Tag Archives: threats

How Effective are Strategic Threats, Anger, and Unpredictability in Negotiations?

Most researchers conclude that negotiators who establish a collaborative atmosphere for a “win-win” solution achieve superior results.

Marwan Sinaceur

Marwan Sinaceur

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.

Larissa Tiedens

Larissa Tiedens

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?

Stephane Cote

Stephane Cote

Ivona Hideg

Ivona Hideg

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.

Gerben van Kleef

Gerben van Kleef

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?

Christophe Haag

Christophe Haag

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.

Adam Hajo

Adam Hajo

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.

Adam Galinsky

Adam Galinsky

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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Mindfulness Impedes Implicit Learning, but May Enhance Explicit Learning

Chelsea Stillman

Chelsea Stillman

People typically develop habits without consciously and “mindfully” thinking about them, and habits often develop through “implicit” or unconscious learning.
Moreover, the trait of mindfulness can interfere with habit formation and pattern recognition, according to Georgetown’s Chelsea Stillman, Alyssa M. Coffin, James H. Howard and Darlene Howard.

Chelsea Stillman-Triplet Learning TaskMany recent studies linking positive outcomes to increased mindfulness, so this caveat may be surprising.

James Howard

James Howard

Adult volunteers completed an inventory that assessed their degree of mindfulness as a character trait rather than as a transient state.
They also completed either an alternating serial reaction time task or a triplet-learning task using colored circles to assess their ability to learn complex, probabilistic patterns.

Darlene Howard

Darlene Howard

Those who scored high on trait mindfulness were less effective in detecting and learning the patterns than those with lower mindfulness scores.

Stillman concluded that high attention and awareness of stimuli may inhibit implicit learning, suggesting many questions about situations in which mindfulness is most effective.

Previous blog posts noted that mind wandering may have other virtues, like enabling innovative problems solving.

Travis Proulx

Travis Proulx

Implicit learning, such as required to develop habits, is helped by “unrelated meaning threats” in addition to mindlessness, according to Tilburg University’s Travis Proulx and Steven J. Heine of University of British Columbia.

They provided volunteers with an “unrelated meaning threat” in a short story by Franz Kafka or in a task requiring participants to “argue against one’s own self-unity.” Other participants received no “unrelated meaning threat” to serve as a comparison group.

Steven Heine

Steven Heine

Those who received the threat showed increased detection of patterns within letter strings and better performance on a artificial-grammar learning task, in which they detected a novel pattern embedded in the letter strings.

Proulx and Heine concluded that people may use association patterns unrelated to the original meaning threat when trying to maintain meaning, which they called the “meaning-maintenance model.

Gavriel Solomon

Gavriel Solomon

Differing findings were reported by University of Haifa’s Gavriel Solomon and Tamar Globerson of Tel Aviv University, who found that mindfulness may augment explicit rather than implicit learning.
They argued that
effortful, volitional mindful attention is a key contributor to learning and bridging “the know-doing gap,” described by Stanford’s Jeffrey Pfeffer, supporting recent “pro-mindfulness” findings.

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Jeffrey Pfeffer

-*How do you use mindfulness and mindlessness to enhance learning and creative problem solving?

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