About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1644 |
9 min read
Published: Aug 4, 2023
Words: 1644|Pages: 4|9 min read
Whether people are bargaining for the price for a flower at the florist around the corner or engaging in a personal negotiation experience, negotiations happen every day for different reasons. However, there is still a misunderstanding about negotiations that often jeopardizes the outcome of the negotiation. Most people think that negotiating is a sequence of rational decision processes but, as a matter of fact, negotiating involves a dimension that is most often underestimated or ignored: emotions. These might be positive emotions like happiness or negative emotions like disappointment and guilt, but what they all have in common is that they significantly impact negotiations.
This lack of awareness about the influence of emotions on negotiations often leads to negotiation strategies that ignore emotions, even though, recognizing and using emotions can significantly improve the negotiation experience and results. Based on the assumption that emotions do influence negotiations, this thesis focuses on the question, how different emotions influence the negotiation and which skills and knowledge are necessary in order to improve negotiations through emotional intelligence.
The precondition for every negotiation is the existence of a conflict because there would be no need for a negotiation if all involved individuals had matching interests. A conflict can, in general, be defined “as an interactive process manifested in incompatibility, disagreement, or dissonance within or between social entities (i.e., individual, group, organization, etc.)
Characteristics that all negotiations share, whether they are formal or informal.
Distributive negotiations are often referred to as competitive, win-lose or zero-sum negotiations. In distributive bargaining, the negotiating parties bargain over fixed and limited resources. The interests of both parties are equal, or at least they seem to be, and a conflict is existent where the win of one side results in a loss on the other side. Due to the limited amount of resources and the equality of interests, negotiators only share information when it provides an advantage. Basically, distributive negotiations are a competition where only one side wins. In contrast, integrative negotiations are more cooperative and focus on finding win-win agreements. The key element of integrative negotiations is a free flow of information that enables the negotiating parties to identify interests.
Based on similarities and differences amongst the individual interests, the disputants can identify, develop and select alternatives that satisfy both parties. Due to the exchange of information, integrative negotiations often result in increasing the size of the initial “pie” rather than distributing it. Negotiations can either be integrative or distributive and in terms of efficiency and fairness, the negotiators who are involved have a major impact on the type of negotiation.
The first negotiator type is the hard bargainer. In general, people associate the hard bargainer with the stereotype of a person who never gives in on his position and takes the lead in distributive negotiations. He sees every negotiation as a rivalry in which the negotiator who insist on the more extreme claims and has more patience will be in the more powerful position. This unswayable desire to win can result in a mirroring effect where the opposing party is reacting with a similar competitive behavior.
A simple example for the concept of hard bargaining can already be observed amongst children. Imagine the situation of a mother who is doing her grocery shopping for the week with her 4-year-old son. At the end of the initial shopping, the child insists on getting a package of candy which is refused by the mother. Explaining rationally that there is still candy at home and no need for another package, the mother thinks that she can convince the child to not insist on its claims. Nevertheless, the child starts to cry and `riot at the cash desk in order to get his candy.
A rational approach will not always convince a hard bargainer to step back from his claims. Unless one party gives in, such competitive behavior often results in distributive negotiations where both parties exhaust their resources, harm their interpersonal relationship and yet often fail to find a common agreement.
The opposite to the hard bargainer is the soft bargainer. Soft negotiators are less interested in insisting on their own position rather than avoiding personal conflicts with the opposing party. In order to achieve amiable settlements, the soft bargainer makes concessions and does not insist on his initial position.
Especially when it comes to negotiations between soft and hard bargainers, the negotiation often ends in a distributive win-lose situation. These agreements can trigger emotional responses like anger, fear or disgust towards the other negotiator that can jeopardize or even harm the personal and professional relationship.
Projected on the example of the mother and her child at the grocery store, the mother will probably follow the soft bargaining approach and give in sooner or later in order to find an agreement and prevent serious harm of the relationship.
The first important function of emotions is COMMUNICATION. Emotions are an essential factor that enables people to function within their social environment. Through expressive characteristics like language, facial expressions and body-language, people communicate their emotions to show how they feel and what they think.
First, expressed emotions allow other people to understand how we feel, and second, they have a direct impact on the behavior of the other. For example, a person who expresses fear can cause others to become fearful as well which can lead to mass panics. On the other side, a smile that expresses positive emotions can help others to calm down and defuse dangerous and fearful situations. In terms of a negotiation, showing emotions can help to emphasize whether or not we appreciate our negotiation partner and the proposed offer. So by expressing our emotions, we help others to understand how we feel and what we think, while the ability of perceiving emotions helps us to do the same and function within our social environment.
Making decisions is a major part of everyday life. People make decisions in the morning if they should get up or not, they decide whether to walk or drive or where to have dinner. It seems like those decisions are purely rational because people evaluate which option is better for reaching their goals. This view of a person who is only deciding based on a cost-benefit evaluation is called homo economicus, a theoretical model that is no longer applicable today.
The important function of emotions is motivation and the resulting behavior. The question is: Why are some people outperforming others in different areas of life? So people are not better than others because of luck or talent, their performance is based on the motivation of improving their current situation. Everyone has specific goals they want to reach and in this context, emotions encourage us to act in a way that is leading to this goal. They give us a direction to guide us and the motivation to stay focused in order to achieve our goals.
Once you have experienced anger or frustration due to a lost game or negotiation, it is the human nature to strive for better results in the future. Seeking for positive emotions is not just a behavior to feel better, it is an essential feature of human beings. We need motivation through emotion in order to improve our personal life situation and refrain from negative situations that deteriorate the status of our life situation.
In conclusion, emotions are the key to human motivation. They prevent us from harming ourselves and encourage us to seek for life improvements. Increasing the experience of positive emotions and minimizing the experience with negative emotions are major motives of human motivation.
Negotiations must be with a clear and tension-free mind. A mind clouded with tensions can’t concentrate on anything and eventually one loses focus. An individual’s mind is unable to take any decisions and he finds it difficult to develop an interest in the negotiation. We all know that tensions come uninvited, but it would be wise, if you keep the tensions on the back burner for some time when you are involved in negotiation. One should be calm and composed. Never lose your cool and shout on the second party. Always ensure that you are comfortable with the second party. Don’t take rash decisions and one should not interfere while the other person is speaking. Always analyze the situation well and then only come to any conclusion. One should try and adopt a step by step approach. Don’t expect the result to come out within a second. Take your time to convince the other party but do not drag the conversation too long. It becomes monotonous and one tends to lose interest.
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