What body language signals do you observe to unlock and enhance your chances of winning more negotiations?
If you’re astute at accurately deciphering body language signals during a negotiation you have a huge advantage in the negotiation. So, what body language signals do you observe when negotiating and what are their meanings? The following are 7 body language signals you can observe to unlock more winning negotiations.
Hand to Mouth:
When a negotiator speaks while covering his mouth, he’s indicating through that gesture that his words may have something to hide. If he does so while you’re speaking, he’s indicating that he may not believe what you’re saying. If you notice that he covers his mouth while you’re speaking, ask if he understands what you’re saying and request his feedback. His comments will give insight per the degree he believed what you were saying.
Hand Rubbing Eye(s):
This signal indicates non-belief of what one is seeing. If such is observed when you’re speaking, the opposing negotiator may be thinking of your offer/counteroffer in pictorial form. Be astute to the other signals exhibited at this time (i.e. what other body language signals are exhibited) to gather more insight into the meaning(s) of his gesture(s).
Hand/Finger(s) Fondling Ear:
This gesture could be signaling disbelief per what one is hearing or an attempt to sooth one’s self as the result of thinking one may be in a tenuous position. To detail the meaning accurately, observe when the gesture started, how long it lasted, what was being discussed when it started and at what point it ceased.
Eye(s) Pupil Dilation:
When the pupils expand it’s usually associated with positivity, compared to when they constrict; the latter is associated with negative emotions being displayed. To detect additional meaning behind the gesture, look for a smile indicating happiness, or a frown denoting sadness.
Looking up and to the left is usually visual recall mode; up and to the right is creation mode. Looking directly to the left is usually auditory recall mode while looking to the right is auditory creation mode. Down and to the left usually denotes internal conversation; looking down and to the right indicates kinesthetic feelings.
When a negotiator is interested in an offer he’ll tend to learn forward; he likes what’s occurring and wants to be closer to it. He’ll display the opposite gesture when he’s displeased with an offer.
See What I Hear:
Take note of the communication preference that a negotiator uses. I see what you mean denotes a visual perspective. I hear what you’re saying connotes an auditory preference. That feels right to me is being stated from a kinesthetic perspective. Noting the style of communication is important because once you observe the communication preference of the other negotiator, you have more of a guide to decipher the signals he exhibits.
Understand that one occurrence of any of the body language signals mentioned above cannot by themselves be a 100% indicator that someone is performing the action mentioned. Noting when the signal is exhibited throughout the negotiation, based on what is said or done at the time it’s exhibited, will lead to a more accurate deciphering of the signal.
Suffice it to say, the better you are at reading body language the more enhanced your negotiations and life will be … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!