“To uncover the truth, expose its darkness.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“How To Observe Body Language To Uncover The Truth”
When you negotiate, what body language gestures do you observe to uncover the truth? Do you seek insights from gestures, intonations, and other signs to validate when you suspect the truth is being violated? If so, exactly what do you look for?
You can gain great insight about someone’s truthfulness via their body language, and negotiate better, by arming yourself with the following information.
Before you can accurately interpret someone’s body language, you must establish their baseline. That baseline will allow you to more accurately assess and compare the body language gestures the other negotiator exhibits more accurately during the negotiation. To form his baseline, observe his mannerisms when he’s in a non-threatening environment.
Our body seeks to maintain a constant state of comfort. When it’s out of that state, it will commit actions to put itself back into that state (e.g. babies cry for attention when they’ve soiled themselves, adults feeling overly aggrieved strike out in anger to get even and soothe themselves, etc.). During the body’s state of discomfort, observe signs like, rubbing of the hands, touching one’s face/neck/arm/leg, etc., to validate the state of mind that person is in; those signs are called comfort gestures. The person emitting the behavior is attempting to comfort himself; that person’s body is attempting to put itself back into a state of comfort.
When you see the gestures noted above, assess what has caused that person to experience discomfort. Was it something he said? If so, he may have entered a state of untruthfulness. If you sense that might be the case, consider questioning him about your suspicion. Or, you can progress the conversation and note when other comfort gestures are exhibited. The second, third, etc., iteration of such signals will add to the possibility that he’s violating the truth.
When a person speaks, note their intonations. It will lend insight into what they believe to be more important than other aspects of what they’re saying. As an example, if someone said, “I’m not sure if that’s the whole truth.” The word(s) they placed the most emphasis on would denote what’s important to them. Thus, if the emphasis was on “whole”, there may be more that’s undisclosed. Once again, if you think that’s the case, probe to get to the root of the possible deception.
When it comes to intonations, observe what causes someone to alter their speaking pattern. Remember, the body seeks a constant state of comfort. Thus, if someone alters their speaking pace, they’re doing so due to the stimuli that put them into that mood. The behavior may be due to their contemplating what to say to complete their thought. If you sense they’re concealing the truth, consider how and when you’ll challenge them.
Once you become astute at reading body language gestures, you’ll uncover secret cues that indicate when someone’s not being forthright. You’ll become a human lie detector … 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
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