The Power of Positive Emotions
Often times, negotiators are told to “swallow their pride,” or to “keep a straight face.” However, what they do not realize is that emotions are unavoidable, and can even be used as leverage to create a positive negotiation (Lewicki, Lewicki, Barry & Saunders, 2009). It has been shown that suppressing emotions can have a negative effect on the outcome of the negotiation, often leading the negotiator to become competitive throughout the process. Negative emotions can have their downfalls in this process, but it is possible for a negotiator to use positive emotions to motivate collaboration. Ultimately, when a negotiator is able to embrace the power of emotions, it will allow them to increase the likelihood of achieving both affective and instrumental satisfaction (Lewicki, Lewicki, Barry & Saunders, 2009).
Through research, it has been found that it is really impossible to suppress one’s emotions (Lewicki, Lewicki, Barry & Saunders, 2009). When we feel a particular emotion, we come to realize what it is that we are experiencing. We cannot stop our body from feeling this emotion, but what we can do is suppress the physical expression of that emotion. For example, if someone makes a negative remark to a negotiator, the negotiator will experience anger, sadness, or resentment, but it is up to him or her whether or not he or she let the person know how that remark has made him or her feel. Emotions are considered authentic when internally experienced and externally displayed emotions align (Cote, 2005). Evidence shows that the act of suppressing emotions will actually increase physiological arousal in oneself and the negotiator’s client. With this happening, the negotiator’s attention capacity will decrease, making the likelihood for stereotypical thinking higher (Lewicki, Lewicki, Barry & Saunders, 2009). This will lead to a biased outcome.
Understanding emotions is an extremely important factor in a successful...