In negotiations, most people don’t have a clue how others perceive them, says a new study. That can be costly.
“Most of us can think of someone who is unaware of how others see them,” notes Daniel Ames, a professor of management at Columbia Business School who teaches courses in negotiation. “Sadly, often enough, this research suggests that person is us.”
To measure the self-awareness of people involved in negotiations, Ames and fellow researcher Abbie Wazlawek conducted four separate tests, three of them on Columbia MBA students and one on 500 U.S. adults not enrolled at the B-school. After being paired up for mock bargaining sessions over things like licensing rights, each of the MBA students answered questions about their own assertiveness and that of the person across the table. “A key question was whether people knew what their counterparts thought of them,” the study says.
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