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 suggested 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,
-*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 felt) on the behavior of negotiation counterparts.
They found that disingenuous anger expressions can backfire, leading to intractable, escalating demands, attributed to reduced trust.
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, and reported that threats delivered with “poise,” confidence and self-control trump anger to achieve great concessions.
A potential negotiation “work-around” is expressing inconsistent emotions in negotiations.
Saraceur teamed with van Kleef with Rice University’s Adam Hajo, and Adam Galinsky of Columbia, and found that 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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Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
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