By Monica Torres | HuffPost | April 27, 2021
Silence is one of the most simple yet most powerful negotiation tools, but it’s traditionally positioned as an intimidation tactic that prompts a person to speak to their own disadvantage.
New research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology finds that pausing for at least three seconds during a negotiation has benefits beyond making someone uncomfortable.
In a series of studies in which pay negotiations were simulated in conversation, Jared Curhan, an associate professor of work and organization studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his colleagues found that this extended but brief silence can facilitate a “shift from default, zero-sum thinking to a more reflective, deliberative mindset, which, in turn, is likely to lead to the recognition of golden opportunities,” their paper concludes.
In other words, when one person pauses to think during the conversation, it can help them to see talks as more than a tug of war and move deliberations forward to a favorable outcome.