Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Using Emotions as You Negotiate

Using Emotions as You Negotiate
by Roger Fisher & Daniel Shapiro

Beyond Reason offers straightforward, powerful advice for dealing with emotions in even your toughest negotiations, whether with a difficult colleague or your angry spouse. You will discover five “core concerns” that lie at the heart of most emotional challenges.

The advice builds on previous work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, the group that brought you the groundbreaking Getting to Yes. World-renowned negotiator Roger Fisher teams with psychologist Daniel Shapiro, an expert on the emotional dimension of negotiation, to bring you this indispensable new classic.

Why You Need This Book
This book will help you discover how to use emotions to turn a disagreement, big or small, professional or personal, into an opportunity for mutual gain.

Emotions Can be Obstacles to Negotiations
None of us is spared the reality of emotions. What makes emotions so troubling?

They can divert attention from substantive matters. Strong emotions can overshadow your thinking, leaving you at risk of damaging your relationship.

Careful observers of your emotional reaction may learn how much you value proposals, issues, and your relationship with them. In an international or everyday negotiation, positive emotions can be essential.

Positive emotions can make it easier to meet substantive interests. With positive emotions, you are motivated to do more.

Positive emotions need not increase your risk of being exploited. Avoid inhibiting positive emotions; rather, check with your head and your gut before making decisions.

Address the Concern, Not the Emotion
Rather than trying to deal directly with scores of changing emotions affecting you and others, you can turn your attention to five core concerns: appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status, and role.

If you have time, you can also use them as a lens to understand which concern is unmet and to tailor your actions to address the unmet concern.

A negotiation that involves multiple parties and high stakes requires an advanced understanding of the five core concerns.

Express Appreciation
Appreciation is a core concern. You can appreciate by:

1. Understanding a person’s point of view.
2. Communicating your understanding through words or actions.

Build Affiliation
With enhanced affiliation, working together becomes easier and more productive.

Personal connections. By talking about personal matters, you can reduce the personal distance between you.

Acknowledge Status
With a little self-preparation, you can identify your areas of high social and particular status and work to improve or develop new ones so that you can approach your negotiations with a sense of confidence.

Since every person has multiple areas of high status, there is no need to compete with others over status. In turn, you can acknowledge the status of others without cost.

Choose a Fulfilling Role
You are free to expand the activities within your conventional role. Time and again, you also are free to choose temporary roles that empower you and foster joint work.

Reshaping your role can take effort. Over time, you can modify your role to your liking.

Soothe Yourself: Cool Down Your Emotional Temperature
Pause. During the break, relax. Think about how to move the negotiation forward.

Preparation improves the emotional climate of a negotiation. A well-prepared negotiator walks into a meeting with emotional confidence about the substantive and process issues, as well as with clarity about how to enlist each party’s positive emotions.

Establishing a routine structure of preparation. You want to prepare in terms of the process of the negotiation, the substantive issues, and the emotions of each party.

Learning from past negotiations. Experience is of little future value unless you learn from it. After a negotiation, review the interaction in terms of process, substance, and emotions.

We all have emotions all the time. Most negotiators treat emotions as an obstacle to clear, rational thought. As a result, we do not realize the opportunity afforded by positive emotions. Using the core concerns wisely will improve the quality of your relationships at work and at home. You can turn a negotiation from a stressful, worrisome interaction into a side-by-side dialogue where each of you listens, learns, and respects the other.

You improve your outcome.

And instead of inspiring resentment, the process inspires hope.

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