“I wasn’t sure what I was sensing. But the story didn’t seem right. I didn’t know if it came from the man’s darting eyes, or his constant lip licking. He seemed nervous. And that increased my suspicion of his guilt.” Those were the words of a police officer recounting his thoughts to a supervisor. He’d just captured a criminal that had been on the lam for decades.
One researcher found most people lie in everyday conversation. They do so to appear approachable and skilled. As a negotiator, when you assess someone’s possible deceit, what signs do you look for in their body language? Are there other nonverbal signals that you spot that give clues to someone’s degree of truthfulness?
When a person lies, their body emits clues. That’s because our body attempts to stay in a constant state of comfort. And, when it’s out of that state, the body displays signals that account for that lack of wellbeing. The following guidelines will assist you in spotting lies in those that attempt to deceive you. Having this information will allow you to heighten your senses when someone is lying.
Reading Body Language
Forehead – When someone’s forehead begins to sweat, take note of what preceded that action. While the person may be sweating due to the heat, observe to what degree the sweating continues based on questions posed in the conversation. When coupled with other signs, you’ll have better insight into the person’s deceit or truthfulness.
Eyes – In some situations, a lier will avoid eye contact, because they know a lack of eye contact may indicate someone’s lying. And others will maintain eye contact longer than usual. To decern when someone may be lying, observe what’s regular eye contact for that person in different situations. As an example, note their eye movement when they’re calm compared to when they feel threatened in an attempt not to disclose the truth. Even when you first meet someone, within moments of the encounter, you can gauge their altering of eye movement. Note what may have caused it to occur.
Mouth – When people lie, and they believe someone may be spotting it, the more they speak, the drier their mouth may become. They may begin to lick their lips to offset the dryness or start to swallow excessively. Pay special attention to this act. While nerves may have a role in their actions, guilt from telling lies may be the real source.
Ears – Someone fondling their ears may be indicating that they can’t hear what you’re saying. But constant fondling is usually a sign that they’re attempting to comfort themselves. While they may be nervous, note some of the other signals to assess if there’s more to their fondling.
Neck – Rubbing the neck more than usual is another sign of tension, which may be caused by someone lying. Once again, observe other signals mentioned to gain greater insight into what this clue me be giving you.
Hands – Some people cover their mouth with their hand when lying. They’re attempting to hold back their words. If someone makes large gestures with their hands and then begin to make smaller ones while displaying some of the other signals noted, that might be another clue that they’re attempting to shield the lie that they want you to believe is the truth.
Fists – Hands that become fists indicate potential hostile actions to follow. That gesture in a tense situation may mean the person is tired of your inquisition. He may be experiencing anxiety from thinking you’re aware of his deceitful pronouncements.
Feet – When someone suspects that you’re aware of his lying, he may shift his body and point his feet towards the nearest exit. That gesture indicates that he wants to get out of the current environment because he feels uncomfortable.
As you watch someone’s body language, look for a cluster of actions. No action standing alone can definitively denote their truthfulness. Remember, when someone lies, their body emits signals. Those signals may be fleeting. But, if you’re astute at recognizing them, you’ll be better at catching the lies that people tell. That will allow you to maintain greater control in all of your environments … and everything will be right with the world.
How do you shape your logic before presenting an argument or rebuttal? And, would it be different if you were a whistleblower?
“The whistleblower doesn’t know what happened. He got his information from other sources.” Those were the words reportedly that came from officials at the White House. The words were stated to discredit the whistleblower. In reality, his account appears to be very accurate. And his report was laid out in a very logical format.
When presenting information, consider the following seven suggestions.
Make your arguments easy to embrace and understand. The more comfortable someone is in adopting a rebuttal, the more likely it is to persuade them.
Solicit empathy – When positioning a response to a question, attempt to place it as the other person would. That’ll allow that person to see herself in your response. It’ll also make it more difficult for her to refute it because she would have engaged in the same manner as you.
Before exposing your logic, think of where it might lead and how you might defend your position.
To make responses more potent, don’t defuse them. Adding unrelated or challenging to grasp information might defuse your position. Adding too many arguments can lead to a lack of understanding of your primary point. Thus, someone may become confused as the result of focusing on another aspect you’ve mentioned and giving that point more attention.
Demeanor – The persona you cast is how people will perceive you. Thus, if you threw the image of someone that’s challenging to deal with, you shouldn’t be surprised when someone deals with you in that manner. Conversely, if you position yourself as someone amenable, they’ll tend to respond to you in that manner. There’s always value in positioning yourself to meet the outcome you seek. Know what that is before projecting your persona, and you’ll have a better chance of convincing others to view situations from your perspective.
Don’t appear guilty when refuting a claim that’s logged against you. There are times when how you say something is more important than what you say. That’s because people will perceive your words through the body language gestures you emit while speaking. Therefore, if your words and body language are misaligned, and your nonverbal behavior sends signals of guilt, those will be the overriding indicators that are received. Thus, you’ll become viewed as being more guilty than innocent.
Acting crazy – “Crazy is as crazy does.” That’s a cliché denoting how some can feign craziness and use it to advantage their position. They’ll be times when it’s appropriate to act crazy. Doing so will ward off some people that might attack you. And others will keep their distance because they’re not sure how you’ll behave or respond in situations. Thus, this can be a very potent tool to use in certain circumstances. Those environments might occur when you don’t want to appear predictable, or when you want your opponent to stay on guard. That diversion can keep his attention focused on other activities.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
Every negotiation follows a logical flow. Even when it appears to be illogical, there’s a flow that will become logical. Hence, the better your logic is for what you want to occur during a negotiation, taking into consideration of the other negotiator’s reactions, the greater control you’ll have in that process. That should allow you to control the talks, which in turn should lead to a higher negotiation outcome for you … and everything will be right with the world.
“How To Negotiate Better By Knowing What Value Is”
What do you know about value?
“… I’m so sorry for your inconvenience. I can upgrade you to a better room.” Those were the words spoken by a front desk person at a 5-star hotel. He was informing a guest of what he could do as the result of the patron experiencing a restless night. The patron’s restlessness was due to his loud neighbors in other rooms on the floor. The patron had begun calling the front desk around 12-midnight to complain. Throughout the night, he called several more times – all to no avail to squelch the noise that prevented him from sleeping. He thought to himself, and this yammering is ceaseless.
When he checked out of the hotel the next morning, he told the desk manager of his experience. The manager extended apologies on behalf of the hotel, stated that the night’s stay would be removed from the guest’s bill and asked if there was anything else that he could do. The patron said no. I appreciate the gestures you’ve made. Then he said, “all I wanted was a good night’s sleep. I have an important meeting today. And I just wanted to be fresh and well-rested.” As he left the hotel, he wondered if he’d ever stay at that location again.
Do you see the difference between how the front desk person and the desk manager addressed the situation? It’s slight. But it’s also powerful. The desk manager extended apologies, and he asked the guest if there was anything else that he could do. He was seeking the guest’s perspective of value. In other words, he wanted to know what was essential to the guest. If you don’t know what someone values, you don’t know what to offer them. That means you’re making blind offers when doing so in a negotiation.
When you negotiate, there are five factors to keep in mind about value.
People have a different perspective on what they value and why. Once you know their value perspective, seek to understand it.
Don’t assume because someone is like you that they’ll like you. Even when people have similar values, there will be nuances that separate their opinions about value. To assume you share exact ideals as your negotiation counterpart can lead to offers and counteroffers that are not valued. In a worst-case scenario, such offers can be damaging to your negotiation efforts.
When you’re unsure of a person’s value, ask what they’d least like to lose. The reply will indicate what is of most importance.
To test someone about their value, ask, “if there’s one thing that I could grant you in this negotiation, what would it be?” Once again, that person’s value proposition will reside in their response.
This last suggestion may fall into the red herring category. It entails discovering something you possess that’s of great value to the other negotiator. Entice that person to believe that he can acquire it but at a very high cost. The higher he’s willing to pay for the acquisition, the higher the value of possessing it will be. Be cautious when engaging this means of acquiring someone’s value perspective. If you don’t allow them to receive it after getting them to make substantial offers, they could become unwilling to grant you much after that. Then, the negotiation might hit a roadblock.
To become a better negotiator, you must always understand what is of value to your negotiation counterpart. Once you do, making better offers will be more comfortable – because you’ll know which offers possess the highest value … and everything will be right with the world.
He spoke with his website designer. After the call, he felt a heightened sense of happiness. As he reveled in his bliss, he assessed his state of pleasure and reflected on why it was in abundance. He realized that those feelings stemmed from that conversation. He thought, “My website will be updated, which means my services and skills will be presented better. That will bring in more business and create more opportunities for me.”
Do you note when you’re happy? Are you aware of the hidden sources of your happiness? Sometimes, we’re happy and we’re not aware of it. It’s usually because we’re not attentive to what put us into an elated state. Are you aware of what causes that lack of recognition?
Continue reading and you’ll discover why it’s important to pay attention to your level of happiness and the benefits gained from doing so.
Do you really know what it takes to make you happy? Or, do you leave it to chance? If you relinquish such an important force to chance, without recognizing it, you’re neglecting your wellbeing.
The more attuned you are to your emotions, your dreams, and driving sources of motivation, the easier it’ll be to identify those variables. That means, regardless of your state of mind, you’ll be able to alter it. But to do that, you must be aware of how and when to exercise that control.
The more aware you are of the environments that challenge your happiness, the more opportunities you’ll have to avoid negativity. First, you must know yourself, know what you want, and focus on constantly moving in the direction of your needs and desires.
When you sense you’ve made accomplishments, you feel the momentum of progress. And that makes you experience happiness. Conversely, when you’re not making progress, you may feel like you’re in a rut. That diminishes your happiness.
If you’re more aware of your environments and the people in them, you can make better assessments about the probability of outcomes. That’s another reason you should surround yourself with like-minded people. They can serve to help you strive for higher achievements. Their actions can have a profound impact on you and your degree of happiness.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
When negotiating, your emotions sway from one end of the spectrum to the other. At times, they’re like a wild and uncontrollable ride. At other times, they’re akin to a pleasurable stroll on the beach. In either case, your emotions will dictate your actions. Thus, the more aware you are about what causes you happiness, the better you can control your emotions. With that, you’ll be in greater control of your actions when negotiating.
Happiness is truly a state of mind. If you’re more aware of the actions that lead to greater happiness, you’ll be able to induce that state more readily. You’ll also be able to use that skill in times when you might otherwise feel besieged by others, which could lead to unwanted outcomes.
When you learn to control the occurrences that lead to greater happiness, you will have created space where more happiness can reside. That will make you the controller of your happiness quotient … and everything will be right with the world.
When called into his boss’ office, he was glowing with pride. He thought, “I took a gamble, made the right decision and now I’m going to get that promotion.” As he walked out of his boss’ office for the last time, with his head hung low, he said to no one in particular, “How do you know when you make good decisions if they’re good decisions?” He was fired for making a decision that caused the company to lose its biggest client.
So, what criterion do you use when making decisions? And to what degree do you know or think you’ve made a good decision at the time you make it? Decision making can be dicey. Consider the following when engaging in your decision-making process.
Every decision will lead in one direction versus another. The variation may be slight. But, if you make a drastic decision that takes you further from your goals, you will have wasted valuable time and effort. Because that will put more distance between you and your goals. Before implementing major decisions, consider the impact that little decisions will have on your goals.
Where Does It Lead:
To be more mindful of the decisions you make, question yourself about where a decision may lead. Ask yourself, what will be the outcome of the decision you make and how will it impact other decisions? Will the possible outcome be too costly to bear? How will I and those that I care about feel emotionally about the outcome? If you sense a feeling of dread during this phase, it may be a warning to abandon the decision(s) you’re contemplating.
Play the ‘what if’ game when considering the decisions you’re contemplating. Ask yourself, what would happen if I didn’t make the decision – where would that leave me? Where would I be if I made it? What would happen next? By posing such a series of questions to yourself, you’ll gain deeper thoughts about where a decision might lead. If it leaves you in a place you rather not be, don’t make it – abandon it.
Decisions have consequences. Consider the ones that are more important more carefully. In part, assess the impact a decision will have on your life or those that significantly impact your life. For greater assessment ask yourself, what combined impact will my decisions have on others and how might that affect me, good or bad?
What does this have to do with negotiations?
During a negotiation, you’ll evaluate a countless number of decisions. Some will be easier to make. Because you will have discovered the paths to take during the planning phase.
For those decisions that might bear strong consequences, consider the outcome carefully. If you think a decision may leave you in a good place now but challenge your position later, it may behoove you to forgo it. There’s always another side to consider when considering decisions. Don’t ignore the consequences of that other side. Don’t make decisions in haste – there may be unforeseen consequences.
Even when a decision can appear to be the light at the end of a tunnel, that light can be a train coming at you. Be mindful of how, with who, and when you make decisions. The more you examine the possibilities of where they may lead, the better a handle you’ll have on the decisions to make … and everything will be right with the world.
“Alexa, who is Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator and Body Language Expert? Sorry, I don’t know that” was Alexa’s reply.
Do you think Alexa felt shame about not knowing the answer to that question – it didn’t? Alexa is artificial intelligence. It’s programmed to acquire knowledge. You’re like that too. You acquire knowledge and that reduces your ignorance. There should be no shame associated with engaging in that process.
Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Everyone is ignorant of many things. So, why do people become shamed by it? This article explores that. And it abates the uneasiness that partners with ignorance.
The Stigma of Ignorance:
Sometimes, there’s a self-degrading stigma attached to ignorance. It generates embarrassment within the person possessing it. Don’t allow that to happen to you. And don’t allow others to weaponize ignorance against you. Understand your uniqueness. Use that as a shield. Then, if you want to become more knowledgeable about a subject, do so because it’s your desire. Don’t let others control you through their ignorance of who you are.
Your self-esteem may come into question when asked for wisdom on a topic you don’t know. Momentary fear may kick in, depending on the circumstances. That dilemma can cause you angst.
If you’re stupefied by a question, alter your self-perspective. There’s nothing wrong with you. You just don’t know. If the subject matter is important, you can acquire knowledge. Don’t let it mentally debilitate you.
Fear of Unknown:
Do you fear not knowing the answers to questions simply because you don’t know what’s being sought? There are times when you become mentally constipated because of what you believe others think of you. Note when that happens. Allay your emotions by thinking that no one knows everything – there are things the person posing questions don’t know. Plus, you give your mental power to others when you allow them to control your self-perception.
Perception of Peers:
You may become daunted by ignorance when considering what friends and associates think of you because you lack knowledge in a certain area. If they’re ‘real friends’, you should be able to express your ignorance without fear of the negative perception of rejection. If that’s a concern, you can always push-back by saying, please reduce my ignorance or reveal your own. No one can make you feel ignorant. Only you have that power. Since you control it, control its perception.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
When negotiating, ignorance can open the door to fear. And fear can throw your negotiation off kilter. By planning extensively for an upcoming negotiation, you can reduce fear – do so by reducing unknown aspects that might cause it to occur. That means, during the planning process, consider as many variables as possible. Plan for them and have strategies ready to deal with situations that might threaten your negotiation position. Being prepared will disperse fears of where you might unwantedly venture into the negotiation. You will also cast the demon of ignorance into the dungeons of anonymity … and everything will be right with the world.
“… The thought of that scared me. My focus was on what others would think if I failed.” An executive manager of a major international corporation spoke those words. I suggested that he shift his paradigm from thinking about failure, and what others would think, to one more positive.
Have you ever considered what scares you? While you might be frightened of some things, they may be the doorway that leads to greater opportunities. There are things that you should shy away from. Therefore, I’m not suggesting you go head-first into everything that scares you. Instead, reflect on the benefits that might reside within your fears.
Consider the following thoughts when assessing how, whether, and when you should embrace things that frightened you.
Identify what scares you:
Before you can address your fears, you must identify them. You should also identify why you’re lending legitimacy to them. In identifying them, note their origins. Do they stem for a hurt you experienced in the not too distant past, or do they stem from some further hidden source? The better you are at identifying the source of what scares you, the better you’ll be at assembling a plan to deal with those fears.
While assessing the source of your fears, assess if it’s something that you should rightfully be afraid of. Fear can serve as a warning. Thus, there are some things that you should avoid. In your assessment, label what’s real and what’s imagined when it comes to what scares you.
When we were kids, we dealt with things that frightened us by using imaginary forces. We even created imaginary friends. The point is, we used our mind to help us live in the reality we wanted for ourselves. We can still use our mind for that purpose. When confronting what scares you, imagine what will happen when you overcome your fear by addressing the thing that scares you. Imagine you’re receiving accolades for doing so. Now, how does that make you feel? It should make you feel good. After all, you’re only imagining it, which means, you’re in complete control … as you are always.
You can find motivation from the above thoughts and allow them to move you to action. Or, you can choose not to address your fears. But If you’re serious about achieving greater success in life, you must commit to challenging the things that jeopardize that success, that which scares you. After making that commitment, your life will instantly be on a straighter road to success … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
When negotiating, the fears of adopting one position versus another may cause you angst. But if you’ve considered the unexpected offers that might occur beforehand you will have planned on how to address them. That should allay your fear.
Nevertheless, if you’re caught by a scary situation, don’t show it through any body language and/or nonverbal signals (e.g. mouth agape, widened eyes). You don’t want the other negotiator to sense his momentary advantage. Instead, go into quandary body language display mode (e.g. hand on chin head cocked to one side, or chin resting in hand and on side of face). This action will give you time to think, while the other negotiator wonders what you’re thinking about. If you display a cunning smile while doing so, you may evoke fear in him.
One day you’re up. The next day you’re down, and so the yo-yo goes. Maybe the ups and downs are not daily, but it occurs to a degree in everyone’s life. Do you know the frequency of your ups and downs? Do you know what really makes you happy?
There’s a reason you should take account of your happiness quotient. It’s the doorway to accomplishing greater achievements. It’s also the doorway that leads to the perception of you leading a better life.
Consider the following insights to note your degree of happiness, what sparks it, and what might cause it to decline.
Know the triggers that lead to happiness and unhappiness. Those two boundaries will be your guardrails that trip your inner silent alarm. Even if you encounter an abundance of happiness, sensitize yourself to how it occurred. You can use those stimuli to acquire greater happiness. That will serve as a motivator to spur you to higher heights. The point is, know what motivates you to stride forward faster and you’ll be more aware of how to do so.
Everyone has a slightly different definition of happiness. To understand the impact that happiness has on you, define what it means to you. Not doing so subjects you to the whims of life’s occurrences. You’ll relinquish control to those dictates and they, not you, will determine when you’re happy and when you’re not.
In my writings, presentations, and trainings, I’ve suggested to people worldwide that they note what makes them unhappy. Some have responded by saying, “why would I focus on negativity – that’ll only serve to make me unhappier”. Think about that for a moment. If you didn’t know what a hot stove felt like, you’d be more likely to touch it and get burned. How many times would you want that to occur? The point is, yin and yang are the boundaries of happiness. And unhappiness is the yin in that equation. The more you’re aware of what makes you unhappy, the more clarity you’ll have about how to avoid it.
There are some things that we’re more passionate about than others; longtime friends can fall into that category. While some longtime friends can provide a form of happiness, you should be aware of the impact they have on other aspects of your life. In some cases, their views and opinions may no longer support the goals you’re seeking to achieve. If that’s the case, know the value that they add to your happiness quotient. You don’t have to discard them, just appreciate them for the value they add to your life from a different perspective.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
The degree of happiness you experience when negotiating will impact your degree of engagement. Happiness is an unseen ally that’ll allow you to think more clearly from which greater ideas will flow. It will also serve as the tool that unlocks your ability to make better offers and counteroffers.
The more you’re aware of what ignites your degrees of happiness when you’re negotiating and how to temper unhappiness, the better you’ll be when negotiating … and everything will be right with the world.
Athletes know it, do you? Do You know when you are on a strong peak? A strong peak is different than a molehill. It’s when you are really at your best. It’s also important to distinguish when you’re at that point because to get there again, you must know how you achieved it.
Throughout our life, we peak and then we rest. During times of rest other occurrences beckon for our attention. Sometimes, instead of answering the call, we revel in our accomplishments and rightfully so. That’s not a bad thing. Because, during our respite, we re-energize ourselves, which prepares us for the conquering of our next summit.
It’s very important to note how we engage in the ups and downs that occur in our life. There are lessons of growth contained in those situations. One thing to remember is, when you’re down, you must get up. There’s always another peak waiting for you to conquer. When you’re up, know that it’s temporary. There will be higher peaks to reach.
The more you can use your mind to continuously strive to go higher in life, the higher you’ll go. Even when there appears to be a limit on your upward mobility, view it as being temporary. Until you die, you’ll always have the power to climb higher. Be you infirm, afflicted, or ridden by the doubt of self-disappointment, if you wish it to be and work hard enough to bring it to fruition, you can always climb to a higher point. Leap if you must from one peak to the other, that’s okay too. You’ll be seeking what awaits you at a higher level. Thus, dread not when you’re not at your strongest. Fear not when you’re encompassed by weakness. When you’re down, if you don’t give up, you’ll be able to climb up, up to higher heights … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
You’ll go through many mental peaks and valleys in a negotiation. When you sense you’re at a peak, note the offers, counteroffers, and strategies that served as your deliverer.
In every negotiation, you should be aware of where you and the other negotiator are mentally. Body language and other nonverbal signals will allow you to glean some insights (e.g. lack of sharpness, the way offers are viewed per what’s said, pondering too long, etc.). The point is, if you’re not alert, that might be an indicator that you’re not at a strong peak in the negotiation. Take heed of such positions. You’re more likely to make mistakes; the same is true of the other negotiator. There’s the opportunity for you to climb to a higher peak if the latter is true. But you’ll miss it if you don’t recognize the opportunity for the value it contains (i.e. knowing when you’re on a strong peak). Pay attention to such opportunities and greater rewards will await you at higher peaks.
“Delivered succinctly, your thoughts are accurately conveyed. Delivered unsuccinctly, and your message can get lost in a morass of confusion”. -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
How many times do you catch yourself not saying exactly what you’re thinking? You say one thing and the meaning becomes altered by what you emit. Okay, did you catch that? The intent was to state, … by what you omit. Such nuances can leave the receiver of your message confused about its intent. We omit complete thoughts at times because we’re not focused on what we say or write.
The following are two points to consider before communicating with others. They’ll help you communicate more effectively.
Know your environments.
Some people get tongue-tied due to their environment. They experience self-pressure because they want to perform better. That’s usually due to how they think they’ll be perceived versus how they wish it to be. Recognize that something is occurring that makes you feel unsafe in those environments. It may stem from the people in it or the environment itself (i.e. glitzy, downtrodden, etc.).
Prior to your entry, identify how you want to convey your thoughts, what might prevent you from doing so, and what you’ll do to become unstuck if that occurs. Having plans in place to move from one mental environment to another will allow you the mental dexterity to place your mind at ease and focus on the message you want to deliver.
Know your mental peaks.
Everyone has times in the day when they’re more mentally alert. Do you know yours? More importantly, do you know what times are best for the important communications that you’ll have?
When you’re at the ‘top of your game’ note how you got there. Is it something someone says that ignites it? Was it the exercise regimen you engaged in. Was it due to a lack of fatigue? Knowing the answers to these questions and others will allow you to identify when you’ll most likely be at your mental peak. When possible, choose those times to engage in more important communications.
When you communicate, whether in writing or verbal, there’ll be times when you don’t communicate succinctly. The better you become at identifying those times, the more alert you’ll be about their occurrence. That mindfulness should allow you to prepare better for the encounter, which should allow you to communicate better … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
Every negotiation involves communications. It’s in the form of what you say and how you say it. Thus, as offers and counteroffers are exchanged, the words used to convey their sentiment impacts the perception of the offer. Therefore, if you don’t represent your thoughts appropriately, you’ll decrease the chance of communicating effectively. That can lead to a hellish negotiation.
In every negotiation, plan what you’ll say and the body language you’ll use when imparting your message (e.g. moving closer when offers are appealing – away when they’re not, hand supporting chin to reflect contemplation, hands pushing away to signal disdain for the offer, etc.). The more aligned your body language is with your message, the more your message will appear believable. Even if your full thought isn’t conveyed, the body language that accompanies it will add an extra dimension to the message.