Most researchers conclude that negotiators who establish a collaborative atmosphere for a “win-win” solution achieve superior results.
However, Marwan Sinaceur of INSEAD and Stanford’s Larissa Tiedens investigated the potentially-risky tactic of employing strategic anger in negotiations, and found that anger expressions increase expressers’ advantage and “ability to claim value” when negotiation partners think they have few or poor alternatives.
Sinaceur and Tiedens suggest that anger expression communicates toughness, leading most non-angry counterparts to concede more to an angry negotiator.
However, other studies report that people have more negative reactions when women display anger, so “stay tuned” for further research findings on whether women negotiators are more negatively evaluated in negotiations when they express genuine anger in negotiations.
-*But what about the impact of “strategic” expressions of anger that aren’t actually felt?
University of Toronto’s Stéphane Côté collaborated with Ivona Hideg of Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Amsterdam’s Gerben van Kleef to evaluate the impact of surface acting (showing anger that is not truly) on the behavior of negotiation counterparts.
In contrast, “deep acting” anger that is actually felt, decreased negotiation demands, as demonstrated in Sinaceur and Tiedens’ work.
-*Are threats more effective than expressing anger in eliciting concessions in negotiation?
Sinaceur and team collaborated with Margaret Neale of Stanford and Emlyon Business School’s Christophe Haag to report that threats delivered with “poise”, confidence and self-control trump anger to achieve great concessions.
Additional studies or reanalysis of this team’s data will be needed to determine whether women are harshly judged for delivering threats in negotiation situations.
A potential negotiation “work-around” is expressing inconsistent emotions in negotiations.
Saraceur teamed with van Kleef along with Rice University’s Adam Hajo, and Adam Galinsky of Columbia to find negotiators who shifted among angry, happy, and disappointed expressions made recipients feel less control over the outcome, and extracted more concessions from their counterparts.
Emotional inconsistency proved more powerful than expressed anger in extracting concessions, so women may achieve superior negotiation outcomes with varied, unpredictable emotional expression.
-*How do you use and manage emotional expression in negotiations?
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