Why It Pays to Get Inside the Head of Your Opponent

2 February 2017

Drew De Amicis-Roberts Introduction to Psychology Summer 2009 The Journal of Psychological Science Adam D. Galinsky, William W. Maddux, Debra Gilin, and Judith B. White Why It Pays to Get Inside the Head of Your Opponent The Differential Effects of Perspective Taking and Empathy in Negotiations July 16, 2007 Revision Accepted November 27, 2007 Volume 19 Number 4 Pages 378 -384 The article “Why It Pays to Get Inside the Head of Your Opponent” looks at the effects of two social competencies in negotiations.Perspective taking and empathy are the two different approaches that are studied in this article to determine the possible different effects they each have on the outcome of negotiations. The authors use a political example to illustrate a successful negotiation where President John F.

Kennedy was trying to prevent a potential annihilation by offering a promise that the United States would not invade Cuba in the future if in exchange all nuclear weapons were removed from Cuba.This appealed to the need of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev which created the ability to obtain desired outcome that President Kennedy was trying to achieve. This shows the importance of how a negotiation is performed can have an impact on life effecting situations. The authors stress the importance of knowing an opponents interests and the qualities of those interests imperative to achieving a successful negotiation. The clear benefits/gain must be appealing enough to an opponents personal interest to consider.Only by knowing and understanding the interests, motives and likely behaviors of an opponent, make it possible to identify what leverage would enable the acceptance of a proposed offer. It is pointed out that even though these two approaches are used interchangeably they are actually different in many ways.

Why It Pays to Get Inside the Head of Your Opponent Essay Example

They are different in that they require different abilities, the motives behind them, how they are communicated and in the results they have. Perspective taking is the cognitive ability to consider the world through another persons viewpoint which one can foresee the behavior and reaction of another.On the other hand, empathy is having an ability to have an emotional concern that is engaged with another person’s experience which one can then create a connection. In order to find out which strategy is more effective in negotiation the authors conduct three different studies using full time MBA students that were enrolled in a negotiation course. Then reported their findings from measuring and manipulating both perspective taking and empathy to reveal their influences.The first study was a negotiation of a purchase of a gas station where a buyers offering price was lower than the sellers acceptable sales price. The second study additionally, was measuring individuals satisfaction with how they were treated within the negotiation process when the perspective taker position was used compared to when the empathetic position was used.

The results showed that when the empathetic position was used, there was a higher level of satisfaction. But it was the perspective taking approach that was most likely to achieve a solution, close a deal that met the needs of both sides.The third study manipulated the two approaches to find out how they affected the gains on an individual level and on a joint level. They found that the perspective taking approach achieved the maximum joint gain. The maximum individual gain was achieved when the perspective taking approach was used when empathy for the side was already present. Overall, the authors concluded from their studies that the specific influences of the two approaches do have different effects on the outcome of negotiations.Perspective taking had higher rate of negotiation success that was consistent, was more likely to find creative solutions, identify underlying interests, resulted in higher mutual and individual gains and overall more effective negotiations.

While the value of the empathizing approach was not effective in the negotiation itself, it can diffuse heated emotions that can inhibit reaching a negotiation and it can create a positive association to those that used it.Basically, creating a positive atmosphere for the other side making willingness to engage in a negotiation in the first place more likely in setting a foundation for a positive experience expectation for future negotiations. In my opinion, the results in different relationship context would have been interesting to study. For example, looking at the influences of perspective taking and empathy approaches in intimate relationships. I would guess that empathy would be rated higher for the success of negotiation in intimate relationships.Perspective taking can be motivated by trying to get the upper hand where as empathy is motivated by a perspective of equality. Perspective taking only perhaps can be misleading in that it may give the person the impression that their concern is important to the other person because their concerns are valued which I think essentially means that they are valued.

It would be conflicting if someone valued another but had no regard for another’s values regardless if they held the same values.Empathy, I think, is sincere, genuine honest approach that fosters trust and effects the ability to have closer relationships. You can’t fake empathy. The other person can sense that fakeness. It is that genuineness that leads to trust that is a base of intimacy. When we are emotionally connected we are more likely to cooperate and collaborate because we want to opposed to because by doing so would get us what we want. The context of a relationship is one factor that determines whether one takes the perspective of another or gives empathy to another.

Perspective taking is a “taking” where as empathy is a “giving. ” Each approach is communicated different. They look different, they feel different, they give a different impression, they basically mean different things. Empathy can feel validating in a way that is caring. When one is given empathy it can feel comforting and can result in having a sense of relief. Even though the actual situation hasn’t changed, just the experience of being empathized with can diffuse the suffering one is experiencing about something.But it is that feeling of relief and that sense of connection that one feels like they are not alone creates a better mind frame in which to better handle the situation and see it from a clearer perspective.

Empathy displays an interest of another is considered and can foster willingness. I think both perspective taking and empathy together create a more peaceful, harmonious world of people where understanding and care balance everyone’s needs. It works with the law of nature, if you will, that we are all connected.When we work within that framework I believe, life moves that much more smoothly, there are fewer problems and we are a lot happier. Which I think that we all would agree we would prefer to be on the happier side. Both approaches together cause the identifying an existing need of a specific personal value has a quality of leverage that makes the negotiation successful. The effort involved with identifying accurate personal criteria is worth it for both sides in the specific negotiation and for negotiations in the future.

It is a“work with” opposed to “strong arm” or a convincing or persuading of others.I think it is important to note that just using the term “opponent” to refer to the required participant can trend how we communicate our view and how receptive the other person is to us and ultimately how successful the negotiation outcome will be. Essentially, I think everything matters. Every perception, every approach, every word, every thought matters. So the key is being aware of the impact all these have so we can be more effective. In conclusion, I am reminded of the phrase “ No man is an island. ” By this I mean that I think it is better to work together rather than against each other.

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