In order to be a powerful negotiator, you must be adept at detecting lies when reading body language. Thus, to the degree you know what body language signs to observe to detect lies, you’ll understand what motivates the other negotiator and what he may or may not divulge as the truth during the negotiation.
To that end, the following are body language signs you should observe to assess when someone is lying and to make yourself a more powerful negotiator. As an aside, recently I did a TV interview in which I discussed ways to spot a lie via someone’s body language. The Link to that interview is at end of this Blog post.
If you follow my writings, you’re well aware that you should first observe the other negotiator’s body language gestures and mannerisms when he’s in a non-threatening environment, to create the foundation from which to base his future body language projections. Then, when you’re at the negotiation table, look for these signs to assess if he’s altering the truth.
Excessive eye blinking/swallowing, covering of mouth:
Negotiation Tip: The body always attempts to display the truth through its actions. Thus, when a negotiator begins to blink excessively, the blinking is an indication that he doesn’t want the lie that he’s telling to be seen; he’s communicating visually through that gesture. Through his excessive swallowing, he’s literally getting choked on the lie his body is attempting to hold back. When he speaks and he covers his mouth, he’s literally attempting to suppress his words from passing his lips.
Altering of speech tone and pace:
Take note when the other negotiator alters the tone and pace of his speech. His speech may quicken at a particular offer/counter-offer, due to the fact that he wants to get past a point of which he’s not 100% honest. You can note such and observe at what point his tone and/or pace goes back to what’s normal for him. Then, if you choose, you can call out the prior point and observe what becomes of his pace. If the quickened pace returns, you have confirmation. It’s up to you to do what’s necessary at that point.
Touching Nose, Ear, Neck:
The touching of these body parts is a physiological reaction to the discomfort that the other negotiator is experiencing (i.e. his body is physiologically altering, thus he tugs at his neck, rubs his nose/ear for comfort). In such case, he’s nervous. If you wish to confirm what you’ve seen, leave him on the ‘heat seat’ by pursuing the line of questioning and/or offer to see what becomes of his demeanor. If he becomes more riled and touches the areas mentioned even more, you will have confirmation that he’s not being 100% truthful.
Don’t discount your intuition. What we call, intuition is a sensation that we experience and even though we’re not aware of the gravity that we’re experiencing, we’re sensing something. As such, if you sense something, take note of it. Your senses are attempting to alert you. That something may be the lie you’re sensing.
When it comes to reading body language in a negotiation, everyone does it. If you want to become a more powerful negotiator, enhance your ability to read body language. You’ll gain an enormous advantage at the negotiation table by doing so … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
Link to “How To Spot a Liar” interview https://vimeo.com/127380077