“Negotiator Do You Know How To Stop Deadly Emotions” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Emotions can be easy to control, once you learn how to control them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert  (Click to Tweet)

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“Negotiator Do You Know How To Stop Deadly Emotions”

People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.

Negotiators engaged in easygoing negotiations attribute the flow of the talks to their emotions. For discussions burdened by slowdowns and setbacks, that too is usually due to emotions attached to the negotiation. And that’s why you should be alert to the feelings shown throughout your bargaining sessions. They impact how the interactions will progress and how each negotiator will view the other.  

The following are insights on how to detect deadly emotions. The ideas will help you negotiate away from negative emotions that could ruin your talks. Once armed with this information, you’ll be able to avoid deadly conflicts at the negotiation table, while maintaining greater control of the negotiation.

Negotiator Psychology

Negotiators possess different mindsets at different stages during negotiations. That mindset becomes altered based on what occurs during the exchange of information. Thus, the triggers ignited within the minds of the negotiators, ignites the emotions that follow from the triggers. Accordingly, as is the case when dealing with people in general, you must take into consideration what prompted the mood they display. To that end, be aware of the following mindsets, along with what promotes them to become prevalent in your talks.


A disturbed negotiator seeks ways to assuage his feelings. And if those disturbing feelings occur during a negotiation, he’ll most likely attempt to project his mood onto you. So, how might you contend with someone of this ilk? The answer is, it depends.

If the distempered demeanor is due to something he attributes to you, attempt to understand his emotional point of contention. You won’t know how to address his sourness until you uncover the reasoning for his discontentment.  After you’ve identified and attempted to correct his sulkiness, if his demeanor doesn’t shift, you may have to play hardball with a hardballer. If you’re up for it, prepare for battle. If not, seek someone to negotiate on your behalf.


This negotiator type can be easy. His temperament is one where he goes along to get along. Nevertheless, please don’t sell this individual short by thinking you can have your way because of his initial desire to be pleasing. If he perceives you as being overbearing, untrustworthy, or overly demanding, he may transform into the aggrieved negotiator mentioned a moment ago. And then, instead of stopping deadly emotions from hampering your negotiation, you may have just given life to the death of it.


The neutral negotiator type enters the negotiation with emotions that are unaligned. That state is a, “let’s wait and see what happens. Then, I’ll adopt the persona that I’ll display.”

Since this person has an open mind when entering the negotiation, the way you treat him will shape his emotions. The trick is the balance you must maintain between acquiring what you want, compared to what he wants, and what you’re willing to give. That can be a delicate balancing act to perform. Still, if you and he maintain an exuberant state of emotions throughout the process, the avoidance of deadly emotions should be easy to accomplish.

Detecting Emotional Shifts


Before becoming aware of unpleasant emotions, you must possess mindfulness about the environment. That means you must be mindful of verbal and nonverbal cues emitted by the other negotiator, along with other gestures that convey his emotional state of mind. If you miss those inputs, you’ll miss outcries for attention. And that could lead you deeper into a negotiation fraught with deadly emotions ahead.

Nonverbal Utterances

Per tones emitted, some negotiators convey their sentiment to statements made by grunting – that’s an example of a nonverbal emotional display. That grunt is a negotiator’s sign signaling the expression of his feelings. And that utterance will occur based on what was said or done. Note when it happens. It has meaning.


People communicate through their words, body language gestures, and nonverbal sounds. To detect when an emotional shift occurs, observe when someone’s verbiage becomes more pronounced, an escalation in their declarations, and heightened nonverbal communication. Such signs will denote a change in their mental attitude, which might be your sign to intervene to prevent their emotions from placing the negotiation in danger.

Controlling Emotional Flow

Savvy negotiators understand the power contained in controlling the emotions that flow during a negotiation. Thus, like an orchestra director, they seek to harmonize the talk to be pitch-perfect when such serves their needs. They’re also aware that tension in certain situations can create compliance. Thus, they engage in the sense of steadiness between having the most meaningful of emotions at the proper position at the appropriate time. Observe the following when attempting to control the emotional flow in your negotiation.

Course Correction

Every negotiation has course corrections. It’s in the form of accepting and rejecting offers and counteroffers. And during that process, talks can become vulnerable to emotional outbursts that lead to dangerous consequences.

Thus, you should pick an appropriate point in the negotiation to engage in a course correction. Such aspects might occur when the negotiators are tired, or when it’s time to eat. It can happen at any moment in which you can create an excuse to exit the negotiation for a break. What you’re seeking is a way to disrupt the events that are causing negativity to flow. By exiting the environment that’s causing tempers to create stress, you alleviate the source of the tension. Once you reassemble, do so with a pleasant demeanor in the atmosphere.  


Every negotiator displays emotions when they negotiate. Good negotiators use tactics, such as those mentioned, to control their emotions and those of the other negotiators. Once you become adept at utilizing the strategies mentioned, you’ll be in greater control of all of your negotiations. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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