Many studies claim to show that over 50 percent of the messages we conveyed through gesture, expression and posture.
This is in addition to messages conveyed through tone of voice. Whether it be banging the table with our fist, directing an angry stare or looked puzzled, It is hard to deny the importance of this side of communication.
The sharp dealer is always alive to body language but don’t concentrate so much on it that you don’t pay attention to what is actually said. Look and listen and think about what the other person says, how they say it and what they do.
Be aware of yourself as well. If you recognize a pause in the wrong place or a phrasing that implies weakness then immediately look for a way to counter the impression produced.
The game is still on . Many of the signals do not required a deep study of psychology. They required awareness some common sense to recognize meaning and readiness to do something about the signal that are send and received.
One of the most frequent signals in conversation is repetition. It can mean that point matters a lot to the speaker or that they are lying.
What I tell you three times is true (the hunting of the snark)
some expressions and gestures particular to specific cultures, while others are common to the entire human race, such as smiling or the bared teeth of anger smile can be faked it can mask anger and aggression.
However the way we stand and what we do with our hands is harder to control there is another layer of body signals, of greater subtlety, such as the narrowing of eyes the shape of the smile and even the contraction of the pupils of the eyes, which may also betray the real feeling of the smiling negotiator.
Body Language gestures are universal
If we can interrupt this involuntary commentary then our negotiating position will be stronger. we could recognize a lie, whether our arguments were being accepted or whether the other party was unreceptive and adjust our behavior accordingly.
We all recognize a lot unconsciously, which is how we get a feeling that someone is lying or that they are bored. In lying people expressions, postures and gestures convey contrary messages to their words and we intuitively recognized the disparity.
To improve your body language be sensitive to this signals, whether be paying more attention to your feelings or by consciously the observing and thinking about the gestures and expressions we see.
Signals don’t appear singly but in clusters of several that reinforce each other. Don’t rely upon just one gesture that may be misinterpreted but take the wider evidence available we frequently say things we don’t mean and mean things we don’t say.
How easy it is to imply things we don’t meet interpretation of the subtext of communication is in accurate. Don’t rely upon what you think is going on under the surface without checking your interpretation. Typically, someone who is lying will avoid your eye and may look downwards.
They may touch their faces around the mouth and have the palm of their hands hidden from you. The other party may adopt a tune of voice of great sincerity and look you steadily in the eye in order to reinforce the deception of the words. if you look away from that gaze you may see signals that are unable to control, which give the game away .
Recognition of body language also helps to understand our own feelings. If we feel irritated by someone, could it be because they are learning back in their chair, with head lightly title back (looking down their noses at us),
perhaps with hands together making a shape like a church steeple, or with hands behind your head? We may both the standing up and the other person is holding their jacket lapels, waggling their thumbs at us. These are the gestures of superiority and night explains our annoyance. Understanding this, we may be able to handle it better.
During a meeting you may fine you don’t like someone. Is other person unpleasant or is there some unconscious signal they are sending that is annoying?
They may, for instance, be terse and dismissive of points that matters to you which can be highly offensive. They may doodle energetically while you are speaking, or sign as you speak suggested perhaps that you are a fool.
That may not mean to give offence and it may not be your interest to take it. Once you recognize what is annoying you can deal with either by an effort of self-control or by calling attention to it.
Excuse me, John you aren’t paying attention to these points but they are important to us…
There are cultural mannerism that differs between nationalities and cultures. For example, the appropriate space to leave between yourself and the person you are talking to where is between cultures.
In Japan or in the USA is common to stand closer then it is in the UK then much of the rest or northern Europe. Be sensitive to difference and observe what happens in a strange culture.
One of the problems between the Americans and British the common assumption that, because of common language culture norms are also the same.
Other typical gesture clusters to be aware of the Negotiation include:
- Assessing and evaluating , head on one side, hands to chin
- Resistant/ blocking/ out/ defensive crossed Leg and arms.
- Negative as above also head inclined down the head support it heavily by the head indicate boredom or detachment
- positive learning forward, hands palm upwards
- Restrained emotion gripping arms of chair
- Hostile clenched fists
- Superior/aggressive hands on hips legs wide direct upright pose head to head
- Honesty/openness palms of hands displayed, meeting eyes, uncrossed legs, leaning forward
- Understanding the probable meanings behind another negotiators body’s language is helpful but does not guarantee success.
- Recognizing that someone is probably feeling negative towards a proposal does not provided means of overcoming their objections.
We all have personal mannerisms which may not send the signals we really want to convey. I tested the power of body language on meeting an acquaintance in the street. I realized, as we chatted, that my hands were on the back of my hips pushing my shoulder up and chest out. This is an aggressive sort of stance which emphasizes our size.
The other person, who is smaller than I am, had crossed his arms in a defensive gesture. Taking my hands of my hips, he dropped his arm too.
Avoid habits that irritate such as doodling or staring into space, out of the window or at the ceiling (what fascinating tiling) or close your eyes as if concentrating or taking a snap?
Don’t clean your fingernails, drum your fingers or Crack your knuckles. How you sit matters too. Don’t slide on your chair keep crossing and uncrossing your legs or throwing a leg over the arm of the chair. Don’t Fiddle: with the pens, jewellery, the coffee cup, tea spoon or sugar cubes. it is pretty irritating to keep examining your tie, picking at lint cleaning your glasses or adjusting your cuffs.
There may be reasons for showing indifference or disapproval through one of these signals but do you really mean too? be there in mind and gesture as well as in the body if you want to show attention and interest, sit upright and meet the other persons eyes.