“If I’d Wanted to Teach About Feelings, I Wouldn’t Have Become a Law Professor”

That’s the intriguing title of a new paper by Andrea Schneider, Melissa Nelken, and Jamil Nahaud.  The title expresses the authors’ mock horror at the thought of “bringing feelings into the room when teaching negotiation.”  They recognize that legal education is not exactly known for helping students to get in touch with their feelings: “learning ‘to think like a lawyer’ has traditionally favored cognition and ignored the powerful role of emotions in all human undertakings.”  Yet, they are convinced that law students will benefit from studying emotions:

One of the goals of focusing on feelings in a negotiation class is to help students learn that they can be emotionally engaged with clients and, therefore, with their own work as lawyers without becoming identified with them. Lawyers who understand clients at an emotional level are better able to represent the client’s needs.  And a lawyer who is sensitive to the emotional cues of his counterparts in a negotiation is better able to navigate the tricky waters of dispute resolution in a way that satisfies his client’s needs without riding roughshod over the other parties involved.

After laying out the benefits of covering emotions in a negotiation class, the authors then provide several practical examples of how negotiation teachers can effectively incorporate a study of feelings into the classroom experience.

This paper is just one of three new papers by Andrea on various aspects of teaching negotiation, all of which appear as chapters in Venturing Beyond the Classroom (Honeyman et al., eds. 2010).  The abstracts and links for the other two appear after the jump.

“What Travels: Teaching Gender in Cross-Cultural Negotiation Classrooms,” coauthored with Sandra Cheldelin and Deborah Kolb, is available here.  Abstract:

Our cross-disciplinary team tackles the inconsistencies of gender teaching as seen from the perspective of law, business, and peace studies negotiation courses. In the process, we reconsider gender in the context of culture, demanding a forthright and coherent approach to topics now too often cut up into little boxes of “content.”

“Instructors Heed the Who: Designing Negotiation Training with the Learner in Mind,” coauthored with Roy Lewicki, is available here.  Abstract:

We argue that while our field has made great progress in determining what to teach and how to teach it in negotiation, there has been a surprising reluctance to make the move from “mass production” to “mass customization” that so many other industries have successfully adopted. “The Who” of our training has so far been addressed seriously, they surmise, by only an elite subgroup of trainers. We explain how this can and should change.

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