“Do You Know How To Control Emotions To Win More Negotiations”

“Control your emotions better, and you better control the emotions in your environment.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Do You Know How To Control Emotions

To Win More Negotiations”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Emotions play a vital role in every negotiation. Thus, they determine the flow of the talks and its outcome. So, given its importance, how do you control emotions during your talks? And do you know the strategies you can use to control emotions better?

After embracing the following information, you will better understand how to control emotions and win more negotiations.

Impulse Control

One aspect of controlling emotions is realizing that every situation you encounter differs from the past. When people negotiate, they may view current conditions, offers, and counteroffers, through the lens they have experienced in prior talks. In so doing, they may misjudge the intent of the other negotiator due to how a previous negotiator made such an offer.

Therefore, to control emotions better during negotiation, consider why you feel a particular way about the other negotiator. Ask yourself if your concerns stem from how they present themselves and their offers. To exercise greater control of your emotions, always prepare your mind to deal with the biases you may be using to weigh your opinions.

Knowing how you might be triggered to respond one way or another before it occurs allows you the temperament to control emotions better. That, in turn, will enable you to negotiate more effectively.  


As stated, you must become highly aware of the triggers that control your emotions to negotiate effectively and win more negotiations. The greater you control emotions, the more impact you will have on the talks. Remember that control, or lack of it, influences your actions and those of the competing negotiator.

So, how might you control the triggers that control emotions?

1. Raise self-awareness about your thought process, how you become heated in certain situations, and how you might alleviate such emotions. With that insight, you should become better at controlling how you react and respond to circumstances.

2. While raising awareness about the triggers that might alarm your emotions, consider the ones that might inflame the opposition, too. You can gather those insights based on what you gleaned about that person during the planning stages of the negotiation. During your information gathering phase, investigate your target’s touch points with others.

Depending on the stakes, reach those with the most significant impact on the opposing negotiator to discern their actions with that individual. Observe the triggers that made your target react one way versus another.

3. When confronted with assumptions about how you or your opponent might be triggered, consider engaging in a mock negotiation. Doing so may uncover unsuspected triggers, from which you will become better prepared to avoid or use them during the talks.

Causes of Anger

A man was talking with his female companion and cited study results he had seen recently that indicated women need more sleep than men. His female companion said emphatically that she disagreed with that statement. Feeling like he had to defend his position, the man began to tell her about the data gathering process and sample size and how that impacted statistical results.

The woman restated her perspective, and she and her male counterpart quickly found themselves locked in a debate that spiraled downward. So, what occurred in this situation, and how might either party have controlled it by controlling their emotions?

1. The man may have said to his female companion, you have an interesting perspective; tell me more? That would have allowed the woman to expand on her thoughts, which would have given the man more insights into her beliefs.

2. The woman might have asked the man if he thought that was true of all women or those of a certain age.

In either case, either party could have observed their emotional state and curbed them before they inflamed the situation. And that could have been done at several junctures during the conversation. The point is to control emotions better seek to understand the prevailing point of others. It is from that base that greater understanding and control will emanate.


Another way to control emotions is to ask the other negotiator to reframe their statement, offer, etc. To enhance the process, you might consider saying, so I can understand your position better, please paraphrase it.

Doing that allows you to be perceived as less threatening, which should minimize the negative emotions your counterpart experiences. Reframing in a mild tone of voice is very disarming, too. It will give you greater control of most environments in which you find yourself.


During negotiation, most negotiators expect consistency. That means if a negotiator states they are negotiating in good faith, they are expected to abide by their position. If they alter their actions, that act can lead to angst. And in return, that could become the foundation upon which emotions begin to rise.

When making offers or counteroffers, consider the words you use to represent them. Do not haphazardly speak without thinking about how your comments will impact your requests. By presenting your offers and using word choices aligned with how your counterpart understands them, you will possess a hidden psychological form of control, which is another way to control emotions better.


During negotiations, to control emotions better, realize that you nor anyone views situations from the same perspective. Being mindful of this will allow you to maintain a more open mind. Thus, give the other negotiator grace for presenting their view from points you had not considered.

When you control emotions, you do so for yourself and the other negotiator. Accordingly, you will have greater control in the negotiation. That, in turn, should lead you to experience more winning negotiations. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

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