Dirty Secrets to Manipulating Emotions When Negotiating

When negotiating, do you ‘come off’ as gruff, appeasing, self-serving, or just not giving a damn about the outcome? The emotions displayed during a negotiation directly influence the outcome of the negotiation. OK. You may be thinking Greg, that’s not a revelation! What may come as insight to some, is the fact that emotions can be manipulated.

The word, ‘manipulate’, in and of itself does not necessarily have to be interpreted as sinister, mean, conniving, or underhanded. In fact, the word, ‘manipulate’, can be perceived as possessing positive values, if the outcome of its efforts produces bliss during the negotiation.

Since every negotiation contains emotions, and in order to succeed when negotiating you must ‘manipulate’ them, yours and those with whom you’re negotiating, listed below are two tactics you can employ to ‘manipulate’ emotions, when you negotiate.

1. Pronouncing the other negotiator’s name at appropriate times during the negotiation:

When someone speaks our name, it diverts our attention from that which we’re engaged to the person that spoke our name. During a negotiation, if the other negotiator goes into a mental quandary, pronounce his name softly, as you inquire as to what he’s contemplating. If you wish to be more direct or jolting, enunciate his name the way a parent would speak, in order to capture his attention, while at the same time preparing his mind for a harsher perception of what’s to come. The point is, by stating someone’s name and pronouncing it in a certain manner, you can grab their attention. Once you do, you momentarily arrest their mental state of mind. At that moment, you can manipulate the other negotiator to move in the direction that’s advantageous to the negotiation.

2. Observe someone’s demeanor when they try to avoid a point during the negotiation:

Have you ever noted how someone acts or reacts to an offer during a negotiation? If they’re seated, they may physically lean back, close their eyes, start to frown, or cross their arms; these are nonverbal clues that the other negotiator has started to, ‘check out’. If you want her to ‘check in’, at that moment, create something for her to do. If her arms are crossed, hand her a piece of paper requesting that she read what’s on the paper. She’ll have to uncross her arms to accept the paper. If she’s leaning back, lean in and speak softly so as to have her lean forward to hear you. If she closes her eyes, at a point during the negotiation, she’s conveying through her ‘body language’ that she doesn’t want to ‘see’ what’s being discussed. Use a phase such as, “I see you’re thinking about what was proposed. Please share your ‘insight’ with me?”

There is a multitude of ways to manipulate someone during a negotiation. If you ‘manipulate’ the negotiation and avoid casting yourself as a fiend, you can successfully direct the other negotiator towards the favorable outcome both of you seek. In essence, you’ll be helping to achieve the goals of the negotiation. In the end, everyone will be happy … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • When you hear the word ‘manipulate’, remember there could be ‘good’ implied. Don’t ‘turn off’, simply because the word ‘manipulate’ may convey negativity. If you manipulate someone for their good, you enhance their life.
  • When you negotiate, the way you present offers affects the perception of the offer. You’re not manipulative, if you’re not perceived as such.
  • Always try to ‘do right’ by people. When you manipulate someone, strive to do so for his or her betterment.
Scroll to Top