New research suggests that when you are in a tough business negotiation, subtle or direct threats may pay off.

You are more likely to achieve the outcome you seek using a threat than by getting angry, according to researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

By examining interactions among study participants, co-authors Margaret Neale and Marwan Sinaceur, of Stanford and INSEAD, found that both tactics result in concessions. But threats were more effective.

Participants perceived that threats like leaving the table or walking out were legitimate, while anger came across as a “hissy-fit” or something said in the moment and not as believable. Thus, person who makes a threat seems more legitimate, says Professor Neale.

Caveat: Threats need to come near the end, and entirely lack emotion. Otherwise they may be construed as anger, which can affect further negotiations due to residual resentment.

Source: Journal of Applied Psychology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Rapid Learning Institute 1510 Chester Pike, Suite 310 Eddystone, PA 19022

  • Toll Free: (877) 792-2172
  • Contact Us

About RLI

RLI is 100% CAN-SPAM compliant. We're dedicated to protecting your privacy. We will NEVER sell or share your email address and will promptly honor all unsubscribe requests.

Learn More

Connect With Us

Signup to Receive Industry-Leading Tips and News from our Experts