Do Trained Negotiators Ever Lose their Cool?

The constant stress of business and negotiating deals can take its toll on even the best trained negotiators. If not managed effectively, this stress can manifest in the form of fatigue, short temper, or even depression in the workplace.

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The constant stress of business and negotiating deals can take its toll on even the best trained negotiators. If not managed effectively, this stress can manifest in the form of fatigue, short temper, or even depression in the workplace. To avoid this negative fallout, businesses should encourage their employees to practice wellness techniques. Employers can hold mental health and wellness workshops, and support the use of the following tools in the workplace.

Keep Cool in a Hot Room

One important topic often covered in a Sydney sales negotiating training is the ability to keep a calm, even head during a high-pressure negotiation. If the negotiation takes on a hostile tone, the other side could be trying to wear down your resilience with stress-inducing tactics. If a difficult negotiation gets heated and emotions start to run high, the most important step to take is to recognize the change in tone. Understanding the situation will help you prevent yourself from getting caught up in the heat of the moment. Then, make an effort to reset the tone by suggesting a brief break. If the heat of the room was indeed a tactic, you will have undermined it. If the tension was the result of genuine frustration, this tactic can allow all negotiators to clear their minds and bring their emotions back down to a neutral state.

Bring Back Single-tasking

Multitasking can make people feel like they are getting more done by cramming more tasks into the limited hours of a workday. However, research shows that multitasking actually decreases productivity and attention span, while increasing stress levels. In order to increase productivity and focus, make a concerted effort to concentrate on one task at a time, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Train your negotiation team to turn off your cell phone during meetings to avoid the temptation to check it every few minutes. Set an out-of-office notification for your email for just a few hours while you focus on finishing an important deliverable. Avoid holding conversations with colleagues while writing emails to clients. Even though you may be working on fewer tasks at once, the tasks will be completed more efficiently and effectively, and your mental health will be in better shape.

One thing to keep in mind is that this strategy may be discordant with your workplace culture. If this is the case, consider negotiating with your leadership team to train everyone on this focused set of practices that will work for everyone on your team. Establish with your boss why it’s important to you to try these techniques, and promise to deliver quality results to prove why single-tasking works best for you.

Practice Mindfulness on a Regular Basis

Because it’s so difficult to find time to set aside during the workday, many business people wait until they are already stressed, exhausted, and burnt-out to begin looking into mindfulness techniques and self-care. However, everyone can benefit greatly from a consistent practice of mindfulness exercises. Working mindfulness techniques into a daily routine is a useful strategy to prevent stress from occurring in the first place, rather than trying to patch up the damage after it’s too late.

Train yourself to work wellness moments into your day. For example, you can set a daily calendar event for 15 minutes of meditation. That way, no one can schedule a meeting over your dedicated mindfulness time, and you’ll be reminded daily to do it.

Furthermore, as wellness and work/life balance becomes more and more important to the modern workforce, employees are taking the initiative to negotiate mental health coverage and care into their contracts, whether it be in the form of allotted PTO (paid time off) days for mental health, reimbursement budgets for self-care initiatives, or insurance packages that cover mental health treatment. Don’t hesitate to use your best negotiation skills to emphasize to your employer why these things must be included in your contract.

Speak Your Mind

Communication is critical to a healthy working environment. Dissatisfaction and frustration in the workplace will never resolve itself, and a lack of communication only amplifies tension. Speak to your boss, colleagues, or HR representatives about the things that bother you in order to work constructively towards real solutions.

Likewise, during a negotiation, don’t accept terms that you know won’t satisfy your needs in the long run. Make sure to establish all valuable items to your negotiation counterpart; the other side may be able to oblige your wishes without sacrificing much, and both parties will leave the negotiation more satisfied. Even if your negotiation training doesn’t result in your leaving the table with everything you wanted, at least you will have established what you find to be important to the health of a future partnership.


If you ever feel stress levels rising, whether in your office or during an external negotiation, make sure to step back and regain your composure. A well-trained negotiator or business person should always avoid losing their head in a professional setting.  Finding ways to reduce stress on a daily base will help you keep calm during high-pressure situations and maintain a stronger mental health state.

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