Control Your Anger in Negotiations

Anger works in moderation when negotiating.

That was the key conclusion of a study by Rice and Northwestern Universities.  Hajo Adam, a Rice assistant professor at the Jones Graduate School of Business, was lead in Texas and says an expression of anger has been known to sometimes produce positive effects in business negotiations, but there was a question of the intensity of anger as it relates to effectiveness.

“Initially as anger intensity increases, the angry negotiator elicits larger concessions from a negotiation counterpart,” he says.  The danger is escalation, which becomes counterproductive.  “So the more anger you express the worse feelings get about the negotiation relationship and the less likely it is that the counterpart wants to engage with you in future negations,” Dr. Adam tells KTRH News.  Moderate intensity will get you further than no anger, but blowing a gasket can get you nowhere.  When you’re in the thick of the fight and about to lose your cool, there is something to be said for biting your tongue.

 “More intensity actually leads to smaller concessions from the counterpart,” Dr. Adam explains.

The research results, co-authored by Jeanne Brett, will be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

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