Body Language during Negotiations
If you are a seasoned negotiator, then I am sure you have an answer to this question – When it comes to negotiations, what is a better strategy – how to learn good negotiation skills? keeping a poker face, or showing your true emotions?
What do you think? Well here are some facts you would be interested in knowing if you are a frequent negotiator:
- What “Showing Emotions” means is a bit subjective. Showing constant stress or anxiety really does not help drive negotiations in your favor
- Being relaxed and showing your counterpart that you care what they are saying or feeling helps build stronger rapport and actually result in striking a better win-win situation
- Research shows the disadvantages when negotiators try to hide their true emotions or attempt to be poker-faced. Here they are:
- Attempting to stay poker-faced can result in suboptimal negotiation outcomes
- Lack of show of emotions can result in weaker first offers
- Parties tend to exit negotiations quickly if they get a feeling that trusting the counterpart is difficult since they are not transparent to read
- While not revealing your true intentions can result in small tactical benefits, for long term relations, it can result in considerable and persistent blowback
By the way, keeping a Poker face, unlike widely believed, isn’t really possible. And even if you did manage to put on a “poker face” a poker body is impossible. What that means is, while you might think you are not showing your true feelings, for the sharp eye, there are always body language signals which they can pick off you in order to truly understand what you are thinking or feeling. So the next time before planning your negotiation strategy, it is wise to remember these two golden rules: Show genuine emotions and Attempt to read the body language of your counterpart, not just their words.
About Author: Khyati Bhatt is the Founder of Simply Body Talk and works one on one with senior leaders to help them sharpen their body language skills in various professional domains. Specific to negotiations, Khyati has undertaken varied consultancy assignments, right from reading interview candidates for senior profiles, understanding team dynamics of startup teams during stake negotiation, to best alimony settlements, and so on. Khyati also undertakes advanced-level workshops and webinars to teach how to apply body language skills in different negotiation setups.