Annual Saltman Lecture: Further Beyond Reason: Emotions, the Core Concerns, and Mindfulness in Negotiation
50 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2010 Last revised: 2 Nov 2016
Date Written: January 19, 2010
Negative emotions can impede good negotiation, especially good interest-based negotiation. Positive emotions can foster good negotiation. Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro have proposed the Core Concerns System for addressing the emotional dimension of negotiation by attending to five core concerns that everyone shares: Appreciation, Affiliation, Autonomy, Status, and Role. They recommend using the core concerns both as a “lens” to understand a negotiation situation and as a “lever” to produce positive emotions, thus enhancing the likelihood of good, interest based negotiation. This system is simple and often effective. Not infrequently, however, negotiators who have mastered the Core Concerns System, and intend and prepare to use it in a particular negotiation, fail to do so; sometimes, looking back, they wish that they had used that approach because they believe it would have produced a better process and outcome. When this happens, it typically results from deficiencies in present-moment awareness. One way to remedy such deficiencies is present-moment mindful awareness, or “mindfulness.” (Mindfulness is a certain way of paying attention - deliberately, moment-to-moment, and without judgment - to whatever passes through the traditional senses and the mind. A person cultivates this skill in silent meditation and then deploys it in everyday life.) Reciprocally, the Core Concerns System can help a person maintain mindfulness. Through such mutual reinforcement, mindfulness and the Core Concerns System could do more together than they could separately to reduce self-centered thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and encourage more other-centered thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in negotiation.
Keywords: Negotiation, Interest-Based Negotiation, Core Concerns, Emotion, Mindfulness, Mindful Awareness, Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR
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