In most disputes, when people get angry- it is a bad sign! It usually means that the dispute will NOT get resolved, and that one or the other party will leave in a huff. Indeed, neuroscience teaches us that when the parts of our brain that control our emotions are operating in full force, there is absolutely no way that we can think deliberately or rationally. Those parts of the brain that control our logical, or deliberate or analytical thinking are being overpowered by our emotions!
So, does this mean that anger and resolving disputes simply do not mix? Not necessarily! An article in the New York Times Sunday Review section (September 20, 2015) entitled “The Rationality of Rage” by Matthew Hutson dispels this notion. Mr. Hutson writes that based on recent studies, anger may be quite useful in negotiations.
In a soon to be published study in the November issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers tested the effect of anger in three types of negotiations; those that are cooperative in nature,( such as two business partners planning a new business venture), those that are competitive in nature (such as the two business partners dissolving the business) and finally, those that are balanced in nature (such as one business partner selling his share of the business to the other.)
What the researchers found was that,
In two experiments, negotiators made greater concessions to those who expressed anger — but only in balanced situations. When cooperating, hostility seems inappropriate, and when competing, additional heat only flares tempers. But in between, anger appears to send a strategically useful signal. (Id.)
An earlier study explains what the anger signals:
What does that signal ------------------------------------- If you would like to receive this blog automatically by e mail each week, please click on one of the following plugins/services:
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