“Shoulder Shrugs Can Expose Scary Secrets In A Negotiation”
Have you heard the cliché, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? If you have, do you subscribe to it? If you do, you shouldn’t. Because, a lack of knowledge can expose you to scary secrets in a negotiation – secrets that can bite you at the most unsuspecting points in the negotiation. But, there’s one way you can protect yourself. How – by accurately interpreting the meaning of shoulder shrugs when you negotiate.
Shoulder shrugs convey secret information. They expose hidden thoughts of the person that’s attempting to hide those thoughts.
Observe the following shoulder shrug examples. You’ll obtain hidden information that those shrugs attempt to conceal.
When a person displays a shoulder shrug, it can represent a multitude of hidden meanings. It can be a sign of reluctance (i.e. what more do you expect of me) – a sign of protection (i.e. I’m not going to stick my neck out) – it can also be a sign of exasperation (i.e. I’m getting tired of this). Regardless of the hidden meaning, it gives additional insight into the thoughts of that person.
Single Shrug: A single shrug can denote a lack of full commitment in response to a question or statement made.
When displaying a single shoulder shrug, a person will tend to favor their dominant side. This is important to note – because it adds additional meaning to the shrug. As an example, if someone that’s right-handed shrugs their left shoulder, he may be displaying less of a commitment to the response that caused the gesture. As with everything related to reading body language, you must establish someone’s body language foundation before you can accurately assess the validity of their actions.
Double Shrug: A double shrug (both shoulders elevated) can connote more commitment to a reply or statement. As an example, if one elevated both shoulders while stating, “I didn’t do it”, she’d be displaying more commitment to the statement then if she displayed a single shrug – note: to discern the probability of the truth you should still probe deeper. The act of the shrug is that person’s commitment to her pronouncement at that moment – it can change with further probing.
When someone performs a double shrug, that person’s hands provide additional insights. As an example, if an offer is made consisting of two items and the recipient says, “I don’t care”, while shrugging with one hand higher than the other, he’s nonverbally expressing a preference for one of the items – the preference lies in the order the items were offered or their proximity to the hand that’s higher.
Additional Shrug Meanings:
Hands: The movement of someone’s hands lends insights into their thoughts. To gather additional awareness per the meaning of a shrug, take note of …
hands close to the body – indicates they’re guarded
hands palms-up – signals they have less to conceal
hands palms-down – they’re less accepting
hands palms-up-and-out – says, keep away from me
Head Tuck: To observe how threatened someone might feel when they shrug, note the degree they protect their head when …
head extends forward – says, I’ll challenge you
head to one side – denotes preference
head straight up – states, I’m willing to expose more of myself
head tucked – says, I’m making myself less of a target
Of course, the additional shrug meanings can conceal someone’s real intent. That’s because good negotiators can affect this maneuver to add perceived emotional credibility to their effect.
Always note the length of time a shrug lasts and the number of times they occur. The length and number of times will indicate a person’s ever-changing degree of angst or determination to get you to back off. In all cases, they’ll be signaling information that you can use to enhance the negotiation.
Start noticing when, under what circumstances, and how frequently people shrug their shoulders. Doing that will increase your attentiveness and skills about this behavior. That will allow you to become a better negotiator … and everything will be right with the world.
“Beware Silly Provocations – How To Hack Crisis Negotiations“
She wanted everyone to know that she was upset. Her language was foul, loud, and silly. She presented it as a provocation to induce hot drama. Its delivery occurred in a cool and calculated manner with the intent of inciting a crisis. One might think that occurred during a nasty negotiation – it happened in a small bank branch. And the occurrence was the pronouncements of a customer who at first demeaned a bank teller and then the branch manager.
In a negotiation, there are ways to hack situations such as what occurred with the foul silly-mouth customer. The following are a few of those hacks.
The individual in the bank repeatedly complained aloud about the possibility of her ‘personnel’ information being overheard by other customers – note that she meant her personal information – she claimed the teller asked for it to determine her identity. To the customer, that was an offense.
Hack: When dealing with people that appear to lack lucidity, assess if their demeanor is an act. Based on your assessment, be logical or illogical with them. Then, note the change in their demeanor. If they begin to use logic to strengthen their position, use logic in addressing them further. If they’re illogical, ask what they would do if they were in your position with the guidelines you’re working with. Either way, they’ll give you the solution to the problem. Thank them for it. And if it’s to your benefit, use it. If it’s not, excuse them or yourself from the surroundings.
Had the customer been in a different environment (e.g. church) and she’d not received the outcome sought, her demeanor more than likely would have been different. Thus, always consider the environment that one is in when they project certain conducts. And question if it would be the same if not in that setting.
In a negotiation, always consider the type of individual you’re dealing with. Evaluate to what degree she’s educated, a bully, embarrasses easily, or someone that never adopts shame for an action. That insight will give you a measure of understanding as to what type of personality you’re dealing with. That, in turn, will give you clues to how best to deal with that individual.
Educated – Everything being equal, people with higher levels of education can be dealt with at higher levels of reasoning.
Hack: Thus, if negotiating with someone of this ilk, try using logic to reason with them. They may not succumb to your behests. But you’ll have a greater chance of calming them before they become more irrational acting.
Bully – People with bully tendencies seek attention. They want to be perceived as someone that demands respect – in their mind they’re someone that others should not trifle with. Some negotiators will use bullying as a tactic – they’ll do so to determine how far they can push you.
Hack: If you sense someone’s attempting to use provocation as a bullying tool, stand your ground – act bravely! If you give in, they’ll push you harder and further.
Embarrassment – The person that embarrasses easily is on the opposite coin of the person that never adopts shame for her actions. The shameless person will attempt to project her antics to burrow into your psyche. By doing so, she assumes she’ll enhance the probability that you’ll acquiesce to her demands.
Hack 1: For the shameless person, don’t let her tactics effect you. Suggest aloud that you’re aware of her attempts – do so boldly! Then note to what degree she escalates or de-escalates the situation. If she escalates, she may be testing your resolve to determine its validity. What you do next will impact the rest of your interactions – choose wisely between upping your stance again or deflating it. If she de-escalates, she will have given you control. Make haste with it while softening your behavior as her reward.
Hack 2: For the person that embarrasses easily, temper her antics by raising the stakes – deal with her sternly but in degrees. She doesn’t want others judging her harshly. Thus, she won’t escalate a situation that causes her embarrassment – therein lies her vulnerability. Be cautious about appearing to take advantage of her. Anyone can become irrational when pushed too hard. That’ll make them less predictable, which could make a negotiation more difficult.
Provocations, silly or not, can occur in any negotiation. Controlled provocations are tools that good negotiators employ as a tactic. Having greater insight into hacking their efforts will prevent you from falling into their traps, while agilely avoiding hidden crises … and everything will be right with the world.
“How To Stop Crazy Negotiators From Killing Negotiations”
“That #negotiator was crazy. He made offers and then took them back. Worse, when you mentioned it, he acted like he didn’t know what you were referring to. I thought his antics would kill the #negotiation. How did you learn to deal with such crazy negotiators?” – said a junior member of a negotiation team to his team leader.
Everyone has encountered an experience such as mentioned. You engage in a negotiation assuming the other negotiator will act rationally. And instead, that person risks killing the negotiation because of his craziness. Such antics can leave you wondering if you’re dealing with a sane individual, someone that’s attempting to use ‘crazy’ as a tactic, or someone that’s just full of buffoonery. In either case, the following information will give you a format for dealing with such people.
Form of Communication:
If based on prior behavior, you believe you’ll be negotiating with someone that’s erratic, put as many components of the negotiation in place before sitting at the negotiation table. You want to leave as little to chance as possible. To do that, consider using written communications to outline what will be negotiated and to set the conduct boundaries before agreeing to meet. He may act unreasonably face-to-face. But if you’ve set prior parameters, you can point to them to illustrate when he’s out of bounds.
When dealing with an opposing team, the dynamics can be a little more daunting. That could be due, in part, to the team’s leader not having the control to manage it or any number of other variables.
Nevertheless, if you sense irrationality due to inner bickering amongst the opposing team, consider a divide and conquer strategy – play the strongest against the weakest and the weakest against the strongest. To do that, lend more credibility to an offer made by a weaker member – they should be speaking with one voice but remember, they’re bickering. You’re endeavoring to get the team to bicker more with one another to sow discontent.
When dealing with an individual, you need to know more about the forces that are motivating his actions. As an example, he may have been told to close a ridiculously difficult deal or lose his position with the organization. He may have inferred that he’d get a long-awaited promotion if the deal is within certain parameters. He may also be the setup for the next phase of the negotiation and not even be aware of that. Thus, he’s told to hammer you hard for a deal, only to have the deal supplanted by his superior who will assume the role of lead negotiator in the next phase. You think you’re dealing with one person that’s acting irrationally when, you’re really dealing with a team that could be playing good cop/bad cop – you just don’t know it. And that’s to your detriment.
To insulate yourself from such tactics:
Inquire about others in his environment that might be interested in the deal.
Have him confirm in writing that he has final approval to agree to a deal (watch his body language when doing this – if he displays any form of hesitancy, he may be sending a signal of discomfort. That could indicate that he’s not the final arbiter.)
Get him to commit in-writing every understanding that you have about a deal. Do this as you move from one phase of the negotiation to the next.
The point is, if he’s acting crazily, you want to identify the reason for such actions and eradicate them before investing a lot of time in the negotiation.
There are multiple numbers of ways to control a negotiator that appears to be crazy, irrational or one that attempts to bully you during a negotiation. When dealing with such, point out what’s at stake. Get their buy-in for the agreement and state the consequences as being huge and painful if broken. Doing so will lessen the chance that the crazy type of negotiator will get the best of you … and everything will be right with the world.
“Negotiator – How To Detect Hidden Danger In A Handshake”
“I didn’t come here to learn about handshakes. I came because I wanted to become a better #negotiator.” Those were the unfortunate comments of a seminar attendee. He didn’t realize that he’d overlooked a huge gambit in the negotiation process.
A #handshake conveys important information. The more people exchange them between one another, the more information they convey. It can say, I’m feeling overly optimistic today. It can say, my mood is somewhat deflated. It can also say that I’m going to dominate you because I feel superior today.
Very few people understand the value transmitted when they clasp someone’s hand. Are you aware of such messages when you shake someone’s hand?
After gaining insights from the following information, you’ll never look at, sense, or interpret a handshake as you’ve done in the past.
Some people equate a weak or wimpy handshake with someone of the same character. Be careful of the assumptions you make.
A weak or wimpy handshake may send a silent message of subservience. It can also be the disguise of someone that’s significantly stronger in character than the handshake conveys. It’s one tactic that good negotiators use to dupe the other negotiator into perceiving a false sense of weakness. That’s done to acquire insight into what the other negotiator might do once she sensed that she was dealing with a mentally weaker opponent.
If you wonder about the validity of such a person, shake hands several times during your interactions. Note the slightest degree of change in the firmness of their handshake. To the degree change occurs, it’ll serve as a barometer indicating a change in character.
The delivery of a bone-crushing handshake can be an attempt to display strength and dominance. It can be someone’s lack of recognition of their strength related to the hand they’re shaking. It could also be an attempt to conceal weakness.
I recall a business associate telling me that I shook his hand too hard. I knew I possessed a firm handshake but I’d not considered it to be bone-crushing. My associate reiterated his statement a few times. After that, I was always more attentive to not shaking his hand with the prior degree of intensity that I’d used before.
The point is, if you do have a firm handshake, know when to moderate it based on the circumstances. If someone delivers a bone-crushing handshake upon you, and it’s painful, consider saying something. Then, note if any change occurs. If it does, the person is displaying more alignment with you. If it doesn’t, the person doesn’t care how you feel. In either case, you will have gained valuable insight into the person.
The person controlling a handshake is the one that releases it last. A handshake on average last about five seconds. Thus, the person holding the hand of the other individual the longest is stating that they’re not ready to release that person.
Take note when someone extends a handshake pass what’s normal for the situation. They may be sending a subliminal message that they’re superior. They might also be holding your hand longer to comfort you or themselves. Therefore, note when such occurs and the situation in which it happens. Doing so will allow you to gain additional insight as to why they’re committing that act.
In every negotiation, note its beginning through the information sent via a handshake. If you become attuned to its intent, you’ll have greater insight into that person. That insight will add additional information about how you can negotiate better with them … and everything will be right with the world.
“How To Be Better – Negotiator – Control Your Risky Positioning”
Positioning in a #negotiation impacts a #negotiator’s ability to #negotiate before the negotiation begins. Because the way you position yourself determines how the other negotiator will perceive you. And it’ll regulate your interactions. Thus, to be a better negotiator, you must #control any risky #positioning that might impact a negotiation.
Everyone considers what they might encounter before they engage in an activity – that’s especially true in negotiations. And it’s better you shape their perception before they do. Doing so delivers the image you wish them to have of you compared to the haphazard perspective they might create.
The following are examples to control your positioning before a negotiation occurs.
Hanging with Influencers:
You’re perceived as an influencer when you surround yourself with those that influence others – that allows you to become better positioned. To advantage your position, consider becoming seen with the influencers that’ll have the greatest impact on those that you wish to influence. That will improve your positioning based on how others perceive you.
Controlling Your Message:
People will attempt to control your message. And they may hijack its intent to serve a purpose that’s better aligned with their goals, not yours. To oppose their efforts …
Control others that attempt to control your message. Don’t let them brand you or your message if it doesn’t support your positioning – confront them when they oppose you.
Beware of ear-jackers – Ear-jackers are people that will eavesdrop on your conversations when they’re in your environment. Most likely, they’ll appear to be engaged in other activities. They may be seeking salacious information that they can twist to demean you or enhance their positioning (e.g. I heard him say ‘XYZ’. I knew there was another side to him that he doesn’t want the public to see.)
Observe what happens in slow motion. Because we’re bombarded with activities, sometimes we miss what’s before us – most occurrences happen over an extended period-of-time. Take note of the changes that occur around you daily. It’s the short-term changes that could become long-term detriments to your positioning that you should be aware of.
Be innovative – When you’re seen as an innovator, you’re viewed as someone that’s leading others to their future. If they perceive that as a benefit, they’ll follow you more readily. And when you’re at the negotiation table, they’ll be more willing to accept your offerings.
Control the flow of your messages. Always consider the impact one message will have on another when you send it into the realm of public opinion. If you initiate messages that are less important too frequently, messages that might have a greater impact on your positioning will be less potent – and the more important messages may miss your intended audience altogether.
Use Appropriate Words:
Words control emotions. And emotions control perceptions. To control your positioning better, control the words that control your message. As an example, depending on the situation, it may be beneficial to use the word squabble versus fight (e.g. we had a squabble) – that’s less impactful than, we had a fight. The exchange of those two words alters the perception of the situation.
Perception is Reality:
When it comes to controlling your positioning, perception is reality. Your integrity intentions can be in alignment with your actions and if someone taints it with their ill-will, you could become seen as someone with less integrity. That’ll impact the way the other negotiator interacts with you. That could be to the detriment of both of you and the negotiation.
Being a better negotiator starts first with how you’re positioned. It shapes the way you’re perceived at the negotiation table. It determines how the other negotiator will strategize to negotiate against you. And it will have an impact on how effective your negotiation efforts will be. To negotiate better, always pay careful attention to your messages and how they position you. Because, the better you position yourself per how you wish to be perceived, the easier the negotiation will be … and everything will be right with the world.
“Reading body language is like seeing someone’s thoughts. Reading body language accurately gives you the ability to know what those thoughts are.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“His Body Language Screamed – Alert Gullible Liar – Beware”
Something about his body language caught my attention. It screamed, liar!
A man entered my car on the train and announced to everyone that he needed $15 for a train ticket to get to his 13-year old daughter. He said she was at a location where the train ended. He went on to say that someone had already given him $2.
One person gave the requester $5. From there, the requester walked through the rest of our car seeking more contributions. One gentleman said to him, ‘sit beside me – I’ll buy you a ticket.’ The requester said, okay, I’ll be right back and kept walking – he made his way out of our car and into the next one on the train. The gentleman that offered to buy the ticket and I looked at one another and smiled. We knew the requester would not be returning, and he didn’t return.
What body language gestures do you think the requester might have displayed? The man that gave our train friend $5 was taken in by his story. On the other hand, the man that offered to purchase a ticket suspected the requester’s story was illegitimate.
When reading body language, be observant of your intuition and a person’s gestures. Your intuition is very attuned to detecting lies.
Intuition is a nonverbal silent signal that secretly conveys information. If the signal was audible, you’d liken it to a knock at the door, the ringing of the phone, or a loud noise. In all cases, it attempts to attract your attention – it seeks your higher sense of awareness.
When you have an emotional sensation whose source you can’t identify, don’t discard it. Instead, raise your sense of awareness to become more attuned to the message that’s seeking your attention.
For a perspective of someone’s intent, observe their eyes, head, hands, feet movements.
Eyes – The requester on the train searched people with his eyes to detect easy marks. He was looking for those that smiled and made eye contact. People that lie will go to the extreme of displaying too much or too little eye contact. They may display too much because they’ve heard that people who lie avoid eye contact. In the latter case, they’re not aware of that. So, since they know they’re lying, they attempt to avoid eye contact to conceal it.
Head – When the requester thought someone was empathetic to his plight, he locked onto that suspect and nodded his head in that direction. The head nodding was a subliminal message stating, you and I understand one another.
Hands – Always watch someone’s hands when they’re talking. In the case of the requester, I noted that his hands moved away from him when he professed the desire to get to his daughter. And they stayed there. Had he gestured in the distance where she was supposed to be and then drew his hands back to his heart or chest as he professed his desire to get to her, he would have been more believable. As it was, his gestures said, there is no daughter at the end of the line. He just wants everyone to think there is.
Feet – When it came to the requester’s plea, once he detected that those close to him would not assist, he made quick movements to get away from that area. When someone is lying, they’ll display feet movements that attempt to put distance between themselves and the lying environment they’re in.
Being able to read body language gives you an advantage in any environment – that’s especially true when negotiating. If you’d like to have x-ray type vision that allows you to see inside of someone’s mind, enhance your ability to read body language … and everything will be right with the world.
In everyday life, we engage with and interact with those that we might term mere mortals. Understand and recognize that such individuals can add insight and guidance per how you engage in your life’s activities when it comes to reaching your goals. As such, respect mere mortals for the value they possess because that value perspective will add value to your endeavors.
How astute are you when it comes to reading body language in life and your negotiations? During every aspect of a negotiation, there are subtle signals that give insight into someone’s mind (i.e. the way they’re thinking).
The better you are at observing and knowing how to respond to such signals, the greater will be your negotiation efforts and outcomes.
The following Infographic gives insights into the mindset of someone the possesses an Easy-Closed style of negotiator. It also gives suggestions per how to deal with such a person.
Have you given much thought to the degree that body language impacts a negotiation? Some research has indicated that up to 90% of our communication occurs through our body language. That being the case, you should always be mindful per the body language signals you emit at the negotiation table, as well as those emitted by the opposing negotiator.