Body Language + Baselines = Negotiation Success

Business Man - Body Language + Baselines =

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Andrew Boughton, a managing partner of Edge Negotiation Group and Humintell’s affiliate, spoke with Psychology Today and broke down the main points of being a successful negotiator.

Boughton also wrote a chapter in Dr. Matsumoto’s latest book; Nonverbal Communication: Science and Applications. In Boughton’s chapter as well as in his other work, he discusses how paying attention to nonverbal communication is a crucial skill for many business professionals and for communicating in today’s diverse world, Nonverbal communication can provide a huge advantage in any negotiation.”

Paying attention to body language can help you to read someone emotionally. One of Boughton’s tips is to look for signs of the seven universal facial expressions of emotion (7 in total: anger, happiness, disgust, contempt, fear, sadness, and surprise).

He especially encourages people to look for happiness above the other six,
You have to constantly look for happiness leaking out of the other party indicating acceptance or at least pleasure with your proposal.

The leakage Boughton refers to is the unintentional, subconscious expressions of emotions, which “leak” out very quickly via a person’s facial expressions even if they are trying to conceal how they truly feel.  Boughton explains that in order to pick up on facial “leaks” one must have a baseline for the person they are observing.

A baseline of people’s regular behaviors and actions is essential.   A baseline can be established by having a small talk before a negotiation or interview.  Ask non business questions in order to see how the person responds. Once in the interview phase, you will have something to compare their body language to.

People lie when they negotiate.  They exaggerate their strengths, conceal their weaknesses, and omit pertinent details in order to get a better deal.

Detecting Deception tips:

– Establish a Base Line

– Look for Leakage in the form of the seven universal facial expressions of emotion – Microexpressions and Hot Spots

– Partner Up- One person can be there to observe the actions while the other person handles the responses.

When trying to detect deception it is important to not rush to conclusions. 

Be efficient and quick if you need to but do not rush! You could miss out on important signs.

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