Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Negotiation Secret # 15: Losing Points

For those of you who are politicians, CEO's, leaders of any kind or speakers, one thing you never want to do is point with a finger or thumb at anyone in the audience or on-stage.  Here Florida, gubernatorial candidate Republican Rick Scott takes part in a debate against his Democratic counterpart, Alex Sink. He commits a major blunder by pointing at her. One think he probably doesn't know is that this will alienate even his supporters. Pointing is universally received very negatively by all audience members. It makes people squirm.

Rather than point with a finger (or thumb), it is much better to extend the arm in a palms-up gesture. Those who gesture in this fashion are universally judged to be warmer, friendly, open-minded, more diplomatic and better listeners. Learn from Rick's mistake.