Can you control your emotions when negotiating an important deal? It can be tough to deal with stressful situations without having natural reactions; it’s in our DNA to be emotional and have erratic break outs in circumstances that make us feel uncomfortable.
It doesn’t really matter whether women are more sensitive than men; bottom line, you must learn to manage your emotional ups and downs, particularly in situations when an opponent makes you feel threatened or overly-challenged. Each time something surprises or shocks you, use your inner strength to fight back.
The easiest way to harness and manage emotions in negotiations is to prepare you for unforeseen situations. Here are some excellent strategies for negotiators to help them deal with their emotions in business negotiations.
Prior to entering a negotiation you have to be knowledgeable and aware that anything can happen. You can win, lose or reach mutual ground. You have to accept the facts and keep your calm, no matter what. Don’t allow opponents to “read” you. Although you may be anxious and nervous, others can’t see those feelings written all over your face.
Let’s assume that you’re pitching new ideas in front of a company’s marketing department. You’re proud of your strategies but at the same time, you feel frustrated that people are not buying your proposal. What do you do? First, you have to become aware of those feelings; then, you must thoroughly assess them.
What can you do to make the audience pay attention? Redirect your frustration towards better feelings. Don’t many any assumptions as you can’t read people’s minds. Stay positive and keep your cool.
If you must change gears, make sure to identify alternate strategies and objectives. Understand the negotiation, assess its importance and make a list with wishes and concessions you’re willing to make. Set the tone by crafting a strong opening statement; always remember that thoughtful preparation breeds confidence and helps keep emotions away.
Be open minded
When an opponent asks you for something, don’t react aggressively. Be open-minded, express your thoughts clearly, and put conditions. Let’s assume that a supplier won’t agree to a 10% discount for his merchandise. That’s ok as you may ask for some incentives that you can consider valuable for your business. You could ask for free shipping and faster delivery for example.
Look for signals
Listening and observing an opponent’s reactions to a proposed deal is a skill you should master. Phrases and words such as “not now” “maybe” “we’ll see” and requesting small concessions (make sure they indicate that you are prepared to seal the deal) may get ignored if you’re too fixated on your responses. Pay close attention to red flags and internal signals, meant to guide and steer you on the right path.
Use emotions to your advantage
Believe it or not, emotions can be used to your benefit in business negotiations. All you have to do is select the right feelings to guide you. Rather than feel anxious and concerned, choose to remain calm and relaxed. Why feel insecure when there’s no reason to feel insecure? You could easily swap your anxiety for curiosity. Listen to the vocal tone of your opponent and become interested in what they’re saying. By focusing on the actual conversation, your feelings of angst will fade away.
Put your anger to good use
Anger can become your best attribute during a business negotiation. You just have to learn how to use it. Some business people feel more resourceful when they’re irritated; it may sound surprising but this conflicting sentiment can stimulate the brain and make it more lucrative. In special circumstances, anger can be associated with resilience. A hard-hitting attitude may frighten counterparts, and thus you will be free to use persuasive techniques to win negotiations.
Always know your limits and don’t permit anger to become your worst enemy. If you’re not attentive, this feeling can become dangerous and it can interfere with your abilities to bargain. Rookie negotiators should adhere to a detailed negotiation training program before dealing with important deals; you may have the potential to win, but you also need guts and determination to make opponents respect and esteem you.