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How to Get Your Anger Under Control in a Negotiation per Svitlana Kalitsun, Ep #175

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It’s become fairly evident that emotions play a large part in negotiations. Being able to manage your emotions is one of the most important parts of a negotiation. When things go sideways, frustration builds, and tempers flare, what do you do? How do you keep your emotions from spinning out of control?

Svitlana Kalitsun realized through her career as a lawyer that negotiation techniques aren’t taught—but they’re expected of lawyers. So she sought out negotiation training and found her calling. Now, Svitlanais a trainer at the Negotiation Academy, based in Vienna, Austria. She has 10+ years of experience working in leading law firms and large corporations. Svitlana is one of the leading women in the world at what she does.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:30] Svitlana Kalitsun’s background in negotiation
  • [4:57] Why we counter emotion with emotion
  • [6:52] How to counteract an angry response
  • [11:41] How to deal with a counterparts emotion
  • [17:11] What happens after you’ve cooled down?
  • [18:24] Why “I feel” versus “you are”
  • [22:00] Emotion is a distraction from the negotiation
  • [22:52] How to connect with Svitlana Kalitsun

Why we counter emotion with emotion

As soon as we see someone being emotional, we respond with a very basic biological reaction: anger. Humans deal with isopraxism—the body’s natural response to mirror someone else’s body language or behavior. It creates a cycle of anger.

Svitlana points out that most negotiators aren’t properly trained on how to handle their emotions. We’ve evolved into creatures ready to fight with the slightest provocation. The more ancient part of our brains kicks in to work against us. It’s almost like we have to fight against our natural evolution to control ourselves. It’s difficult. Svitlana adds that we often express our anger in the moment and end up regretting it. So what do you do?

What to do when you feel angry

We don’t want to say something that we would regret that could potentially ruin the negotiation. So what should you do? Svitlana notes that there are two categories of anger: Your anger, and your counterparty’s anger.

If you feel angry, the best thing to do is recognize what you’re feeling. Ask yourself: How are you feeling? What are you feeling? Most people often feel threatened, like something is in danger. Are you protecting yourself against something? Recognize the emotion and control it. If you’re angry, it’s not a safe way to negotiate.

Don’t label yourself “I am angry”. Doing so makes you further embody the anger. But if you label what you’re feeling—“I am feeling angry”—you’re able to create a dissociation from the feeling itself to deal with that emotion. Labeling the emotion helps you dissociate from it and look at it objectively.

Bring emotional intelligence to the table

We are all people. We all have emotions, moods, and bad days. Just to know how you feel is a superpower. Svitlana emphasizes that everyone needs to bring emotional intelligence to the negotiation table. As long as you know how you feel and know yourself, you are able to bring results. It’s all about yourself and you CAN influence yourself.

The goal must always be to break the cycle of escalation. You don’t want to escalate the anger within the room. It’s challenging to deal with it. That’s why it’s so important to control your emotions—because it’s so easy to lose control. How do you deal with a counterpart’s anger? How do you ask the right questions to move the negotiation forward? Listen to the whole episode to learn more!

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