- Blog post
When sweaty palms are a good thing
During the negotiation phase of a sale, is your body on high alert? Heart racing? Palms a bit damp? That can be a good thing, according to recent research.
A study by MIT researchers, published in Psychological Science, says that those who go into a negotiation in a state of high arousal will do better – as long as they have a positive attitude about negotiation.
Those with a positive attitude aren’t thrown by the physical symptoms of arousal. In fact, they see it as evidence that they’re doing well in the negotiation.
The reverse is true for those who enter a negotiation in a negative frame of mind. They interpret the same symptoms – pounding heart, queasy stomach, flushed face – as evidence that the negotiation is going poorly.
Both attitudes become self-fulfilling, the researchers found. Those with a positive attitude get better outcomes, while those with negative feelings do worse.
Bottom line: When you’re preparing to negotiate, a positive outlook really does matter. It affects how you frame those sweaty palms and increased heart rate.
So instead of trying to calm your nerves, focus on all the reasons you’re likely to succeed. If you do, that nervous energy will work to your advantage.