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Manage anxiety when negotiating

So you’ve been called to do some negotiating for a job and you are anxious right? Well don’t feel bad about that because research shows that most people express some degree of anxiety when they are at a negotiating table so take heart you are not alone.

You’ve ticked off the usual checklist involving what you want to get out of the negotiation, what the trade offs are, what are your options, the consequences and the power plays involved but this doesn’t completely calm you down

The fact that when going for a meeting where you need to negotiate the best terms for your firm to take on the project you don’t know what to expect and you don’t know what the outcome will be and this is a good recipe for nervousness.

The problem then is when you are anxious what do you tend to do? This will greatly determine the course of the next hour of the negotiations. If your nervousness makes you defensive for instance then you will be distrustful and wary misreading any remarks or questions and causing the other party to misread your attitude as one of being hostile. After that it will be downhill.

Being able to understand and manage emotions positively will relieve your anxiety and enable you to communicate more effectively while empathizing with the other party. We all know that the most successful people are not always the smartest. Many academically intelligent people are a mess when it comes to negotiating because they simply can’t manage their emotions let alone be aware of the other persons during crucial negotiations.

The key is not to suppress the emotions you are feeling but instead be aware of them without letting them take control. This suggests that you have to have a high level of emotional intelligence something that is all too uncommon. But this is critical especially if the other party maybe the one who is more tense. Maintaining a calm demeanor will go a long way in defusing most tense situations.

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