Negotiations revolve around conflict, risk, and reward-which are all naturally emotional. Therefore, it’s not exactly easy to let go of your emotions during a negotiation. In fact, most people experience a range of emotions during the course of a negotiation. The way you deal with and control these emotions can have a profound effect on the outcome of the negotiation. Oftentimes, negotiations can foster strong negative emotions and this can make it difficult to think rationally and work collaboratively. These reactions, however, could be detrimental in helping you reach your goals. The fact is, it’s impossible to ignore your emotions altogether during a negotiation because our emotions motivate us and keep us working hard to find a solution. Rather than trying to ignore your emotions, it’s better to work on controlling them in order to keep making progress. Here are a few tips for learning how to control your emotions and expressing them constructively.
Prepare in Advance
Before you walk into the negotiation, consider what could possibly cause you to become emotionally and mentally prepared for these situations. Think about how you will stay composed, if you begin to feel angry or frustrated come up with a plan for dealing with these negative emotions. Similarly, think about what might trigger the other negotiator and assess what you are going to do to avoid these triggers and how you can keep the negotiations moving forward if things become emotional.
Accept Your Emotions
It is human nature to feel a range of emotions and there is nothing wrong with having emotions. Oftentimes, we try to suppress or deny these emotions in order to keep the negotiations moving forward but doing so can actually lead to a burst or explosion of emotion. At some point, you will become so frustrated with harboring your emotions that they will come out in an inappropriate ways and this can certainly hinder business relationships. Be aware of what you are feeling and how your body is reacting and accept these emotions. When we accept our emotions, we can discover ways to deal with them more appropriately.
Take Breaks if Needed
There are times when our emotions get the best of us no matter how hard we try to control them. If you feel your muscles tightening, your shoulders aching, or your heart racing then it might be time to take a break from the discussion. This break will give you time to analyze your emotions and think of your next move rather than making an impulse decision. Sometimes very strong emotions can cause us to act before we are consciously aware of what we are doing so recognize when you are beginning to feel overwhelmed and take a physical break.
Express our Emotions Carefully
Once you are fully aware and have consciously
regrouped you can decide whether or not to express your emotions. There are
times when it can be beneficial to express your emotions, as long as you do so
appropriately. You want to make sure that you express your feelings in a way
that won’t be damaging or counterproductive. If you decide to express emotion,
remember this is not a time to vent. Be concise, describe your feelings
carefully, and avoid blaming the other party. Try to relate your emotions to
the issue and make it clear that you do not want to destroy or tamper the