Humor in Negotiations: How to Persuade Others with Humor
Negotiations are a very common business activity. The power of humor in negotiations lies in its capacity to be used competitively and cooperatively simultaneously. It thus helps negotiators to be tough on the issue and soft on the people. In this chapter, we will present general functions of humor in negotiations and explain which linguistic cues signal humor. We will then describe an important experimental study involving a pet frog that shows how humor can lead to financial concessions. Other research rather focused on softer, socio-emotional negotiation outcomes. We will then explain how one’s own characteristics (such as power) and one’s partner’s characteristics influence the amount and type of humor used. Because humor can change both positive and negative moods, we will present relevant findings on the influence of affect in negotiations. We will close by pointing out how humor works in online negotiations.
KeywordsNegotiation Humor Linguistic cues Concession Transition Power Positive affect Anger Online negotiation
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