Expressing Disappointment During Negotiations Is A Double Edged Sword

A good study on expressing disappointment during negotiations. Read more here.

During a negotiation, if the opposing party feels more connected to you and you express disappointment during negotiations, the opposing party tends to make more generous offers out of guilt. But if the opposing party feels no obligation toward you, expressing disappointment causes them to take an even tougher approach. Interestingly enough, across the board, when anger is expressed, the opposing party takes it as a sign of strength and responds with a more generous offer.

In divorce negotiations, expressing anger can lead to the cliche Mexican stand-off because both parties feel resentful and further dig in their heels. I have found when mediating divorce cases, that in more cases than not, when I have used a party’s disappointment rather than anger to reject an offer, it often leads to another, more generous offer. However, I have also gotten the response, ” I don’t care” back in response to the disappointment. Then I find that talking to both parties about disengaging from emotions and looking at the law or at the scenario as a purely business transaction sometimes can take the parties out of emotion and refocused on the offer as it relates to the law, reasonableness under the law and their circumstance and what else might they ask for that would make the offer more generous.