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Emotions In Negotiation

by Jeff Thompson
December 2009

From Jeff Thompson's Enjoy Mediation Blog

Jeff Thompson

Interested in leaving emotions out of your mediation or negotiation? Go ahead mate- let me know how that works out for you!

For those, like me, who realize how important it is to be mindful of emotions in every mediation and negotiation the following audio clip (Note the interview is done by Dr. Josh Weiss, Harvard Program on Negotiation) I think you will find incredibly beneficial. I have read Fisher and Shapiro’s book
Beyond Reason many times and consider it a vital reference tool for preparing for mediations as well as designing any training program I put together.

Fisher and Shapiro mention how five core concerns which can be used to stimulate helpful emotions include (page 204):

Appreciation: This is achieved when you understand the other’s point of view; finding merit in their thoughts, feelings and actions. Oh, and don’t forget to appreciate your thoughts, feelings and actions too!

Affiliation: As the mediator or negotiator, building connections between the two parties helps build rapport and accumulate yeses. Accumulating yeses is a good thing. Why, it helps build rapport. Yes, I just went in a circle and the point is rapport and yeses helps bring parties closer towards working collaboratively and not seeing each other as an adversary.

Autonomy: Very simply, everyone like being part of the decision process and not being told what to do or be given the answer or solution- even when you think it’s the best solution.
Status: Acknowledge people’s status- be it their title at work, in their community, or in the family. I am not saying let it dictate terms or unbalance the playing field but acknowledging people’s status can help the other side move forward in a positive manner.
Role: Include them in the process!
Yes, this is very short and simple for a reason. Listen to the audio link, why bother reading my words when you can hear the author?! I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.

Remember, these core concerns I think are best view not as separate concerns but seeing how they interplay with each other as well as other concerns.Enjoy the interview [
here].

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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