Author: Anders Christian Hjort
This morning I read a brilliant piece on negotiation and an airplane crash by Harvard Professor Michael Wheeler on LinkedIN.
The title was:
Asian Airlines: “Sorry, Captain. You’re wrong.”
The blog tells an interesting and tragic story on how psychology and behavioural skills matter in conversations and how listening without empathy and disagreeing Ineffectively can have disastrous consequences.
I suggest you read Michael’s contribution first, and then read my comments below afterwards.
Research tell us
Now, If you take the view that this conversation is actually a negotiation going on, then Huthwaite International research into what skilled negotiators do differently than their average peers when disagreeing might be of interest.
Disagreeing is not a bad thing
Most negotiators and people in general start by labelling their disagreement and the tell the reason why – effective negotiators start telling the reason, and the end up saying, “therefore I disagree” – this brings less emotional tension into the equation. Also the perception that disagreeing is a bad thing is interesting, as disagreeing actually helps clarifying, shredding new light on a situation from more angles and benefit decisions to be made.
Defend/Attack spirals vs Empathy
However, “You’re wrong” is what we in behavioral terms at Huthwaite label Defend/Attack, although starting out with “Sorry Captain” and the Captain becoming defensive more likely and the co-pilot submissive in this case.
Empathy – a way to go?
I think a pilot need a mindset to listen with the intent to understand what information the co-pilot give…listen with empathy
– power play is a losers game I think…
What do you think?
More on our negotiation research here: click here for more.