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  • Emotional Intelligence in Negotiations: A Crucial Tool for Promoting Trust

    Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to be aware of the emotions of oneself and others, to imagine one’s own emotions and how they are expressed, and to manage others’ emotions. Researchers have just recently begun examining whether an empirical link exists between high emotional intelligence and negotiated outcomes. Research published in Volume 30 […]

  • Speaking Their Language

    Negotiation is about reaching out and communicating with another person. No matter how big or sophisticated the negotiation is, there is a human being on the other side of the table. Most of the work people do preparing for negotiation is about finding out what that counterparty needs to hear to be persuaded. What are […]

  • Vacuum Pressure: The Power of Silence in Negotiation

    Negotiation is an inherently assertive act. Negotiators want to impose their will on others; even the softest negotiations are ultimately about changing what the other side does or believes. It’s a justifiable assumption that the easiest, most effective way to effect that change is to do something actively that reshapes how the other side thinks. […]

  • Cognitive Negotiation

    An interest-based negotiation is like a bespoke suit—or at least, it should be. Often negotiations more resemble picking clothes off the rack, as each party hunts for the deal that fits them the best. Negotiators swap positions back and forth, trading terms like price, quantity, or length of contract against each other to see what […]

  • When “Yes” Feels Riskier Than “No”

    Risk is a powerful motivator, and it factors into almost every serious negotiation. Aggressive negotiators use it to pressure their counterparts into a deal by trying to make them focus on the risks they’ll face if they don’t get a deal. They want their counterparts to think about the negative consequences of saying “no.” “You […]

  • Research Reveals Gender Bias in Deception

    Many women negotiators believe that they face challenges their male counterparts don’t. Social scientists agree. They’ve found, for example, that when negotiating a purchase women are likely to hear a higher initial quote than men would. A recent study explored whether negotiators lie more often to women than men. It found evidence that both men and women lie more often when negotiating with a woman. Fortunately the researchers also tested various hypotheses explaining why that might be true. Their results indicate a few relatively simple strategies that could help women (and men) discourage lying in negotiation.

    TAA–University_bargaining,_1970

    How can we eliminate the gender bias without returning to old-school negotiations?

  • This image is affecting your behavior.

    Priming: the Power of the Environment in Negotiation

    We often think of negotiation as a process that goes on between two people: there’s our side of the table and their side of the table, both trying to reach some solution that accomplishes their interests. Many negotiators focus on those two sides, but forget the table in between them. That’s a mistake, because even something as mundane as the physical environment for a negotiation can make a real difference in how the parties interact.

    This may seem counterintuitive to you, especially if you’re an experienced negotiator focused on the bottom line. But experts in human behavior have studied the effect, called “priming,” extensively. We discussed some of the research, dealing with the influence of media on children, in an earlier piece. And in 2004, researchers from Stanford and Yale published an article detailing several practical experiments they ran to test the effectiveness of priming in a business environment.

  • The Danger of Assumptions

    The Danger of Assumptions In the early years of the 20th century, Captain Robert Scott launched an ill-fated expedition to reach the South Pole. He and his team understood perfectly well that the trek would be physically demanding, and expected—based on the best nutritional information available at the time—that they’d need a high-protein diet to […]