Several studies have shown that in negotiations, anger on the part of one party tends to induce cooperation from the opponent. It stands to reason, then, that the next time you’re hashing out a deal, make sure to channel your inner Hulk at the boardroom table.
Not so, say a trio of researchers. In a new study, StÃ©phane CÃ´tÃ© of the University of Toronto, Ivona Hideg of Wilfrid Laurier University and Gerben van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam found that when bargainers pretended to rage—i.e., portrayed feelings that weren’t genuine—those across the table sensed the act, lost trust and become more intransigent in their demands.
By contrast, when negotiators demonstrated deeply felt (that is, non-acted) anger, their opponents saw them as being tougher and were more likely to capitulate.
The takeaway? Go ahead, throw a tantrum if you must; just make sure you’re not faking it.