Role of Emotions In Negotiations

HBS Senior Lecturer Andy Wasynczuk, a former negotiator for the New England Patriots, explores the sometimes intense role that emotions can play in negotiations.

A simple view of negotiation presents a cold transaction between what one person has and what the other person is willing to pay for it. If the price is right, the deal gets done.

As anyone who has recently bought a car or sold a house knows, however, negotiations are rarely so dispassionate. As soon as the checkbook comes out a flood of emotions comes out with it—fear, anxiety, competitiveness, anger, annoyance—all of which can influence what either side is willing to accept.
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