The Common Body Language Clues
Body language clues never stop.
You’ve heard of poker “tells”; small signals that tell what kind of hand a person is holding. You can gain clues as to how your negotiation partner is feeling by looking at their body language clues or tells.
(1) You can guesstimate someone is listening if they:
- Ignore distractions
- Are still
- Lean forward
- Tilt their head
(2) You can guesstimate if someone might be deceiving you if they:
- Are overly anxious
- Have a forced smile
- Are distracted by minimal stimuli
(3) Defensive is a possible reading if:
- The chin is held down
- Crossed legs
- Arms crossed over chest
- Standing behind an object like a large desk or table or straddling a turned around chair
- Rigid body posture
(4) Welcoming and Responsive are possible contexts if:
- A warm, firm but not too firm handshake. Might actually cup your hand with their other hand.
- Smile is genuine, reaches the corners of their eyes, shows teeth
- Touching or speaking with palms up
- Makes eye contact but doesn’t hold gaze too long
Once you recognize that your negotiation partner is feeling a particular way based on their language and physical cues, you can make the choice to counter it with your own rapport-building approaches.
If, for example, your associate is feeling defensive, you can compliment them and help them feel more trusting.
Let’s take a look at a few strategies to build rapport and establish a cooperative negotiation.
How to get things on track …