When negotiating, do you consider the impact that body language secrets have on the negotiation? Body language secrets are like silent whispers shaping the flow of the negotiation. Studies have indicated that up to 85% of one's communication is conveyed via body language. That means a lot of your communications occurs through your body language, not just your words.
To discover how you can win more negotiations, observe the following body language gestures in your negotiations.
Sense of awareness:
When negotiating, raise your sense of awareness about the gestures made during the negotiation. Such observation will give you a sense of direction for the negotiation. Make sure you pay close attention to signs that are missing that should have been made (eg a negotiator that states he can't accept your deal while appearing to be a bit too happy). If anything appears to differ between someone's words and their body gestures, lend more credence to their body gestures. Those gestures will be more reflective of the person's real sentiments.
What to observe:
A few body language signals to observe are:
- Hand gestures: Take note to whether the hands are open or closed when discussing offers. If the topic is about receiving or giving something and hands are open, there's more mental favorability associated with the topic than if the hands are closed. Closed hands are a sign indicating doubt about the benefit (s) of what one's saying or hearing.
- Facial features:
Corner of lip turned upwards – This gesture is conveying contempt for what's being discussed. The gesture may last for less than a second, which is why it's important to watch for it.
Smiles – A smile can be used as a tool to disarm you in an attempt to make you feel better about the negotiation. A genuine smile is one displayed by both corners of the lips turned upward, a heightening of the cheekbone areas, and a glistening in the eyes. If any of those components are missing, the smile may lack the full conviction that the words are intended to convey.
- Feet – Even if you're seated, find a way to note the feet positioning of the other negotiator. The more aligned his feet are with yours, the more he's engaged with you in the negotiation. Take note when his feet are no longer aligned with yours; That's a sign of lower interest in what's being discussed.
- Voice pitch and tonality: When a negotiator attempts to make a subject matter lighter, he will usually do so with an airier tone to his voice. Compare that to a deeper tonality to convey more seriousness about the subject matter being discussed. Thus, even the way someone says something (ie pitch, tone) alters the perception of those words. Always be mindful of that.
- Clearing of throat: If you observe a negotiator continuously clearing his throat, drinking what's an obsessive amount of water for the situation, and / or swallowing more than normal, he's indicating nervousness. The nervousness could stem from the degree he wants to offer, the deal, etc. To assess why he's performing this gesture take note when it occurs and when it's absent. That will give you the needed insight to determine the degree of pressure to apply during the negotiation.
In your very next negotiation, observe and utilize the insights above. By doing so you'll drastically increase the guarantee of enhancing your negotiation results … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you're always negotiating!