“Know These Powerful Body Language Tips How To Negotiate Better” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Never forgo the value gleaned from body language. It can tell the tale of unspoken words.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Know These Powerful Body Language Tips

How To Negotiate Better”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Have you ever sensed someone’s body language and formed an instant opinion? If you are pondering that question, let me tell you, the answer is yes. Whether in an everyday setting or during negotiation, body language influences you, and yours affects others.

So, would you like to know how you can become more influential and persuasive via your body language? By understanding the body language signs you are about to discover, you will be able to negotiate better and have your requests granted more quickly.

Body Language – First Impression – Altering Perspective

When negotiating, the first impression you make etches the persona of the lens through which others will perceive you. As you engage even deeper in the negotiation, your actions will become altered based on your perception of the other negotiator’s body language. And your opposition’s actions will be modified by your body language. Thus, it would help if you are constantly aware of the shifts occurring in the negotiation based wholly on the body language gestures that motivate you and them.

Visual Effect Of Filler Words

When people speak and use filler words (e.g., ums, you know, aw, etc.,) it is an indication that they are performing multiple thought processes. There is nothing neither good nor bad about that. It is something to note about how they process the thoughts used to represent their words.

The importance of noting someone’s thought process lies in gathering how they are thinking. From a body language perspective, that can give a negotiator greater insight into what is vital to their counterpart, leading the negotiator to negotiate better.

Body language gestures can give insight into a negotiator’s actions that substitute for filler words. And while a negotiator may not utter spoken words to suggest thoughts, the following two nonverbal motions can cast the same meaning as if they did.

Head Tilting

Head tilting, head cocked to one side, suggests that one is in contemplation mode – they are thinking about their response or what you have said.

Mouth Agape

When observing this display, note its cause. Mouth agape, having the mouth wide open, signals that someone is surprised, shocked, or in a state of wonderment. Your opponent may be momentarily dazed by what you are discussing. During that moment, you may have an advantage. If so, use it.

Body Language Signs of Annoyance

A negotiator can display a quick sign of annoyance, as in a microexpression, an expression that lasts about one-quarter of a second, or they can emit prolonged signals. The shorter signals may be interpreted as a mild annoyance, while those displayed for a more extended time may be considered more serious.

Regardless of the display’s length, be aware of signs such as head/neck flexing (i.e., moving neck from side to side), hand flexing (i.e., opening and closing of one’s hand(s), scowl, tightly pressed lips, or jaunting chin. All can be silent indicators signaling the inner emotions of annoyance. If allowed to fester, those signals could become the pitfall where you and the negotiation find yourself. That would hamper the negotiation and make progress more challenging.  

Body Language Framing

How a negotiator frames themselves and their position determines how others will respond. And during negotiation, a negotiator’s body language frames their persona. Thus, it shapes the interactions between the negotiating parties. And reframing occurs throughout a negotiation.

To negotiate better, in any negotiation, consider framing your gestures based on the negotiator type with whom you are dealing. That is to say,  mirror your opposition. Be subtle, so you are not perceived as mocking.

Never overlook the importance of framing your persona based on how you use your body language as a frame. The more you reflect the gestures of the other negotiator, subliminally that person will see themselves in you. That will lead you to negotiate better with that individual because of that reflection, which will make them more amenable to your requests.


In negotiation, a misperceived body language gesture can turn a negotiator’s short-term gain into a long-term challenge. Worse, it can also send the negotiation hurdling towards an impasse. That is the importance of body language in the negotiation process – accurately reading it allows you to shift the direction of the negotiation.

The silent body language information transmitted is precious to your negotiation success and extremely valuable. So, if you want to negotiate better than you have in the past, pay more attention to the body language signs you emit and sense. That will allow you to negotiate better and become a better negotiator. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

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