Your pride about your last negotiation may harm your next negotiation

How Your Last Deal Could Harm Your Next Deal

Your pride about your last negotiation may harm your next negotiation
Your pride about your last negotiation may harm your next negotiation
Image Credit: Thomas Hawk Follow

So first off – congratulations! The last negotiation that you were involved in went very well. You were able to use your negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to get a deal that you feel proud of and you’ve been congratulated by everyone you know for conducting a professional negotiation. Right about now you are probably feeling a real sense of pride. Now it’s time for you to move on to your next negotiation. You feel that this next negotiation should go as well as the last one did. However, is this feeling going to work in your favor or is it going to work against you?


The Problem With The Carryover Effect

As negotiators, what we need to realize is that emotions that are triggered by a particular negotiation can carry over and affect our decisions in subsequent negotiations. A quick example of this would be if you were to have a fender bender on the way to a negotiation. The result of this could be that when you get to the negotiation you may still feel angry and end up behaving more aggressively than usual as a result. Most negotiators tend to believe that we can put aside such “incidental emotions”—those that are incidental to what we are doing—and negotiate rationally, but that is generally not the case.

Where this all becomes a big deal is when we engage in sequential negotiating. What we are talking about here is when we engage in sequential negotiations—that is, frequent negotiations with different individuals and different organizations. Some negotiators often move from one negotiation to the next with little or no break, for example. How we feel at the end of one negotiation—a concept known as “subjective value” — will trigger emotions that may spill over and affect our negotiation behavior with the other in the future.


How To Manage Incidental Emotions

The problem with incidental emotions comes to a head when we reach the end of a negotiation. This is when the pride that we are feeling from our previous negotiation can block us from completing this next deal. In order to deal with this situation, there are some steps that negotiators can take.

The first thing that we can do is to take breaks between negotiations. When possible, take some time off following a negotiation to let your emotions cool down, lest they carry over and hinder results in your next negotiation. Moreover, negotiators should be attuned to the carryover effects of emotion and give their team flexibility over their negotiation scheduling.

The next thing that you need to do is to pinpoint the emotion’s source. Research has found that identifying the source of an incidental emotion can lessen its impact on our future judgments and decisions. So if you are feeling pride after closing the deal in negotiations, you should remind yourself that this mood is not necessarily going to help your next negotiation situation.

Finally, what you are going to want to do is to strive for a humble mindset. Because pride from one negotiation can have unwanted consequences on your next one, it is recommended that we try to foster a more humble mindset after a success by asking ourselves what we would do differently in the next negotiation. By taking the time to do this, we can reset how we are feeling and allow how we are feeling about the previous negotiation to have less of an impact on the negotiation that we are currently involved in.


What All Of This Means For You

Any time that we are able to successfully complete a principled negotiation, we are going to feel good about what we’ve been able to accomplish. However, it turns out that there may be a downside to this. If when we enter into our next negotiation we are still feeling a sense of pride from our last negotiation, it may interfere with our ability to close the deal that we are currently working on.

The emotions that we felt coming out of the last negotiation may play a role in the negotiation that we are now engaged in. These types of emotions are called “incidental emotions”. When we engage in sequential negotiations incidental emotions can spill over and can affect our behavior. This can come to a head at the end of a negotiation. To prevent that from happening, there are things that we can do. We can take breaks between negotiations. We can pinpoint the source of our emotions. We can change our mindset to become humble.

We always have the same goal when we enter into a negotiation: we want to be able to reach a deal with the other side that will meet our needs. However, it turns out that if we’ve been able to do this in the past, the positive feelings that can come from that negotiation can come back to haunt us. We need to learn how to take the emotions that come from one negotiation and put them away before we start our next negotiation. Finding a way to make each negotiation a unique and separate experience is our ticket to negotiating success.


– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™


Question For You: What would be the best way to determine if you were allowing emotions from another negotiation enter into your current negotiation?


Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So first off – congratulations! The last negotiation that you were involved in went very well. You were able to use your negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to get a deal that you feel proud of and you’ve been congratulated by everyone you know for conducting a professional negotiation. Right about now you are probably feeling a real sense of pride. Now it’s time for you to move on to your next negotiation. You feel that this next negotiation should go as well as the last one did. However, is this feeling going to work in your favor or is it going to work against you?

Leave a Comment