Leveraging Emotion in Negotiation

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Susan Hackley. "Leveraging Emotion in Negotiation." Harvard Business School (2006)

Adler, Rosen, Silverstein, "Emotions in Negotiation: How to Manage Fear and Anger," Negotiation Journal, 14:2 (April 1998), pp. 161-179.

Conflict resolution. http://www. conflictresoultionjournal.org 2006, Jan. 27

"Leveraging Emotion in Negotiation." Harvard Business School (2006) Susan Hackley.


At some point in each of our lives we all have to hit the negotiation path and run. It is to our benefit to stay levelheaded and not think or act too hastily. It is not uncommon for emotions to run high when we are discussing something that is important to us, therefore, it is important to tame ones feelings when approaching the negotiation table. Strong emotions, when effectively used, can make you a passionate advocate in a negotiation setting. However, negative emotions that arise in the heat of the moment can often be distracting and potentially destructive to your outcome.

This article looks at a recently published book by negotiation scholars Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro, Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate," the article offers a new step by step strategy to dealing effectively with emotions in negotiation. The approach suggests: (1) expressing appreciation for the other party's concerns, (2) building affiliation, (3) respecting the autonomy, (4) respecting status of all concerned, and (5) playing the right roles in a negotiation. " Hackley. "Leveraging Emotion in Negotiation" Harvard Business School (2006)

"Express Appreciation"

The authors suggest that we show our concern and empathy for the other parties feelings and perspectives. They also suggest trying to find merit in the perspective of the other party and communicating through words and actions.

Emotions play positive and negative roles in negotiation. On the positive side, emotions make us care for our own interests and about people. Empathy can improve understanding and facilitate communication. Both hiding emotions and making vigorous displays of emotion can be effective negotiating tactics. The authors observe that "although other emotions arise during the course of a negotiation, our experience strongly suggests that the two that affect negotiations most often and most dramatically are fear and anger." Adler, Rosen, Silverstein. "Emotions in Negotiation" Negotiation Journal (1998) P. 168

"Build Affiliation"

Affiliation is the process of building a business relationship with the other party, this helps to ensure trust and lessens apprehension in the agreement in the negotiation session.
"Affiliation is at its core a two-way relationship, supported by both the individual and the organization. It is built on the principles of understanding individual needs, providing options and choices, fostering learning, supporting breadth in development and engaging individuals as volunteers. Affiliation is central to successful organizations that build partnerships with their employees. It is voluntary and occurs at multiple levels. It is an emotional connection built on the principles of inclusion whether internal or external." www. conflictresoultionjournal.org (2005)

"Respect Autonomy"

Respecting autonomy suggests that both parties are free to affect or make decisions and that there is political independence for both parties to negotiate.
None of us enjoy being told what we can and cannot do. When we make, take it or leave it statements, many people can get offended and tempers can flare. The author suggests not making these types of statements as it infringes on the person's autonomy.

"Acknowledge Status"
Acknowledging status entails respecting the other party, which will eventually lead to mutual respect. Respecting other parties' status allows for friendly sessions and is likely to improve rapport.

"Identifying and respecting your fellow negotiators area of status is likely to...
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