“How To Make ‘You’ A Better Negotiator” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

 “Small increments add up. Observe the small increments that make you a better negotiator.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert



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“How To Make ‘You’ A Better Negotiator”

Did the word, ‘you’, draw your attention to this article? If you don’t think it did, think again. If not at your conscious level, subliminally, it did affect you. Knowing when to use ‘you’ in a negotiation can make you a better negotiator.


The Story:

“I’m canceling my monthly subscription”, stated an irate customer. “Why”, asked the service manager. “Because I didn’t like the way you resolved my issue”, replied the customer. With that, the service manager crossed his arms and retorted in a defensive tone, “what did you expect me to do? I told you we don’t settle that type of claim!”

‘You’ can be an insidious or gravely dangerous word if not used correctly in a negotiation. ‘You’ is very directive. It’s not me, or someone else, it’s directed at a single individual, you. When negotiating, be cautious about when and how you use that word.

The following are ways to use ‘you’ to enhance your negotiation efforts while making you a better negotiator.


Using ‘You’ Strategically:

  • Consider the other negotiator’s demeanor. The opposing negotiator’s mood will affect his perception. In some cases, depending on his mood, the word ‘you’ can be perceived as being accusatory.
  • Inflection impacts the perception of ‘you’ (e.g. you need help? you need help!) – In either example, the question or statement could be perceived as being heartfelt or sarcastic depending on the inflection of how it’s posed.
  • Since ‘you’ grabs the attention of a person, use it to command attention (e.g. I need you to consider this, now.)


Using ‘You’ Haphazardly:

  • Some negotiations can become very heated. During such times, be aware that ‘you’ can ramp temperatures higher (e.g. you do it too!)
  • Not being strategic when using ‘you’ can dilute its value (e.g. do you mean that? You don’t mean that!) When ‘you’ is the first word in your statement or question it becomes more poignant.
  • Don’t overuse ‘you’. To make it more impactful, use it to stress and/or highlight a point (e.g. that is good versus, you are good.)


Body Language:

To assess the effect of ‘you’ during the negotiation, observe hand, head, and eye movements. Immediately after stating, ‘you’, observe your negotiation counterpart’s body language.

  • Hand – palms extended facing you, he’s defending himself against your proposal/accusation (i.e. whoa, not so fast.) – palms up and shoulder shrug (i.e. what do you want me to do?) – palms down, after having been up (i.e. rejection) – fist (i.e. anger)
  • Head – moving away (i.e. putting distance between you and your assertion) – moving toward (i.e. willing to embrace or confront (definitive action noted by demeanor)) – head tilted (i.e. in thought mode)
  • Eyes – narrowing (i.e. focused, attentive to what’s being conveyed and how it’s being stated) – wide (i.e. excitement, can be good or bad – assess meaning based on demeanor)


When seeking to enhance a negotiation, or threading the needle of doubt, consider how you can employ the usage of ‘you’. When used appropriately, you’ll expand your negotiation position exponentially. You will experience greater negotiation outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com


To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here https://themastern.wpengine.com/greg-williams/


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