Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


emotions in negotiation

What are Emotions in Negotiation?

Emotions in negotiation are always present and often affect your experience. You may try to ignore them, but they will not ignore you.

You may be only marginally aware of the important ways that emotions in negotiation influence your thinking and your behavior. But understanding your own negotiation psychology and emotions, as well as those of the other party, can help you meet substantive interests in negotiations and build relationships with counterparts. Emotions can also have a negative impact on outcomes.

For example, feeling anxious and stressed impairs our negotiating ability. Feeling sad, as compared to being in a neutral mood, disposes us to sell our possessions for lower prices and purchase items for higher prices

Then there’s anger. Anger is one of the emotions in negotiation that may have both positive and negative consequences. People demand less from angry negotiators and grant them more concessions. However, although people may back down when their counterparts get angry, they seize on opportunities to retaliate against them later, Lu Wang of the University of South Wales and her colleagues found in their research. People also are more likely to lie to angry counterparts than to happy ones. 

One word of caution, however, is that faking emotions in negotiation that you don’t feel often backfires, research shows.

Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information on how to build a winning team to our website.

The following items are tagged emotions in negotiation:

Negotiation Tactics for Bargaining with Difficult People: The Comcast Merger

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

If a competitive bargaining session shifts in a counterpart’s direction, your anger could send the wrong signals to your negotiation counterpart. In this instance, strong emotions portray desperation rather than strength. Here are some bargaining and negotiation tactics for dealing with difficult situations in relationships. … Read More 

Feeling emotional? Pause before you negotiate

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It was a dream come true. In January, Miranda and Carlos, longtime coworkers in the hospitality industry, opened a new restaurant in their small town. Locals flocked to the place, praising the ambience, food, and service. But just two months later, Covid-19 roared into the United States, and state regulations required the restaurant to switch to … Read More 

Teach Your Students Negotiation Psychology

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

The negotiation psychology of the parties at the table can contribute significantly to the likelihood of reaching an agreement. In Beyond Reason, world-renowned negotiator Roger Fisher and psychologist Daniel Shapiro advise “ignore emotions at your own peril. Emotions are always present and often affect your experience. You may try to ignore them, but they will not … Read More 

Opening students up to negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Working It Out is a 27-page handbook designed to introduce high school students to problem-solving, interest-based negotiation. Written by Getting to YES co-author Roger Fisher and Difficult Conversations co-author Douglas Stone, Working It Out presents core concepts from both books in a clear, simple format with plenty of age-appropriate examples from family, school, workplace and … Read More