Keep Your Cool, if You Want to be a Cool Designer

by Daniela Marie M

After reading the article Emotion and the Art of Negotiation, anger, disappointment, sadness, regret, anxiety, envy, and excitement are all emotions that can affect the behaviour of negotiators. There are researchers who have studied the differences between what occurs when people purely feel these emotions and what results when they are expressed to the other party through actions or words.

As humans, we are prone to experience anger or excitement in the heat of a discussion. And we are most likely to feel disappointment, sadness, or regret as an aftereffect. We have some control over how we express our feelings — there are specific ways to mask, or emphasize, an expression of emotion when doing so may be advantageous.

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Bringing anger to a negotiation is like throwing a bomb into the process.

As a designer, when meeting a client for the first time, there are many emotions that we can typically feel, and can quickly change during the course of a negotiation process. Anxiety is most likely to sneak up before the process begins or during its early stages. People who experience anxiety are less confident, more likely to consult others when making decisions, respond more quickly to each move the counterpart would make, and are more likely to exit negotiations early.

I have all the time in the world.

Experts determine how to best meet a client’s needs. Avoid chatter and rambling. It is a sign of discomfort and neediness that a trained negotiator can exploit. It is always a sign of insecurity when you are at the bargaining table.

Discomfort with negotiating often causes us to close the deal hostility or cave in to the client’s demands. Instead, think of the negotiating stage as part of the creative process. Experts ask questions and create plans. The more you know, the more precisely you will be able to define your response. Not only do you learn about the opportunity, but you also build a bond with the client. Take all the time you need to consider every step, every detail of the process. Rushing to close is another classic sign of weakness and insecurity. Try to avoid at all costs.