“How To Nonverbally Communicate Better … To Improve Negotiations And Life”


Do you observe the impact your verbal nonverbal communication has on your negotiation efforts?

To increase your effectiveness at the negotiation table and in life, read the following to note how to communicate better via verbal nonverbal means.

Note: For the purpose of this article, nonverbal is classified as sounds that are not normal words.


How To Nonverbally Communicate Better To Improve Negotiations And Life


A tree fell due to strong, almost hurricane winds. John called a tree removal company to haul it away and was quoted $700. Once the removal company started cutting the tree into smaller segments to remove it, John inquired as to how much it might cost to dig up roots from a tree that had fallen some time ago. The manager of the team performing the job said, “um, ah, ah, um, that’ll be $200.” John responded with a bit of exaggeration, $200! Then the manager said, “OK, $150”. John said, “We have a deal.”

Let’s examine what occurred nonverbally in that exchange.

First, from a nonverbal subliminal perspective, the manager was saying I’m not sure what to charge you via his ‘um, ah’ communication. Thus he was saying, I’m open to your suggestions.


Exaggeration in Life & Negotiations:

Second, anytime we exaggerate our state of mind from a verbal and/or nonverbal perspective, we give more emphasis to what we project. In John’s case, he was communicating from a verbal perspective through his nonverbal exaggeration that he was surprised, not pleased with the quote of $200. The manager’s nonverbal response (i.e. um, ah) gave John insight per the manager lowering his cost. They settled on $150.

John had already received a quote from a different tree removal company. That company quoted $1,700 to remove the fallen tree. Thus, John was already saving $1,000 per the difference between the two quotes. Therefore, John would have happily paid the $200 that the manager quoted for the root removal, but he wanted to see how much more he could save. Once John received the $50 reduction, based on the nonverbal response of the manager, he guessed he could have gotten an even lower price. John chose not to pursue a lower price at that time because he wanted to preserve the relationship with that company.

Note: Be mindful when you’ve received a good deal. Be even more mindful of not destroying it due to greed. Let the other person/negotiator walk away feeling like she also won.


To become more effective in your negotiations, pay attention to the nonverbal clues you emit. Those clues will give insight into your thought process which can serve as gateways through which you allow your mental secrets to escape. If they do, an astute opposing negotiator will use such insight as leverage to enhance her position, which means you’ll walk away with less from the negotiation. Since you’re always negotiating give special consideration to your nonverbal communications in your personal life too. Our personal aspects by which we live our lives tend to influence how we engage in the business aspects of our lives.

In the situation with the manager, John gave him a copy of one of the books he’d written on the topic or negotiation and reading body language. He did so while explaining to the manager the nonverbal signals he’d leaked via his communications. John liked the man and wanted to add long-lasting value to the man’s life. Treat others fairly … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!



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