It is nearly impossible to apply the collaboration effect when we are angry. When we are angry, we flood our body with various chemicals and hormones. That can be very negative in any setting. This article addresses how to address the two primary negative emotions in a negotiation. These are anger and sadness.
For those of you that have heard me speaek on Overcoming Conflict with Collaboration, you know that I offer some comments related to the brain and the brain’s ability to overcome the negative impacts that prevent us from flooding with negative emotions. The prefrontal cortex can override the amygdala, but this takes practice. If we let ourselves go and continue to carry on by becoming angry, we are reinforcing negative behaviors.
There has been significant research in this area consistently showing that
strong negative emotions such as anger can lead to irrational and impulsive behavior that can be detrimental to a negotiation.
I offer that as a negotiator it is very important to avoid the two stinky twins of BO and BS. These are Blaming Others and Blaming Self. When this happens, we tend to simplify, be overly optimistic with respect to risk, and demonize the other party. None of these elements is helpful towards reaching an optimal negotiation.
When tempers begin to flare, anger emerges and parties tend to escalate. It is important to de-escalate in a negotiation to return to a neutral position.
I offer this as a tool to help de-escalate a situation for yourself and others.
Emotions are a key to any business negotiation. Another common negative emotion is sadness. When things tend to be going amiss given expectations going into a negotiation, it is important to keep an even keel and remain in a neutral mood.
If we are in a sad mood, we will tend to settle for something less than we would have otherwise. Going in make sure you always know your BATNA and don’t go below your BATNA in any negotiation even when dealing with difficult people.
Anger and sadness are two of the most significant emotions to address, but keep in mind other emotions can also negatively impact a negotiation. Help others on your team to address their negative emotions too. As a leader, realize that everyone on the team can help each other to quell negative emotions.
On the negative side avoid hostility, annoyance, shock, boredom confusion, and similar feelings with yourself and your team. Instead stay focused on the problem and be soft on the people. Instead focus on inspiring others, being relaxed, confident, engaged, and empowering. These attributes build teamwork and allow parties to work towards a win-win situation.
To learn more on this topic I recommend this article from the Program on Negotiation from the Harvard Law School.
Contact me to speak to your group or consult with you.