The ability to negotiate well is an extremely advantageous skill to have, both in your personal and professional life. While many people try numerous tips, tricks, and strategies to improve their negotiation skills, they may be missing one of the most crucial components: body language. In a negotiation, as with any other form of conversation, your body language can have a significant impact on the situation. You can convey attitudes, feelings, and emotions through your non-verbal communication. You can back up your words with physical actions that exude confidence, honesty, and authenticity. This helps to foster a sense of trust between you and the other party, persuading them to react cooperatively. In fact, studies have shown that body language and nonverbal communication actually has a greater impact in a discussion than the words you speak. Therefore, gain the edge in your next negotiation with these helpful body language tips and tricks.
Perfect Your Handshake
There’s no denying the power of the old-fashioned handshake. The most important thing about your handshake is that you have one at all. A pleasant handshake, no matter how firm or floppy, will promote honesty and integrity and it immediately makes people feel welcome and comfortable. It also helps to promote cooperation, which can increase the chances of successful deal making.
Maintain Eye Contact
Eye contact is not easy for everyone. In fact, it makes some people uncomfortable. However, good eye contact is important in negotiations and is one of the single most powerful communication tools. Looking your counterpart in the eye conveys confidence, but it also demonstrates trust and sincerity. Avoiding eye contact, on the other hand, can give the impression that you are being evasive or dishonest. Remember to maintain friendly eye contact, so as not to come on too strong.
A genuine smile can make for a great first impression and it increases the perceived level of trust between you and the other party. A genuine smile is also viewed as a polite gesture and immediately makes you appear more likable. You have a much greater chance of reaching an amicable and successful conclusion if you share a genuine smile with your counterpart.
Maintain Good Posture
Having good posture does more than prevent backaches. It can also play an important role in your ability to negotiate effectively. Your posture sends subtle clues to show that you are interested in the conversation. It also displays openness and confidence. You want to maintain an open posture and avoid crossing your arms or leaning away from the other person. Rather, sit up straight, lean toward the person who is speaking, and look directly at the person to demonstrate your interest.
Be Aware of Facial Expressions
Keep in mind that your facial expressions can have an impact on the outcome of your negotiations. You have probably been in a conversation where you experienced the frustration of trying to decipher the unwelcome expression on the other person’s face. You don’t want to send the wrong message by furrowing your brows, wrinkling your forehead, or frowning. Instead, you want to smile, not in agreement, and keep your chin up to promote a feeling of positivity.