Why We Need to Talk About the "F" Word in Negotiation

Why We Need to Talk About the "F" Word in Negotiation

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“How you feel doesn’t matter.” “Women are emotional and therefore make terrible negotiators.” “Your feelings are a weakness.” These are all myths that undermine our humanity and undermine our potential for negotiation success.

To feel is to be human. To have emotional intelligence is to have a secret weapon in a negotiation.

I explain the importance of feelings in negotiation and invite you to join me for a free teleclass on using advanced emotional intelligence for negotiation success

Full Episode Transcript: 

Hello, welcome to episode seventeen. This is Born to Thrive with Jamie Lee. I am your host Jamie Lee. I work as a leadership and negotiation coach for women on the rise. I believe that negotiation skills are leadership skills and that we need to talk about the "F" word in negotiation. 

No, I'm not talking about the four-letter "F" word. I'm talking about feelings. Yes. 

You all have heard this... 
"How you feel doesn't matter. Be strong, and don't back down. No matter what." 
"Whatever you do at the negotiation, don't get emotional. Just focus on the numbers." 
Here's another one: "Women are emotional. Men are rational thinkers and make better negotiators." 
Or how about this one: "Your feelings are a weakness." 

These are all false. Every single one of them. 

Pushing feelings away is like trying to swim underwater without taking breaths. You’ll go five minutes before drowning or popping out of the water, gasping for air. 

Likewise, how you feel can make or break your negotiation. That's why, on Thursday April 26, I'm hosting a free tele-class on how to use advanced emotional intelligence for negotiation success. To register, go to this link

Don’t take my word for it. Take MIT professor Jared R. Curhan’s. 

In their research, he and his colleagues at MIT Sloan School of Management and UC Berkeley found that four things are most important to negotiators: 

  • Their feelings about potential outcomes
  • Their feelings about themselves in the negotiation 
  • Their feelings about the negotiation process
  • Their feelings about their relationship with the other negotiator 

When you feel optimistic about outcomes, confident about yourself, happy about the process, and connected with the other negotiator, negotiating is like a walk in the park. 

When you feel resentful that you don’t have more, insecure about your ability to negotiate, fearful of the process, or angry at the other negotiator, negotiating can be like chewing glass. 

It can be painful. 

It can feel like things are out of control. 

It can be tempting to react by making demands, running out, or starting a fight, which I promise you will backfire. 

Here’s what I want to offer. 

Feelings are not irrational or irrelevant. 

Feelings are generated by your thoughts. 

You have the power to generate new thoughts. 

That means you have the power to deal with negative emotions and generate positive emotions, so you can bring your full capacity for problem-solving, creativity, and leadership to the table. 

So when it comes to negotiating, you have the choice. You can either chew glass or take a walk in the park. 

So my question to you is: Which do you prefer? 

In conclusion, contrary to popular misconception, emotions rule in negotiation.

Smart negotiators prepare a logical case. Masterful negotiators use advanced emotional intelligence to connect with their counterparts in a meaningful way to create durable agreements that unlock benefit for both sides of the table. 

If you'd like to learn more, I invite you to join the free tele-class on Thursday, April 26. Click here to register. 

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