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.
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.
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How do you move from an emotionally charged moment in a negotiation to a mutually beneficial agreement?
In negotiations of all types, whether buying a house or negotiating a company acquisition, emotions naturally manifest. Left unaddressed, emotions can derail a negotiation and make agreement seem impossible. When emotions are managed properly, however, they can allow the … Read More
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
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
Negotiation research you can use
In negotiation, reading others’ emotions is a critical skill. When you can accurately assess whether a job candidate is pleased by a salary offer, if a potential customer is growing impatient with a sales pitch, or if a colleague was hurt by something you said, you will be able to respond … Read More
Knowing how to manage your own internal conflicts before engaging in negotiations is an invaluable negotiation skill negotiators should develop prior to engaging in international negotiations, business or otherwise.
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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