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Essay on Perception and Emotion in Negotiation



Essay on Perception and Emotion in Negotiation


Perception and emotion are key elements of negotiation. Perception is the process through which people connect to their environment. In other words, it is the sense-making process that enables individuals to interpret their environment and respond accordingly. However, given the intricacy of the environment, it is impossible for people to interpret all information. As a result, they tend to take shortcuts even in negotiations to process information, but these shortcuts open the window for the occurrence of perceptual errors such as stereotyping, halo effects, selective perception and projection.

Stereotyping is an extremely rife perceptual distortion and it occurs when a person accords certain attributes to another person based on that individual’s membership in a particular demographic or social category. For example, he is a Mexican, so he must know about tacos. Such kinds of stereotypes are difficult to avert when an individual has already formed that opinion about another person. Halo effects are similar to stereotypes only that they occur when a person generalizes about various attributes of another person based on the knowledge of a single attribute of that person. For instance, a person who is fidgeting while speaking is perceived as being dishonest.Essay on Perception and Emotion in Negotiation

While stereotyping and halo effects result in perceptual distortion through generalization, that is, utilizing small quantities of perceptual information to draw large conclusions about people, selective perception and projection bring about perceptual distortion though anticipating particular qualities and attributes in people. For instance, in selective perception, the perceiver or negotiator singles out a certain piece of information that espouses a prior belief that he or she had of another person and shuns contrary information. Projection arises out of the need for a person to protect his or her own self-concept and occurs when people assign characteristics or feelings they possess themselves or associate with themselves to other people. A good example is when a negotiator gets upset when things are postponed, so he or she feels that telling another person to delay a meeting will make them frustrated.

Emotions-essay on Perception and Emotion in Negotiation

When it comes to emotions, negotiations create both negative and positive emotions. It is imperative to note that positive emotions generally have positive impacts for negotiations. This is because they foster persistence, formulate a positive attitude toward the other side and are more likely to result in more integrative processes for the parties. Aspects of the negotiation process can also result in positive emotions. For instance, fair procedures during negotiations and favorable social comparison may result in positive feelings.

Negative emotions on the other hand generally have negative impacts for negotiations. This is because they may escalate conflicts between parties, foster competition between parties, thwart integrative outcomes and undermine the ability of the negotiator to evaluate the situation accurately, adversely affecting personal outcomes. Just like aspects of the negotiation process can result in positive emotions, aspects of the negotiation process can also result in negative emotions. For example, a competitive mindset and an impasse may result in negative emotions. Therefore, there is interconnectedness between aspects of negotiation and emotions.Essay on Perception and Emotion in Negotiation

However, it is important to also note that positive emotions may create negative outcomes and negative feelings may also formulate beneficial outcomes. Given this difference in outcome depending on whether a negotiator exhibits positive emotions or negative feelings, emotions can generally be utilized strategically as negotiation gambits by both parties to affect the outcome of the negotiations.