How To Stay Level-Headed During Negotiation

February 16, 2021

It is easier said than done to remain “calm, cool and collected” in a heated situation. When in a tense environment, staying level-headed is often difficult when emotions take control. If you are finding yourself thinking with your heart, instead of your head, here are some negotiation tips to help you keep your head in the game when resolving a dispute.

Develop an emergency plan
Like any effective plan, you should always have a back-up plan in case of an emergency. To ensure your emotions don’t take over, give yourself an ‘out’ – a break that allows you to take a walk to cool down, call a friend or colleague for advice or reinforcement, or remind yourself of your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). To find out more about your BATNA, check out our blog on What you need to know about managing your BATNA.

Shift the focus
It is important to ask questions, bring new information, and test your assumptions. When negotiating, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the numerous options presented, this is where choice-bracketing is useful. When presenting your options to the negotiated counterpart, choice-bracketing can assist with grouping numerous choices into sets, making what seems like a list full of options only a handful. If you find yourself or the other party starting to become frustrated with the direction of the negotiation, make sure everyone understands the choices and be open to choices changing during the negotiation to ensure both parties have their needs met.

Diagnose Your Ailment
What core concerns of yours are not being met? Are you hurt because you feel unappreciated or dismissed? Once you understand why you are upset, you’ll be better able to signal what you need. It is important to ensure that there are clear lines of communication between you and your opposing party to openly voice your concerns. A key factor in conflict resolution acknowledging the other person’s points before asking him or her to acknowledge yours. It will also help to recognise explicitly that you will each see the situation differently and try to go forward as people with a joint problem which requires resolution. “Slow down, calm down, don’t worry, don’t hurry, trust the process” – Alexandra Stoddard

Need more tips on how to lower your emotional temperature? Have no fear, Chris is here! As a Nationally Accredited Mediator, Chris has extensive experience acting for parties and mediating disputes. No matter the negotiation, let Chris Sheath and his team help you when it comes to negotiating with a level head. To find out more about our Mediation services, click here:

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