Do you ever feel ambushed by strong emotions?
To guard against acting irrationally or in ways that can harm you, authors of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions As You Negotiate Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro advise you to take your emotional temperature during a negotiation. Specifically, try to gauge whether your emotions are manageable, starting to heat up, or threatening to boil over.
Here are some suggestions for lowering your emotional temperature:
Develop an Emergency Plan
Give yourself an ‘out’ – a break that allows you to take a walk to cool down, to call a friend or colleague for reinforcement, or remind yourself of your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement).
Shift the Focus
Ask questions that you time, bring new information, and test your assumptions. (See also: In Deal Making, Broaden Your Focus)
Diagnose Your Ailment
What core concerns of yours are not being met? Are you hurt because you feel unappreciated or dismissed? Once you understand why you’re upset, you’ll be better able to signal what you need. (See also: Emotion and Judgment)
In our FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School – The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation – renowned negotiation experts uncover unconventional approaches to conflict management that can turn adversaries into partners.
Originally published in May 2013.