“How To Win More Negotiations By Using Micro Expressions”


Seven Universal Micro Expressions


Do you know how to win negotiations by using micro expressions? Are you aware that savvy negotiators detect your micro expressions to give them an edge over you when they negotiate? Would you like to know what micro expressions are, their characteristics, and how you can use them to enhance your negotiations?

This article identifies the seven universal micro expressions that are germane to everyone on the planet. It also outlines how to detect and use them to win more negotiations.


First, micro expressions are displays of emotion that last no more than one second. Second, the emotional expression occurs before the brain has a chance to filter the display. Third, micro expressions are a momentary glimpse into the ‘real’ thoughts of the person displaying them. Thus, by recognizing them you know exactly what that person is thinking per an offer you or he made.


The seven universal micro expressions are (i.e. universal means someone in North America would react the same as someone in Asia, Europe, etc.):

Fear (eyebrows raised, wide eyes, lips slightly stretched & parted, bottom lip protruding downward)

Anger (eyebrows down and together, eyes glaring, narrowing of the lips)

Disgust (lifting of the upper lip, scrunching of the nose)

Surprise (raised eyebrows, wide eyes, open mouth)

Contempt (one side of the lip raised on one side of the face)

Sadness (upper eyelids drooping, eyes unfocused, lips slightly turned down)

Happiness (crow’s feet wrinkle around eyes, cheeks elevated, eye orbit muscle movement)


Now that you’re aware of what the seven universal micro expressions are and their characteristics, let’s look at how you can use them to gain an advantage in a negotiation. Remember, they last no more than one second. Thus, you must be astute at observing them. They’re very fleeting.


Scenario: You’re negotiating with Phil and he’s being very coy about the offer you have on the table. You sense he likes the offer, but you’re not really sure. To test your assumptions and his perspective you state, “I’m sorry. That’s my best offer”. Then, you get up from the negotiation table as though to exit. As you do, you observe that he has raised eyebrows and his eyes have widened. You know your tactic has had an effect on him. What you have to determine, since the raised eyebrows and widened eyes are traits displayed by someone experiencing fear or surprise is what else you observed. If you also saw Phil’s bottom lip protruding downward, you know he’s fearful or have apprehensions about possibly losing the deal. You accurately read his micro expression to gain that insight. At bare minimum, you now know he was bluffing with the stance he’d projected prior. With that, you also know you have a stronger position from which to negotiate.


As you can see, micro expressions give insights into the thoughts of someone’s mind, which means you can observe what they’re really thinking per an offer or counteroffer you make. With that insight, you then know to what degree you can pursue the course you’re on or modify your position in the negotiation. With that kind of insight, micro expressions become your hidden ally. Thus, when you become astute at recognizing and using micro expression, you’ll win more negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!



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