Feeling Uncertain? A Key to Effective Negotiation


A new book, Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing  by John Holmes of New America offers and exploration through social psychology of how we deal with overwhelming complexity, simplification as a coping mechanism, and the implications for time-sensitive interactions.

Holmes: There has been some suggestion that there are certain professions where you have to deal with ambiguity under a high degree of stress and one of them is negotiation. There’s a lot of literature that says business negotiations require dealing with ambiguity under pressure, which is going to naturally raise everyone’s need for closure. So Kruglanski says, look, one way to combat this is just hire people who are low in need for closure. Now there’s a simple test [for that], there’s a 15-question test, it’s on my website.Via the Atlantic

Take the test and see where you fit. Holmes suggests that tolerance for ambiguity is a key factor in getting to a deal or decision.


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