Dealing with Anxiety
Many people get anxious just thinking about business negotiations: the conflict, the pressure, the worry, the fear of failure all combine to make us not just nervous but distracted, uncomfortable physically and emotionally, and overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness.
Wendy Suzuki, a professor of neural science and psychology at New York University, warns, “When we get stuck in that loop, we get caught in a brain-body response that becomes essentially maladaptive.” Her advice is to adopt an “activist mindset” that gives us agency over how we react to situations. In her new book, Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion, she writes, “When it feels like a door has slammed on you, anxiety can lead you to think there is no way out of the room; the activist mindset allows you to take a step back and look for a window.”
An excellent Wall Street Journal summary of Suzuki’s work by Taylor Cromwell (‘Good Anxiety’ Review: The Upside of Worry) explains how she sees “good anxiety” as a powerful force for moving ahead. She writes, “Like a sailboat needs wind in order to move, the brain-body needs an outside force to urge it to grow, adapt, and not die.” Anxiety can lend a heightened sense of focus. It can be a great pointer to what really matters in any situation.
We at Mobus Creative Negotiating teach you ways to make use of the natural impulses we all feel when we are negotiating. Successful negotiators are not bullies who intimidate the other side; instead, they channel our natural impulses in productive ways. We show how to apply in practice the insights of modern science, like the work of Dr. Suzuki.