The Influence of Emotions in a Negotiation
What is your experience with emotions, such as rage or anger, during a negotiation? Did these emotions push you, did they make you an alert and proactive negotiator? Or did these emotions affect you negatively, leading you to make threats and break off the negotiation?
The win-win principles of the best-selling “Harvard Concept” set some basic rules on how to negotiate successfully. The most important rule is to “separate the people from the problem”, i.e. the separation of person and subject matter. But let us be honest, can you do that? You negotiate with your boss about a raise, with the most important employee about the new project, or with your ex-partner about child custody, and you go into the negotiation with a cool and calculated approach? We believe that it is not possible to separate the person from the subject matter. We are convinced that such a separation is not even useful.
At least since the bestselling book “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman came out, people see emotions not as an impediment but as helpful. As long as one has control over them.
The book describes the three steps to deal with emotions correctly:
1. Feelings – identify your own feelings, what exactly am I angry about?
2. Thoughts – understand how these feelings determine my thinking.
3. Behavior – my thinking controls my behavior.
The opposing party’s behavior:
Based on our experience, extreme behavioral patterns are even useful, because such
behavior allows you to draw the necessary conclusions on the thinking and thus the feelings behind it. So, if you want to know what is truly important to your negotiation partner, you
should provoke extreme behavior. In a negotiation setting, you provoke this behavior by creating a deadlock.
» Please do not separate the person from the problem
» Analyze the opposing party’s motif on the intentional use of a deadlock.
» Always remain courteous and respectful, even in tough negotiations.