In tough economic times, you can still achieve successful outcomes when you negotiate, but you have to use slightly different tactics and increase your skills when it comes to reading body language. It’s a given that people will try to maximize the use of their resources during a recession or other economically challenged times. If you can read and interpret body language (non verbal signals), you will have a better understanding of the gestures and other responses you receive while negotiating.
A lot of people believe the person that negotiates on her/his own turf has an advantage. To some degree that’s true. There are other factors that go into the makeup of that advantage. First of all, the person that perceives that situation as an advantage is right. Now some of you may be thinking, what happens if both individuals/groups/teams perceive that situation as an advantage? Guess what, both parties are right. The proof is in the outcome.
If you’re good at interpreting body language, you will ‘catch’ signs and signals that you can use to your advantage. When you enter into someone’s environment, they know where everything is and more than likely, they feel comfortable in that environment. How then can you enhance the probability that the outcome will be more favorable to you or your team? There are several ways you can do this.
If you began to act extremely comfortable in that environment, as the result of sending body language signals that suggest you were comfortable and very much ‘at home’, you can neutralize the other person’s perceived advantage. What else could you do to take the advantage from the other person in their environment? You can observe pictures that your negotiation partner has in their environment. Is your negotiation partner holding people in the picture? Are they being held? Who is in the picture? Is it a loved one, a boss, an associate? How are they acting? What’s the expression on their face?
The reason it’s so important to observe, ‘pick up’, and interpret the non verbal clues in those scenes is because you will get clues into that person’s character and makeup. If the person you’re negotiating with is in a picture with a member of the opposite sex, you can inquire as to who the individual is. After receiving a response, that’s the time to note other aspects of the picture. As stated above, does your negotiation partner have his arm around the other person? That would display a sign of dominance. Does the person you’re negotiating with have the arm of the other person around them? That would be a sign of being dominated. Observe the distance between the people in the picture. That distance will give you insight into the ‘space’ your negotiating partner likes to have. If your negotiation partner has pictures of inanimate scenes in her environment that insight can lead you to assume that person may not be the warm and touchy feely type. Keep in mind that those pictures are a snapshot in time, but as you negotiate, you can use the interpretation of those scenes to your advantage.
Understand, there are a myriad of subtle signals you can glimpse when you’re in someone else’s environment. As such, you don’t have to be at a disadvantage. You can take the advantage from the other person. You just need to use different tactics and heighten your awareness of non verbal signals.
The better you are at interpreting subtle signals, the better you will be at interpreting body language and thus, the better the outcome will be for you … and everything will be right with the world.
The negotiation lessons are …
· You can acquire an advantage when you’re in someone’s environment. The accurate interpretation of their body language in their environment will be the source of your advantage.
· Invest the time and effort that it takes to learn how to control the non verbal signals your body sends. Once you become good at sending the right signal, at the right time, in the right situation, you will win more negotiations. In this case, the right signal would be the one that most aligns with the outcome you seek.
· Always give consideration to negotiating in someone else’s environment as a strategic tactic.