Friday, November 12, 2010

Negotiation Secret # 14: The Double-L plus ....

Say you're sitting across from this expression at the negotiation table - what do you think the other party is truly feeling (despite what they may say)? This is a very "real-world" and common scenario and yet the answer remains elusive for all but a few. Andras Simor, Governor of the National Bank of Hungary has negative feelings towards the opinion he is hearing. To evaluate this negative cluster, lets begin with his left hand covering his mouth and his thumb supporting his chin in a "double-L" formation. This alone should be enough to send up an alert in your mind (Although we are unable to see if it is present here, the double-L is often accompanied by the opposite arm folded across the chest - which is a strong signal of a closed-off and defensive mindset). 

Mr. Simor's upper lip is thinned which is a significant sign of anger - warning number two. In addition, Andras' head is tilted down and forward which is another strong signal of negative emotional tone - a further minus. Lastly the Governor's face is not turned directly at the person of interest, but only partially so - leaving the eyes to do the rest of the work - and even they are falling short in this photo. We look directly at those we respect, like and believe and not doing so strongly suggests opposite feelings. The ability to spot this and other critical evaluation clusters will give you a distinct advantage in negotiations. How many have you missed this week?