“The degree of stress we experience is correlated to the degree of control we exercise over it. To experience less stress, view its cause as being less threatening. That will lead you to have more control over it.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“How To Control Emotional Killing Stress In Negotiations”
Most negotiators know stress can generate uncontrollable emotions, which in turn can kill a negotiation. What some negotiators don’t realize is, they can control their emotions better by first being mindful of their emotional state when negotiating. In order to do so, they should be aware of what causes them to experience certain emotions, especially the ones that can lead to a loss of emotional control.
In your negotiations, don’t give stress the weapons it needs to use against your emotional state of mind. Observe the following and you’ll be on your way to combating the debilitating and malicious villain that stress poses.
- Intellectually realize and be cognizant of the fact that you control how you interpret what happens to you. Then, enact that reckoning by managing how you allow things to affect you.
- During the negotiation, to deal with situations that might become more stressful, address their sources sooner versus later (note: that may require a balancing act so as not to ‘show your hand’ (i.e. what’s causing stress within you)). By controlling it, you’ll be disallowing stress the opportunity to fester into something that could morph into something that becomes uncontrollable.
- If the suggestions/pronouncements of others don’t serve you, don’t allow them to tell you what bad news is, or things that are unfavorable to you. Their pronouncements do not have to become your reality. By disallowing others from assigning the meaning you should adopt about a situation, you control your mental aspect of it.
- Once you’ve dealt with your stress, be done with it; this may be easier said than done depending on the degree or severity of it. Nevertheless, the overarching theme is, deal with it and move on.
- I know I just stated that once you’ve dealt with stress you should move on, but realize that in some cases, you may have to deal with severe stress multiple times. If that be the case in multiple negotiations, see yourself chipping away at it each time you address it, knowing that you’re making it smaller and smaller with each chip. Thus, moving on will occur over an extended period of time. See yourself as getting stronger, not weaker.
- Always note the progress you’ve made in controlling, dealing with, and moving away from stress. Doing so will serve as a source of motivation as to how good you’re becoming at managing it.
- When confronted with situations that cause you to become stressed, ask the opposing negotiator how might he suggest you deal with his offer (i.e. the item that caused stress). Another question you might pose is, what would that mean to you (i.e. if you granted his request)? In both situations, you will have bought time to think, while at the same time allowing him to feel he’s in control of the negotiation. As you know, control is perceptional. By allowing him to think he has control, he’ll give insights into his thought process. From there, implement what’s feasible to you. After all, you’re following his suggestion(s), so how can he disagree with it.
Stress can kill you in a negotiation, but only if you allow it to. If you don’t give stress the weapons it needs to squash you into the depths of the earth, it becomes a toothless, clawless emblem that can’t harm you. Mark today as the day that you will control stress more effectively in negotiation and all aspects of your life. In so doing, you’ll win more negotiations and do so in less stress filled environments … and everything will be right with the world.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them. You can reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
Remember, you’re always negotiating!