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6 Ways to Handle Emotional Negotiations


Staying unemotional in a situation that will impact your future is easier said than done. But it’s also one of the most important things to keep in mind as you head into negotiations, no matter what’s on the table. Humans are emotional. And when we get emotional, we stop thinking rationally, which can lead us to do and say things that we will regret later. We can blow a big deal by letting our anger and frustration get the better of us. When emotions take over, we stop listening to the other person and focus on the feelings instead of the goals we have for the negotiation.

So, what should we do if we sense emotions are taking over in a negotiation? Try these tips.

1. Know your triggers 

Before going into a negotiation, know what tends to trigger your negative emotions. If you are aware that one of your emotional triggers is someone interrupting you, for example, it will be easier to remain calm if it happens. Knowing yourself is the first step in successful negotiations.

2. Be mindful 

Keep your finger on your emotional pulse during bargaining. Notice your thoughts and feelings so that you can counteract them as needed. If you can stay aware of how you feel during the conversation, you can more quickly respond to those emotions, instead of becoming triggered by them.

3. Move back towards facts 

If you can catch it soon enough, this might work. You can redirect the conversation back to the facts of the case and away from the raising emotions or the people involved.

4. Take a timeout 

If emotions start to run high, suggest taking a short break to regroup. This can give everyone a chance to regain their composure before moving forward. That short break can end up saving time and the deal.

 5. Use active listening

This tip is one of your best defenses when the other party is getting frustrated. Maybe they feel they aren’t being heard or acknowledged for their ideas. You can effectively reverse their tense emotions by moving into active listening. This will let them know that you are listening and understanding what they are proposing.

6. Remember your goal 

If you feel yourself becoming angry or frustrated, remind yourself about what you know about emotions clouding judgments. As mentioned above, emotions are a natural part of life, but they can be your worst enemy at the negotiation table. Work to stay composed. If you need to take a break to collect yourself, that’s always an option.

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Kurt Francis
Bestselling author, Kurt Francis is a dynamic, energetic, and passionate coach, award-winning speaker, trainer, consultant, and life-changer! He has spoken at prestigious venues like the Harvard Club of Boston and shared the stage with celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner and George Ross! His Vision for the next 20 years is to Invigorate, Transform and Impact 1 million people with courageous confidence to become who they are destined to be. He touches lives all over the world with programs like the "One Thing" and "My Epoch Challenge," a program of his own design. Whether you are reading his words, hearing him speak, or watching him captivate a crowd, you'll become an instant fan!

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