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Emotional Commitments in Negotiation with Svitlana Kalitsun, Ep #320

Svitlana Kalitsun is a Ukrainian negotiation expert and lawyer who teaches people how to create trusting relationships to get better deals and more satisfying results. In this episode, we talk about how to handle politically divisive conflicts. In part, it comes by tying emotions to logical commitments. Listen to this episode for an interesting conversation about flexibility, adaptability, and emotional commitments in negotiation.

Note: We’re recording this episode on 10/21/22. As the Russo-Ukrainian War is a fluid situation, things may have drastically changed by the time this episode airs.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:13] Learn more about Svitlana Kalitsun
  • [2:07] Svitlana’s thoughts on the Russian-Ukraine War
  • [5:18] Have negotiations already begun?
  • [6:59] What flexibility looks like in negotiations
  • [14:19] Logical versus emotional commitments

Svitlana’s thoughts on the Russian-Ukraine War

Svitlana teaches negotiation classes at the Lviv Business School in Ukraine. Her Ukrainian students often ask how she’d solve the situation in Ukraine using negotiation principles. Her students have a hunger for knowledge and are open-minded.

Her class is overbooked. These people are sitting in bomb shelters attending her class because they want to understand the nature of conflict and find a way to solve it. They know every war ends with negotiation.

Typically, you divide positions from interests. But positions in war are usually politically driven or difficult to determine. And political context can be overwhelmingly contradictory. These students want to learn how to apply negotiation principles to a very difficult and traumatic time. But there are so many unknowns because of the conflict.

Have negotiations already begun?

Svitlana believes negotiations have begun and are ongoing. Parties at war are in constant communication through various means. But no one knows what will happen next. Svitlana understands that to be successful and survive, the Ukrainian people have to be adaptable and adjust to the changes happening as they happen. For those of us on the outside looking in, this can be hard to grasp.

Emotional negotiations and commitment

In emotional negotiations, such as religious disputes or ending a war, getting a commitment from the counterparty can be challenging. When public sentiment comes into play, people become impatient and want to reach a commitment quickly. But these topics are complex and will take a depth of discussion.

Svitlana used to think of a commitment as something that is limiting—something you have to do and stick to. But committing is good. People that commit are focused and know what to do. Making a commitment helps people become part of something larger than they are. It makes them feel like part of a team. A commitment usually leads to positive outcomes.

Logical versus emotional commitments

Sometimes people need an emotional reason to commit. Two parties may have a negotiation and come to a logical conclusion. But because of the emotion injected into the conflict, the loss of life, and every other nuance surrounding the conflict, the emotional commitment feels greater than the logical commitment. Tying emotion to commitment is important.

Emotion is the superstructure of negotiation that must be acknowledged. In the end, you have to acknowledge your emotions or they will become obstacles that need to be overcome.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Svitlana Kalitsun

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