Emotional Competence in International Negotiation and Mediation Practice
Cognition and emotion have a great deal in common and yet they serve complementary roles; both make use of information from the environment to guide action, and both are processes that may operate unconsciously (Planalp & Fitness, 1999). Essentially, cognition and emotion provide information about the environment, and about the self in interaction with the environment (Aquilar, 2000; Safran & Segal, 1990). Thinking is understood to be an embodied process: we know things not just through our heads, but also through our actions, and our bodily felt experience (Damasio, 1994). Thinking, feeling, and acting are interdependent aspects of the same process (Safran 2002). Unfortunately, the belief that emotion is a weakness still gives rise to the common attitude that people at the negotiation table must keep a “poker face.” On the contrary, we think that emotions are a compass that the negotiator has at his disposal for being able to manouevre in the complex labyrinth of the interpersonal relational world. Emotions typically arise because of the evaluations of events in relation to a person’s individual concer ns and expectations and emotional negative arousal could cause conflicts to escalate and negotiations to break down.
KeywordsNegative Emotion Positive Emotion Emotional Experience Negotiation Process International Negotiation
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