Anxious negotiators make lower first offers, exit earlier, and earn lower profits due to their “low self-efficacy” beliefs, according to Harvard’s Alison Wood Brooks and Maurice E. Schweitzer of University of Pennsylvania,
Brooks and Schweitzer induced anxious feelings or neutral reactions during continuous “shrinking-pie” negotiation tasks.
Compared with negotiators experiencing neutral feelings, negotiators who feel anxious typically expect to achieve lower profits, present more cautious offers, and respond more cautiously to propositions presented by negotiation counterparts.
Anxious negotiators who achieved poor bargaining outcomes did not manage emotions with cognitive strategies including:
- Strategic optimism, indicated by expecting positive outcomes without anxiety or detailed reflection, according to University of Miami’s Stacie Spencer and Julie Norem of Wellesley,
- Reattribution, identified by considering alternate interpretations of events to increase optimism and self-efficacy beliefs,
Self-handicapping, signaled by avoiding anxiety-provoking situations, creating self-defeating obstacles to explain poor outcomes and preserve self-esteem, according to University of Rochester’s Andrew Elliott and Marcy Church of St. Mary’s University,
- Defensive pessimism, marked by high motivation toward achievement coupled with negative expectations for future challenges, leading to increased effort and preparation, according to Wellesley College’s Julie Norem and Edward Chang of University of Michigan.
Norem and Cantor concluded that defensive pessimists performed worse when “encouraged” by telling them that that based on their academic performance, they should expect to perform well on anagram and puzzle tasks.
Among university students, defensive pessimism was related to lower self-esteem, self-criticism, pessimism, and discounting previous successful performances when they began university studies, according to Norem and Brown’s Jasmina Burdzovic Andreas.
However, their longitudinal study demonstrated that self-esteem increased to almost the same levels as optimists during their four years of university study.
Pessimists’ precautionary countermeasures may have resulted in strong performance, which built credible self-esteem.
Defensive pessimism’s positive performance outcomes suggest that this cognitive strategy is an effective, if uncomfortable, approach to managing anxiety and performance motivation.
-*How do you manage anxiety in high-stakes negotiations?
- How Effective are Strategic Threats, Anger, and Unpredictability in Negotiations?
- Power Tactics for Better Negotiation
- Have You Agreed to Every Bad Deal You’ve Gotten?
- Do You Have Agreement Bias – The Impulse to Accept Bad Deals?
- Ask for What You Want: You Have More Influence Than You Think – For Good or Ill
- Women Balance on the Negotiation Tightrope to Avoid Backlash
- Negotiation Style Differences: Women Don’t Ask for Raises or Promotions as Often as Men
- Women’s Career Development Model – Individual Action in Negotiation, Networking-Mentoring-Sponsorship, Skillful Self-Promotion – Part 2 of 2
- “Feminine Charm” as Negotiation Tactic
- Are You Excited Yet? Anxiety as Positive “Excitement” to Improve Performance
- Emotional Awareness Enables Focus, Risk-taking Even When “Stressed”
- Unrealistic Optimism Drives Profitability
- Useful Fiction: Optimism Bias of Positive Illusions
- Reframing Non-Comparable Choices to Make Them Simpler, More Satisfying
- Creating Productive Thought Patterns through “Thought Self-Leadership”