Monday, October 18, 2010

Negotiation Secret # 9: Nancy's Lip Purse

We don't know what was said - or who said it, but Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), doesn't agree with it.  Whenever you see this classic nonverbal pursed-lip signal, which Ms. Pelosi is displaying, you can be sure that its owner disagrees with what they hear or see. In addition, it's very likely that those who display the pursed lip have an alternative plan or proposal in-the-ready and are waiting for the best time to put it forth, if they've not already done so. 

In the real world, the lip purse is not always so classic in appearance. Stay tuned for future posts for more subtle examples. Whenever you see it displayed though, this should be a signal that the other person will be taking action in the direction of their plan. You can be very certain of this - even if their words say otherwise.  Those who display the lip purse are also demonstrating a fairly high level of confidence. Plenty of people disagree with us, but not everyone has the confidence, assertiveness and the resources to take action. So when you see this classic sign of disagreement and confidence - break out your diplomacy, your plan B or your resume.