Friday, October 22, 2010

Negotiation Secret # 33: False Mastication

This is Iker Casillas (L) and Sergio Ramos (R). They are players on Spain's national soccer team.  Here they are pictured as they arrive for the recent Asturias Awards Ceremony. I want to call your attention to Iker - specifically, his mouth. Mr. Casillas is giving us a great example of what is known as "False Mastication" or false chewing. Many of us do this when we're nervous - a gentle chewing of the inside of the cheek with the teeth. This is type of self-soothing gesture that fits under the more general category of  "manipulators" or "adaptors".  These adaptors will significantly increase during times of stress and anxiety.  

It is very interesting to note that in the context of a conversation however, should another display false mastication, it significantly increases the odds that this secondary to deception-related anxiety. Since Iker is not speaking and he's simply experiencing anxiety related to being in front of a crowd, the false mastication seen here is simple anxiety and not secondary to deception.

Should you notice this during a negotiation or business venture, be vary wary of what was just said - for it is evidence of anxiety, and perhaps deception.