When confronted by a charging rhino, shoot, then negotiate!
If you have power in a situation, there are times to capitalize on it and times to hold it in reserve.
Power is a commodity. It should be parlayed into achieving your desired result if the result is worth leveraging your power to win it. Do not be afraid to use it, just respect it and the impact it has on others.
Power is transient. Power is to be judiciously utilized to maximize its value to you without damaging relationships to the extent that you will pay a heavy price later.
Consider the timing of when you exercise a power play. If power is used prematurely to win a minor concession, it will be devalued when it comes to the bigger issues. Worse yet, it may not be available when you need it most, to win the final, major concession.
Don’t think you are powerless in a situation. Everyone has power if they have the ability to walk away from the “table”. You have the power, and it is absolute, to say “No!”. You may pay a consequence at the time but that maybe more tolerable than having to deal with a bully who gets progressively more abusive if he thinks he I can get away with it.
In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the importance of dealing properly with power to preserve healthy relationships.