Emotional Quotient of Negotiation
Jul 15, 2020 | Blog
When you think of negotiation process management, “emotion” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Strategy, desired outcomes, counterarguments – all aspects that immediately claim strong association and likely take precedence. However, it would be a mistake to write emotion off when it comes to negotiation. After all, it plays a vital role in everything surrounding us, shaping our wants, goals, relationships, and actions. This naturally bleeds over into the negotiation process and can help determine whether we’ll be successful or fall short of our mission. How does this work, though, and how do we harness this to work for us rather than against us? Let’s find out.
Do you know your Negotiation Quotient? What is Emotional Intelligence?
Where emotion is the driving force behind how we feel and act, emotional intelligence is the skill that allows us to access that for ourselves and others. At its most basic level, emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage emotions, discern between feelings, and use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior helpfully and productively. Sometimes, this might mean controlling our emotional reactions, but it might also mean using our feelings to connect with those around us. When it comes to negotiation skills, we can use this to empathize with and understand stakeholders, build rapport, and engage more deeply to ensure better contracts and solutions.
Emotion and Its Impact
While hinted at before, we’ll be quite clear now – good negotiation process management relies on emotional intelligence. Right off the bat, it’s essential on your part because negotiation is all about getting something. You have specific wants in mind, whether that’s a better salary, increased company shares, more comprehensive healthcare coverage, longer partnership length, or more. These have a value attached to them, which, while practical in nature, also have a personal, emotional component. You need the skills to recognize this and recognize how getting (or alternatively, not getting) them will impact you.
Your tactics and cooperativeness can then shift to help you achieve your goals. Emotional intelligence is also crucial for your counterpart as they inform our understanding, empathy, and willingness to work with them. Without this intelligence to back us up, negotiations would never go anywhere! Emotion is what helps us work together and work together well. We would only think of ourselves and never of the other party. There would never be any concessions, any compromises, or any chance at mutually beneficial contracts. Basically, business would never happen. Or, if it did, it would be far more negative and unfair than it should be.
Elements to Use in Negotiation
So, now you understand how emotion informs negotiation process management and business as a whole. But how do you translate this into your negotiation skills? Well, we’ll break it down into its five components and use those for better negotiating. These five elements are:
Self-Awareness – Identifying emotions as they happen and understanding the effects they have on others.
Self-Regulation – Controlling emotional impulses and reactions.
Internal Motivation – Recognizing the values and passions that drive who we are and what we do.
Empathy – The ability to understand another’s perspective and change behavior accordingly.
Social Skills – The ability to communicate in a way that draws on the other four elements.
By becoming personally proficient in all of these areas, you can then use them in how you talk, act, and feel at the negotiation table. In using self-awareness, self-regulation, and internal motivation, you can then become clearer about what you need in your contracts. You can offer more clarity regarding your position, and you will avoid anger or anxiety that can either trip you up in negotiations or be used against you.
Meanwhile, practicing empathy and proper social skills will help you create more innovative, cooperative solutions with stakeholders that will ultimately generate better trust, confidence, and long-term partnerships. Of course, this also leaves you more open to exploitation, but it’s a risk worth taking for boosted bargaining outcomes. Temper emotion with awareness and negotiations will be far more productive for all involved.
Intellext is an AI startup that is revolutionizing the way contracts are negotiated, accelerating time to close, and improving deal terms. Intellext’s Intelligent Negotiation Platform™ eliminates the complexities of contract redlines and stakeholder collaboration and optimizes deal terms by applying machine learning during the negotiation process.