The Negotiator Magazine

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3. Expressing Emotion. Once we are fully aware and have consciously recognized our emotions, we can decide whether to express them. Although there is nothing wrong with having emotions, expressing them in inappropriate ways can be damaging and counterproductive. If we decide to express our emotions to the other side - we must express them appropriately. Don't vent. Be clear. Describe your feelings carefully. Don't attribute blame or judge- just share. Try to relate the emotional tone to the substantive issue. Develop a range of expression -- from rational discussion to increasing emotional content to letting your emotions take control. Emotions provide important information to us and to the other side. If we are able to express our emotions in a constructive way and at an appropriate time in the negotiation, rather than destroying or hurting the negotiation process it can greatly enhance it.

4. Gender, Emotion and Negotiation. As a woman it is important not to let your emotions show, especially when negotiating with men. In business emotional displays can hurt. A man who screams is considered a tough guy who merely lost his temper. A woman who screams is viewed as someone who cannot control herself. A man who cries is viewed with compassion (as long as it does not happen too often) whereas a woman who cries may be branded "overly emotional". To gain and keep the respect we need to negotiate on an equal footing with men in business, take a break and leave the room before showing any strong displays of emotion. Being rational at all times during a negotiation is highly prized in business and thus cool-headedness is the way to keep the respect we deserve and have earned.


DELEE FROMM is both a lawyer and a psychologist. She is a former partner of McCarthy Tetrault LLP, the largest law firm in Canada, where she practiced commercial real estate for 17 years. While practicing law she also lectured and conducted workshops on negotiation and mediation for the firm as well as for the Rotman School of Management, the University of Toronto Law School, Osgoode Hall Law School, Insight Conferences, Atlas Information, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Prior to her career in law she was a senior member of the Department of Neuropsychology at Alberta Hospital, Edmonton as well as a private clinical consultant. During her eight year career as a neuropsychologist she presented and published extensively in the area of brain and abnormal behavior.

Now as a partner of Fromm & Goodhand and a consultant in the areas of negotiation and leadership, she lectures, gives speeches and conducts workshops for a variety of organizations including major corporations, charitable organizations, universities and law firms. She continues to conduct McCarthy Tetrault's national workshops on negotiation and mediation advocacy, and also teaches at Osgoode Hall Law School, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. You may contact Ms. Fromm by e-mail at fromm.goodhand@sympatico.ca

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November 2005