Emotions can derail your negotiations—but they can also be helpful. In “Beyond Reason,” Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro suggest that the challenge is how to “cope with the interacting, important, and ever-changing emotions of each side?” It would be overwhelming to observe, understand and deal with every emotion that arises. Must you simply react? “No,” say Fisher and Shapiro. They advise you to focus on five powerful “core concerns” that you can use to stimulate positive emotions and overcome negative ones.
Rather than getting caught up in every emotion you and others are feeling, turn your attention to what generates these emotions.
Core concerns are human wants that are important to almost everyone in virtually every negotiation. They are often unspoken but are no less real. Even experienced negotiators are often unaware of the many ways in which these concerns motivate their decisions.