In negotiations, emotions too often overwhelm our best intentions, and what was a resolvable dispute turns into a bitter feud.
In a remarkable insightful book, The Power of Pause, (2010), author Nance Guilmartin reminds us that we spend too much time driving in automatic.
Automatic decision making causes us to:
- Have knee-jerk reactions - emotions drive is to act before we reflect.
- Go with our gut - we follow the instant ‘go or no go’ feeling.
- Persuade or delude ourselves - “I’m the boss: It’s my call”.
- Take it personally - “I can’t believe they did that to me”.
Instead of driving on automatic Guilmartin says we should use a mental shortcut - similar to the process we use to drive a manual car - to jumpstart a pause.
Unlike an automatic transmission - where all you do is turn on the ignition, step on the gas and do - a stick shift requires you to:
- Briefly ease your foot off the gas
- Momentarily disengage the gears by pushing down the clutch
- Move the gear - shift lever through neutral
- Engage the correct gear
- Smoothly re-engage the clutch by lifting your foot
The pause takes only a split second and when you do it expertly, you are able to apply maximum engine power to the wheels.
The Power of Pause is full of insightful comments and examples. All negotiators - in fact anyone who works in conflict resolution should read this book.
The Power of Pause helps you to prevent misunderstandings and resolve disputes.
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posted in Negotiation Mistakes |
Research into the social nature of the brain by David Rock, the founding president of the Neuro Leadership Institute and the author of Your Brain at Work (Harper Business, 2009) has coined a couple of useful models encapsulated by the acronym SCARF which can help negotiators anticipate some of the problems caused by the toxic or negative emotions that too often overwhelm negotiators and prevent collaborative agreements.
SCARF itemizes the particular qualities that the brain perceives as threats.
Threat One: Status problems
Anything that fundamentally threatens the status of the other side will trigger a negative response.
Threat Two: Certainty Challenges
Humans like certainty. It allows us to operate on automatic pilot. Create huge uncertainty and you will trigger a primal threat response.
Threat Three: Lack of Autonomy
A perception of reduced autonomy - for example - can easily generate a threat response.
Threat Four: Relatedness Problems
When humans are cut off from social interaction with their friends and colleagues, threat levels escalate.
Threat Five: Problems of Fairness
Hostility and trust diminishes when a person’s perception of fairness is undermined.
Putting on the SCARF
If you are a negotiator you need to be conscious of offers or positions that undermine perceived levels of status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness.
Popularity: 9% [?]
posted in Deal Psychology |