Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate

Beyond Reason: Using Emotions in Negotiation by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro is a must-read.

Dan Shapiro presented today at the Harvard School of Public Health course on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Health Law & Policy on "Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate Health Care."

He told the class that we can neither ignore emotions nor hope to figure out our own emotions and those of the individuals with whom we are negotiating. But we can focus on five core concerns that tend to generate positive meotions. We can: express appreciation; build affiliation; respect autonomy; acknowledge status; and choose a fulfilling role.

The website for the book notes: "Emotions matter. Whether negotiating with an angry boss or an outraged teenager, emotions can derail you. Properly treated, however, they can help you achieve the results you want. This book shows you how.

In Beyond Reason, you will discover five "core concerns" that motivate people: appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status, and role. You will learn how to use these core concerns to generate helpful emotions in yourself and in others. Armed with this knowledge, you can gauge the needs of another negotiator, set the emotional tone of discussion, and reach a mutually acceptable agreement."

In class, we discussed the application of the 'core concerns' to such concepts in integrative medicine as shared decision-making between clinician and patient, and the potentially powerful role of building the therapeutic relationship in healing.

shapiro.jpgIn creating a new initiative related to the book, in which he focuses on healing (or using negotiation skills to help resolve) conflicts based on identity, Dan Shapiro has noted: ""Ethnopolitical conflicts do not simply resolve upon the signing of a peace agreement. And lives are not simply rebuilt upon the reconstruction of one's home. Hatred, resentment, and other negative emotions can penetrate institutional and national borders and breed violence. A stable peace, therefore, must address the core of people's emotional worlds- their identities. How to do that is the challenge of the International Negotiation Initiative.""

I was grateful for Dan's contribution to the course and appreciative of the powerful new direction in which his work is evolving.