Don’t feel their pain, show “tactical empathy’ and “Label” it.
Tactical empathy is understanding the feelings and mindset of the other party at the moment and also hearing what is behind those feelings so that you can increase your influence in all the moments that follow. When you closely observe a person’s face, gestures, and tone of voice, your brain begins to align with theirs in a process called neural resonance, and that gives you a window into what they think and feel.
Labeling is a way of validating someone’s emotion by acknowledging it. The first step to labeling is detecting the other party’s emotional state. The trick to spotting feelings is to pay close attention to changes, people undergo when they respond to external events. And more often than not, in a negotiation scenario, these external events are your words. Once you’ve spotted an emotion you want to highlight, the next step is to label it aloud. Labels can be phrased as statements or questions. Few examples of labeling are:
People’s emotions have two levels. A “presenting” behavior, which is the part above the surface that one can see and hear; and the “underlying” feeling which is the motivation behind the behavior.
Great negotiators address those underlying emotions by labeling. Labeling negatives diffuse them, and labeling positives reinforce them. Labeling helps de-escalate situations because it acknowledges the other party’s feelings rather than continuing to act them out.
The golden rule is to understand that you’re dealing with a human who wants to be appreciated and understood. Labels can help reinforce positive perceptions and dynamics.
Master this art by practicing it during the conversations with your friends or family and see how magical this is.
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