July 2023

Negotiating with clarity: Understanding and addressing cognitive fatigue

by Mallory Gazette

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Negotiating with clarity: Understanding and addressing cognitive fatigue

July 2023 by Mallory Gazette

Back to insights


Negotiation, an essential aspect of business, requires mental agility and strong communication skills but can lead to cognitive fatigue, impacting the process and results significantly. By recognizing and understanding this fatigue, and employing effective strategies for prevention and mitigation, negotiators can improve their performance and secure better outcomes.

Negotiation plays a vital role in the business world, involving complex decision-making, effective communication, and mental agility. However, the demanding nature of negotiations can lead to cognitive fatigue, which significantly affects the negotiation process and outcomes. Let's explore cognitive fatigue in the context of negotiation, its risks, signs of exploitation, and strategies for prevention and mitigation. By understanding cognitive fatigue and implementing effective strategies, negotiators can enhance their performance and achieve favorable results.

What is Cognitive Fatigue?

Cognitive fatigue refers to the mental exhaustion or tiredness that arises from prolonged or demanding cognitive tasks. It can occur when the brain is subjected to extensive cognitive efforts such as problem-solving, decision-making, or information processing over an extended period of time. There are known causes and effects of cognitive fatigue, including decreased attention, reduced working memory capacity, impaired decision-making, and increased stress levels (Wang, Kedia, & Balasubramanian, 2017; Smit, 2019).

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