What about grief? Only half of the interviewees included grief as an emotion in their daily work, either in order to protect the working environment from this very private emotion, or to protect their privacy. Coping with grief includes many different ways like “remember the bright side”, “talking with people”, “trying to keep myself busy”, “crying”, “time will cure everything; if I can influence I show that it is not so bad” and finally
“accept it, this is life”.
This is an excerpt from the study Professional Self Management in Long-Term Conflict Situations conducted for the Israeli Palestinian Negotiator Program, which was initiated by the Vienna School of Negotiation (back then Vienna Conflict Management Partners) in order to learn more about the ways in which international negotiators cope with their work-life balance and long-term stress, when facing high professional as well as personal demands.
The persons interviewed were professional Israelis and Palestinians from diverse political and business backgrounds, who have been involved in professional negotiations in the Middle East Peace Process.
We wanted to know what kind of self-management techniques and professional practices are used to support a body-mind balance in these long-lasting conflict situations and therefore foster better negotiation results. Besides the more general concept of stress, we focused on how negotiating professionals, as individuals, experience and deal with deep emotions.