“This Is How Video Negotiations Can Make You A Good Negotiator” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Seeing leads to believing. But in video negotiations, you can’t always trust what you see.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (click to Tweet)

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“This Is How Video Negotiations

Can Make You A Good Negotiator”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

As she thought about the upcoming negotiations, she wondered how it might be different. This time, she would be negotiating via video. Because of that, she knew it would not be the same as if she was dealing face-to-face. And that made her feel somewhat apprehensive.

How do you handle video negotiations? You do realize, when you are video conferencing with someone, even if you do not consider yourself to be negotiating, you are conveying insights about yourself. You are doing so by exchanging information about your thoughts and actions. And that insight can be used later when you are officially negotiating.

Per what follows, video negotiations also encompasses online dialogs. Therefore, if you would like to know how you can become a better negotiator, as the result of doing it via video, here is how to accomplish that. First, consider:

Downsides To Video/Online Negotiations

1. It may be more challenging to convey trust and sincerity when negotiating via video. Not sensing those vital components of negotiations, the opposition may become reluctant to make concessions and be open to your offers.  

2. Video glitches may lead to frustration, which could be a source for slowing down the proceeding. Worse, one negotiator may use glitches as an excuse for misperceiving the other negotiator’s intent. That, too, may lead to other challenges in the negotiation.

3. Most likely, when negotiating via video, there will be less information to gather about the environment of the other negotiator. That would make it less likely that you might glean something in his surroundings that would benefit your efforts.

While there are many more downsides to negotiating via video, the ones mentioned should draw your attention. From there, before you enter into a video negotiation, create additional downsides based on your negotiation circumstances.

Upside To Video/Online Negotiations

1. You may observe body language/nonverbal clues per what the opposition is thinking due to their feeling of not being face-to-face. In essence, they may feel a little more relaxed since they are not face-to-face. And that may decrease their alertness that they are still casting off signals.

In a face-to-face negotiation, some negotiators may be more attuned to what is occurring during the negotiation than during video negotiations. And that is something you should be aware of because you can turn that into a benefit for yourself due to negotiating via video.

2. Depending on whether you are a mild-mannered negotiator or one that goes along to get along, video negotiations may be less intimidating and stressful for you. The same might be so for the other negotiator. Thus, if both of you possess those traits, negotiating via video will be a significant upside. The point of this statement is, know the negotiation type with whom you are dealing via video.  

Understanding Negotiator’s Strengths And Weaknesses

So, given the up and downsides to negotiating via video, how might you advantage your negotiation position by using video? You should:

1. Know your strengths and weaknesses in video negotiations.

When it comes to negotiating, you have a perspective about how good you are. You know your strengths and weaknesses. A video negotiation environment allows you the opportunity to accentuate your negotiation assets while concealing your shortcomings. For example:

a.) Suppose you know you got nervous when negotiating against an aggressive negotiator because you are easily intimidated in face-to-face negotiations. In that case, you might consider acting more aggressively in video sessions. Then, you could push back on him without the usual trepidation you might feel if you were in person.

b.) In a different scenario, imagine you possessed the ability to read body language well. Thus, you know how to convey sincerity and engender trust through your gestures. By being on video, with a tighter angle focusing on your gestures, you would have an easier time messaging your sentiments. That would accrue to your benefit.     

2. Know the other negotiator’s strengths and weaknesses.

Being on a video negotiation will have benefits and detriments for the other negotiator. And to create a strategy for a video negotiation and become adaptive during the session, you must know your counterpart’s assets and vulnerabilities. That insight will be the marginal gain you can make by negotiating via video versus in person.

To assess those variables, observe the reaction you receive when suggesting you negotiate via video. If you sense apprehension from your query, ask the other negotiator what concerns him. His response will disclose the possible hidden reasons that he would not want to negotiate in that manner.

Then, if appropriate, probe more about his feelings. The more you probe, the greater will be the information you uncover. And from that information, you can become a better negotiator during the video negotiation.  


So, is it better to negotiate face-to-face versus video online or not? The answer is, it depends. In the case of every negotiation, the changing variables from one moment to another impacts its flow. Thus, variables alter each negotiation per how the negotiator’s variables shift.

Nevertheless, video negotiations can take your efforts from good to better, making you a better negotiator. To achieve that, consider the preceding information and apply it appropriately. You will have better control of the variables that determine the outcome of a negotiation. That will make you the star of the video. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight,” click here https://themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/blog

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