal to potentially life-changing decisions such as relocation and salaries. In coming to terms with the heuristic and cognitive approaches to negotiations, I have developed a deep appreciation for the process and the challenge of viewing negotiations as opportunities to create value, as opposed to prideful conquests to claim it. That being said, I am still far from convinced that Negotiations can be studied down to a science. The next few notes, will instead look at the art of Negotiation as the determination of one’s currency on a floating market, alongside its many variables: culture; information availability, access and asymmetry; influences of deception; gendered stereotypes. This is part of a somewhat personal project I’ve been reflecting on, with the hope of gaining a better (or at the very least, more critical) understanding of the perceptions of power and its impact on the creation of shared value. 

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