Leadership Tip

How to cool a heated negotiation

Emotions get heated during a negotiation because there are high stakes: people’s jobs, their standing with their bosses, their confidence, the success of a venture, or the future of their business. Whatever the reason the conversation has turned combative, here are a few ways to defuse the situation:

  • Focus on your physical reaction. Breathe deeply to send a message to your brain to remain calm.
     
  • Listen to what your counterpart is saying. Don’t always feel you need to respond to an outburst. If you can, let it go and move on.
     
  • Show you’ve heard what's been said. Calmly paraphrase your counterpart’s argument. Sometimes people just want to be heard.
     
  • Show some empathy. Acknowledge that this is a tough situation.
     
  • Find out more. If you’re the cause of the other person’s frustration, dig deeper to find out why.
     
  • Take a break. If you’re the one getting angry or emotional, step out, go for a walk, and come back when you’re feeling more grounded.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from How to Cool Down a Heated Negotiation by Jeff Weiss. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.

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