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“Never Again Be Vulnerable To Hidden Body Language Aggression“ – Negotiation Insight

“Reading body language accurately has many advantages. Detecting hidden aggression is one of them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert.


“Never Again Be Vulnerable To Hidden Body Language Aggression“


One member of a negotiation team said to the other, that meeting became ruckus quickly. At first, I couldn’t tell if the other side’s leader was being passive-aggressive, or if he perceived our proposals to be inappropriate or repulsive. But then, I knew he was upset by the body language gestures he emitted. They pointed towards outright aggression. That’s when I knew things were about to get ugly. What body language signs did you observe that indicated he was about to become aggressive, was the question asked by the man’s associate.

When someone’s about to become aggressive, do you know what signs to note? It’s essential to be able to understand the nonverbal and body language signals that indicate imminent hostilities. Doing so will allow you the time to deflect or redirect such efforts. Continue, and you’ll discover five body language signals that foretell pending aggression.


“I’m going to put my foot so far up your rear that it’ll come out of your mouth.” “Yeah! And what do you think I’ll be doing while you’re trying to put your foot up my rear?” Blustering occurs in many forms. When it’s verbal, it’s easy to see and understand. Because words are used to convey one’s sentiments, which decreases the misperception of one’s intent. But blustering also occurs through one’s body language. A person portrays it by puffing out their chest, extending the outreach of their arms on both sides, and even in the stance that slightly projects one foot slightly ahead of the other. In each instance, that person is positioning himself for the pending aggression that’s he’s considering. And, depending on how heated the environment, he may not be consciously aware of the behaviors he’s committing. And that’s why you should take note. By doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to temper his behavior before it reaches the point of uncontrollability.


Darting – When someone is agitated, and they begin quickly scanning the environment with their eyes, they’re in assessment mode. This gesture alone does not indicate pending aggression on this person’s behalf. But coupled with other signs such as flaring nostrils, protruding chin, and fist/hand flexing, darting eyes lends more credence to the probability that pending aggression is increasingly heightening.

Narrowing – When someone’s eye focus becomes narrow, they’re lending more emphasis on the subject of their attention. That means they’re blocking out other distractions to assess what they might do next to thwart the unpleasantness they’re experiencing. When you see someone narrowing their eyes on you, raise your awareness of their pending intent. They may be in the process of becoming aggressive.

Pupil Dilation – Pupil dilation is another silent display that someone exhibits when they get excited. Dilation can occur from the natural excitement one experiences from being in a pleasant environment too. But you can instinctively tell by someone’s demeanor if they’re happy or agitated. That’s also the insight to seek to determine if they’re becoming annoyed by an adverse action they perceive stemming from you.


Flaring Nostrils:

Nostril flaring is one of the most telling signs indicating pending aggression. A person flares their nostrils as a way to get more oxygen into their bloodstream. And in adverse situations, that can be the preparation leading to aggression. The more the person engages in that act, the more they’re preparing to become aggressive.



An outward thrust chin is a silent signal stating that the owner of the action is displaying his desire to take a portion of your space. Conversely, when people tuck their chin, they’re demonstrating the need to protect themselves. Thus, you should perceive the outward thrust of someone’s jaw as saying, I’m not afraid of you. If they take a step(s) towards you while displaying that gesture, they’re becoming more defiant and more aggressive. You can stand your ground or back up. If you hold your position, you’ll be stating with your action that you’re not afraid of them either  – now what? In either case, be aware of where tension resides and adopt the measure that’s best suited to combat it.



Flexing – If you observe someone flexing their hand in a negative environment, it may be an indication that they’re attempting to loosen up to get more blood flowing to that part of their body.

Tightening – When someone becomes excessively exasperated, they stiffen their hands, which can turn into fists. Thus, while observing the beginning of someone’s hands flexing, note the moment when their hands turn into fists. A heightening in potential aggression has occurred at that moment. And the person may be a moment or so from lashing out at you.



Like a snake, you can observe the lynchpin behavior of someone that’s in the process of striking out at you. In the snake’s case, it emits signals through its rattle, warning you of pending danger. Then, if you don’t vacate the surroundings, he strikes you. The same is true of a human. Initially, he gives warning through his body language to get you to back off. And, if you’re persistent at making him feel uneasy, he’ll strike at you.

To avoid harm’s way, note the mentioned signs that lead to aggression. As soon as you sense a verbal or physical attack is imminent, become more observant about the pace of its escalation. And remove yourself from the environment if possible. If that’s not possible, adopt a posture that’s more or less threatening than what’s confronting you. And be aware of the effect this has on your nemesis. In some cases, it will cause him to increase his efforts. In other situations, it may be the form of de-escalation needed to subdue an explosive situation that’s in the making. Know the difference to determine the best action to adopt. Because the optimum word is control – and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator


After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com


To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/



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Do You Want to Know How to Negotiate Better?

“You should only seek to negotiate better if you seek to acquire better outcomes in life.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Are you aware that they’re specific components that go into a good negotiation? Those components determine the probability of a negotiator’s success. If you would like to know how to negotiate better, note the components that follow.

Observe Body Language and Nonverbal Signals:

Being able to accurately detect body language and nonverbal signals allows a negotiator to hear and see the unspoken thoughts of the other negotiator. Most negotiators can detect when “something’s off”. But most miss more signals than they catch.

As the basis to reading body language, understand that one’s body always attempts to stay in a state of comfort. Thus, when a stimulus causes it to be out of that state, the body reacts to being out of balance. Therefore, to note when the body transfers from one state to another, note its cause.

Pre-Negotiation Probing Questions:

Negotiations are about control. It flows between you and the other negotiator throughout the negotiation. You can control that flow through questions.

Before engaging in the negotiation process, ask yourself deeply seeded probing questions (e.g. what you’re seeking from the negotiation, why do you want the outcome, what will you do if you can’t achieve it, what does a winning/losing outcome look like, etc.). The purpose of this is to uncover hidden thoughts that might drive your actions at the negotiation table. You should also put yourself in the shoes of the other negotiator and pose similar questions from his perspective.

Negotiation Strategies:

Be prepared to address the following occurrences in the negotiation.

Opening: Start by making sure that you and the other negotiator know what you’re negotiating for. Do this at the beginning of the negotiation by stating your understanding. You’d be surprised at the number of miscommunications that occur due to the negotiators not being on the same page.

Dealing with offers:

The first offer – Depending on your negotiation abilities, you can make the first offer – it will set an anchor. The tradeoff about making or not making the first offer really lies in your abilities to out-negotiate the other negotiator, due to the anchoring effect that the first offer provides.

Counteroffers – Make counteroffers with the degree of deliberation required for the situation. If the offer has a substantial bearing on the negotiation, don’t give the impression of countering it with haste. Remember, you’re conveying subliminal messages through your actions throughout the negotiation.

Take it or leave it – Don’t make this offer unless you’re serious about exiting the negotiation. This type of offer has a sense of hardening a negotiation if it’s not accepted. It also places you in a difficult position if you must retreat from it.

What if – The ‘what if’ offer can be used to test the other negotiator. It’s akin to being behind a shield. Because, if the other negotiator does not accept your offer, you’re not obligated to commit to it. Plus, you gain insight into his thoughts per what he will or will not accept.

Closing – You should be very vigilant in the closing phase of the negotiation. It’s the point that some negotiators make concessions to keep the deal together. Thus, savvy negotiators will take the opportunity to make a ‘slight’ request at that time. All the time, they’ve been planning for just this moment to do so.

As you know, they’re many moving parts to a negotiation. Thus, the more you can flow with the altering terrain that occurs, the greater the chances of success. Utilize the insights above and you’ll heighten that probability … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

 To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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Negotiator – Do You Know How to be More Powerful?

“Power is perceptional. To control the perception of power, control how it’s perceived.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“The patient fussed with her fur coat as she sauntered up to the doctor’s receptionist. “I have an appointment in 15 minutes with the doctor. Is she on time to see her special patients today?” The receptionist replied with a taunt to her tone, “The doctor’s patients are all special to her. She’ll see you soon.” With that, the receptionist left her station and engaged in other activities.

Are you aware that you can be perceived as more powerful by the way you present yourself? Do you know how to be more powerful as a negotiator? Continue reading and you’ll discover how to enhance your power in your negotiations.

Display of Empathy:

In the story above, the patient ‘sauntered’ into the doctor’s office, fussing with her fur coat and positioned herself as the doctor’s special patient. She projected an image of someone that was self-absorbed. Had she taken the time to observe the receptionist’s activities, commented about them and conveyed a pleasantry, the patient would have been displaying empathy. In doing so, she would have enhanced her power. Instead, she diluted it.

The display of empathy towards another’s plight is one way to bond with that individual. It also says subliminally that you’re not just concerned about yourself. You recognize the other person for what they’re dealing with.

Never discount the value or role that empathy plays in any interaction. It humanizes you while strengthening the emotional ties between people. And that enhances power.

Your Persona:

I’m the king. Bow down to me – Not! When you project an image of self-aggrandizement, some people will rebuff you. They’ll be appalled at the perception you have of yourself, which will cause them to become rigid to your request. While such a persona may work favorably with some people, over time, they too will become tired of it. Then, they will seek ways to avoid or demean you.

Your persona changes over the course of your life. Always attempt to align it with how you’d like to be perceived. During a negotiation, you can dilute a powerful position simply because your persona rubs someone the wrong way.

Demeanor When Rebuffed:

When you’re rebuffed, how do you feel? I’m sure your answer is dependent on who the person is, what the subject matter was, and where it occurred. Just as your answer depends on those variables, so it does with those you engage with.

To possess more power, limit its display to environments where it’s less likely challenged (e.g. boss vs. subordinate, etc.). In addition, if you know you’ll be in an unfriendly environment, have retorts ready that will subdue the subject of the rebuff. Just make sure you don’t escalate the situation and cause yourself distress.

Some of the reasons people are perceived as more or less powerful are mentioned above. There are more reasons but let those be a starting point. To enhance your negotiation efforts and outcomes, always be mindful of how you’re perceived. To the degree it fits the negotiation, align your perceived power based on the person you’re negotiating with. If it’s not perceived as being threatening or overbearing and that’s what you’re striving to achieve, you will have aligned the perception of your power successfully. That will make you appear to be more powerful … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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Body Language Dread – How to Avoid Disaster When Negotiating

“To avoid disasters, recognize what they look like and avoid actions that lead to them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“… He touched his knee! I thought, what does that mean? I #dread trying to read body language when negotiating!” An associate recounted her thoughts to me when discussing how she was attempting to avoid disaster during a negotiation. She wanted to understand and decipher the meaning of an individual’s body language. I told her, the gesture could have meant anything, nothing, or everything. Then, I went on to explain that one isolated body language gesture does not necessarily lend insight into someone’s emotions or thoughts – you must look at a cluster of gestures for that. I then stated, there’s an exception – it occurs when you’re observing micro-expressions.

Observe the body language gestures below. Cross-reference them to gain greater insight into the meaning they have when they’re clustered. That will grant you the insight into someone’s thoughts and what might have caused them. Being able to accurately detect these signals will enhance your negotiation abilities.

Crossed Arms:

Crossed arms by themselves does not mean that someone is unapproachable or close-minded. It could mean that the person is cold. Also, women tend to cross their arms more than men because of their anatomy.

To gain more insight about why someone crossed their arms, note the stimuli that caused it. To test their demeanor, say or ask something that will cause them to uncross their arms (e.g. that’s a nice watch – may I see it). Then, notice if they go back into their crossed arms position. If they do, you can test again with another question. After that, if they still cross their arms, you’ll have more information to make a better assessment of their demeanor.


Movement – When someone speaks, note the timing of their hand movement. If it’s rhythmically aligned with their speech, subliminally, more believability will be lent to their words.

Handshakes – A handshake can connote hidden meanings (e.g. hands vertical to each other, we’re equal – hand on top, I’m superior). Never fall prey to the hidden meanings of handshakes. Good negotiators may intentionally allow someone to have the ‘upper hand’ as a ploy to convey subservience.

Fist – When a discussion becomes heated, observe when someone’s hand forms a fist. The fist can denote deepening anger or commitment in what’s being discussed. If the stimuli that caused the fist to be displayed was unintended, seek to de-escalate the conversation.


A genuine smile is denoted by crow’s feet at the corner of the eyes and elevated cheeks. It’s important to recognize the distinction from non-genuine smiles. Knowing the difference can assist in uncovering someone’s alignment.


There are seven micro-expressions that are generic to everyone on earth. Thus, the stimuli applied to someone in Asia will have the same effect applied to someone in Europe, or anywhere else in the world. The seven micro-expressions are:

  1. Fear (eyebrows raised, wide eyes, lips slightly stretched & parted, bottom lip protruding downward)
  2. Anger (eyebrows down and together, eyes glare, narrowing of the lips)
  3. Disgust (lifting of the upper lip, scrunching of the nose)
  4. Surprise (raised eyebrows, wide eyes, open mouth)
  5. Contempt (one side of the lip raised and pulled in on one side of the face)
  6. Sadness (upper eyelids drooping, eyes unfocused, lips slightly turned down)
  7. Happiness (crow’s feet wrinkle around eyes, cheeks elevated, eye orbit muscle movement)

Misinterpreting someone’s body language can lead to unanticipated consequences. To assure that doesn’t occur to you, observe the gestures above when they’re clustered.

While reading body language is not a perfect science, it can give clues into someone’s thought process. Knowing what to look for, and interpreting nonverbal signals accurately, can help you avoid disasters when you negotiate … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

#Dread #Avoid #disaster #Negotiate #Negotiations #bodylanguage #Negotiator #Business #Management #SmallBusiness #Money #Negotiating #combat #negotiatingwithabully #bully #bullies #bullying #PersonalDevelopment #HandlingObjections #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #psychology #NegotiationPsychology

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Negotiator – How To Be Smarter About Risk Assessment

“To abate risks better, deal with those that pose the greatest threat to your goals first.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

What do you consider when thinking of risk assessment? Do you think about the impact that your past will have on it? Do you consider the same about the person you’ll be negotiating against? There is a multitude of things to consider. Doing so before the negotiation will make you a smarter negotiator. Before your next negotiation, mull over the following insights when pondering how to be smarter about risk assessment.

Gains versus Losses:

Sometimes, people become caught up in the moment. They forget to weigh their potential gains against their potential losses. Losing track of such mindfulness can leave you wondering why you engaged in such folly, once you’ve returned to a clear state of mind.

When assessing risk, know what you’re assessing as it relates to your larger goal. Don’t place yourself in a position where you make a tradeoff or offer, get it, and then discover that there’s an unintended cost for the acquisition. If a request is too costly, it may behoove you not to enter the bidding. A risk matrix can assist in that avoidance.

Risk Matrix:

You can use a risk matrix chart to assess the probability of an outcome in a negotiation. That will help you uncover any hidden risks that you may not have considered. Based on what you know of the other negotiator, you can assess the probability of how he’ll act/react to certain offers and counteroffers. Thus, you might have your offers and potential counteroffers plotted on one scale and markers denoting the probability that he’ll respond in a certain way on the other (e.g. strong possibility, likely, maybe, low probability, not likely). Then, weight each category (e.g. 85-100%, 65-85%, 45-65%, 25-45%, 0-25%, respectively). Of course, your risk matrix will only be valid to the degree your assessment of the other negotiator is accurate. If it’s not you’ll have garbage in, garbage out.


  • Lead/Led – Ask the other negotiator for his thoughts and inputs on matters that you’re unsure about his thoughts. By obtaining his thoughts you’ll gain insight into how he’s thinking. The bonus of that will be of him having the appearance that he’s leading the negotiation. That will also assist your efforts in decreasing the risk that the negotiation might go into unseen and unsuspected areas.


  • Offers – Don’t make offers that would demean or insight the other negotiator. You don’t have to tread so gently that he begins to press you on issues. instead, find the balance between the point of leading and following and know when to commit to either.


  • Anger – When thinking of the strategies you’ll employ in the negotiation be leery of using anger. There are potential hidden risks involved when you anger someone. They can become unpredictable, which means not only would you demean the validity of your risk matrix, you might do irrevocable harm to the negotiation.


Suffice it to say, the fewer variables you can account for when negotiating the stronger your negotiation position will be. That will lead you to be smarter about risk assessment … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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Can You Negotiate in a Life and Death Challenge?

“Perception determines how you’ll engage in an endeavor. Thus, you should always assess your perception before doing so.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

There you are. Everything is on the line. You’re negotiating in a life and death challenge. What might you do and how might you negotiate differently giving the life and death challenge that confronts you? Would the answer depend on whose life you were negotiating for?

Okay, let’s turn the temperature down a little. Suppose it was your job or a contract that you were negotiating for instead of someone’s life. Would that alter the negotiation tactics and strategies you’d employ?

There are central components that flow through every negotiation. The only thing that changes is their order based on the severity of the negotiation.

The following are components that will occur in every negotiation you’ll encounter. Master them and you’ll have a greater chance of mastering successful negotiation outcomes.

Mindset: Your mindset is your greatest ally or foe.

  • Always be aware of the mindset you possess when negotiating. Your mindset will determine the degree that you think logically or illogically.
  • Your mindset will change based on the challenges you perceive and how you address them. That will impact the interactions you have with the other negotiator.
  • Be aware of what causes you to see yourself differently. Therein will lie embedded clues about why your mind shifts. 

Bonding: I understand you. We’re alike.

  • People like people that are like themselves. And, they want to be heard and appreciated.
  • Bonding helps people to perceive you as being like them.
  • The time to ask for concessions in a negotiation is when you’ve bonded sufficiently. It’s an important factor that increases the odds of getting what you want.

Positioning/Controlling the negotiation: Look how far we’ve come. I see a positive outcome on the horizon.

  • Prior to starting the negotiation establish what will be discussed. That will determine the flow of the negotiation.
  • Set the agenda to discuss the items of greatest importance first. The other negotiator will have his priorities. So, be prepared to trade points to ensure you control the negotiation’s flow.
  • Determine which strategies and tactics are most appropriate for the type of negotiation you’ll engage in.

Reframing: That’s not what I meant.

  • Know when to reframe an offer. Sometimes people perceive offers differently from what was intended. If you sense that, reframe the offer. That will allow it to be viewed from a different perspective, which could make it more appealing.
  • To reframe an offer to make it more appealing, position it as a benefit to the other negotiator.

Pace: Change of pace alters a negotiation’s flow.

  • Bypass points of contention when you want to avoid them (e.g. Let’s come back to that later).
  • Negotiate slower or faster to increase or relieve anxiety or pressure when it’s to your advantage to do so.
  • Changing your pace of speech when making offers will impact their perception. If more time is required to have the importance of an offer appreciated, consider speaking slower. That will subliminally convey its importance.

Hope: The outcome doesn’t have to be bleak.

  • Brandish hope as an ally. Doing so will keep people engaged in the negotiation.
  • Take hope away when the other negotiator strays in the wrong direction. Your intent is to let him know that he’s engaged in a losing proposition.

Every negotiation you’ll be in will not be life and death. But the components above will be in every negotiation you’re in. Using them adeptly will enhance your probability of having a successful negotiation outcome … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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Avoid Bias Mistakes – How to Negotiate Better

“Biases are motivators that move us to action. Be aware of those that serve you and those that don’t.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Negotiator #1 – “I knew they’d back out of the deal. All of them negotiate like that.”

Negotiator #2 – “As I was negotiating with those guys, I knew I’d have to back out of the deal. They never negotiate fairly.”

In the above situation, neither negotiator was aware of their bias. The absence of that mindfulness brought unrecognized pressures on the negotiation. Each negotiator made mistakes because of it. It was also the reason the negotiation fell apart. Are you aware of your biases when you negotiate?

To negotiate better, note when you might possess the following bias mindset.


These are biases that you’re aware of. They can easily slip your mind when you negotiate. It’s like breathing, automatic. The potential danger arises when you negotiate in an automatic mode and having this bias unknowingly directing your actions. To address it, be aware of what you’re aware of. Don’t shrug off a thought too lightly because you think you’ve addressed it. The more aware you are of how you feel, the better you’ll be at identifying why you feel a certain way.


To be unconscious of anything is to be unaware of it. In a negotiation, when you’re unaware of a driving force, unconscious biases may be the source. To combat this possibility, note the source of your emotional sensations. Identify if you’re fearful, elated, expectant, or cautious. Then, note if it stems from a visual, kinesthetic, or auditory source. Doing that will sensitize your emotions to your state of mind. That will alert you to the realities of what’s motivating your action.


It can be risky to lump everyone from the same culture into the same category. People are individuals with their own perspective of reality. The more you view someone as an individual, the greater the chance to see that person for the unique qualities they possess. Negotiating with them on that bases will enhance the opportunity to connect with them at their level. That will lead to better understandings about why they negotiate in a particular manner, while you help them obtain what they seek from the negotiation.


Some people bully others and some are just tough. Based on what you’ve experienced in life, you may deem someone a bully when negotiating. The person may just be a tough negotiator. There’s a difference in those personality types. Be very cautious about how you brand someone when negotiating. Because, the way you brand them will affect the way you view them, their actions, and the way you negotiate with them.


We see what we expect to see. That affects our perception. Realize that your perception of reality won’t always be right. That should cause you to pause when you think, “I know he’s like ‘x’. Everyone in his group is just like that.” When making broad assumptions, be aware that anything which seemingly supports your beliefs may serve as confirmation about those beliefs. The truth may lie further from reality than you think. Don’t conflate like-appearing assumptions that should be thought separators.

The more you’re aware of the biases you carry into a negotiation, the less mental baggage you’ll have. Being aware of that fact and heightening it in the negotiation should lead you to greater negotiation outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

#Bias #Mistakes #Avoid #Negotiations #bodylanguage #Negotiator #Business #Management #SmallBusiness #Money #Negotiating #combat #negotiatingwithabully #bully #bullies #bullying #PersonalDevelopment #HandlingObjections #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #psychology #NegotiationPsychology

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Negotiate More Effectively by Knowing How to Act Better

“Everything in life is an act. And you’re the actor on the stage of your life.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Do you plan how you’ll #act when you #negotiate? What #role do you decide you’ll play? Knowing the right role to display will allow you to negotiate better. You can’t predict every circumstance you’ll encounter in a negotiation. But the better prepared you are, the better your act will be.

Your act:

Everyone plays a role when negotiating. And, your role should align with how you wish the other negotiator to perceive you; that’s your act. You should not view it as bad or inauthentic; it’s an act. If it’s misaligned, you run the risk of weakening your position. As an example, you shouldn’t become a bully if you’ve been playing the role of someone that’s helpful. That would be a misalignment.

Consider the following and keep in mind that you can morph from one act to another. Just be sure there’s an easily perceived reason for doing so.


You can adopt this act to project a ‘no-care’ attitude (i.e. if it happens, fine – if it doesn’t, fine). You might employ this demeanor when you wish to confuse the other negotiator about your real interest in what he’s offering. Make sure not to become unmasked by being too deep into the role. Because a fleeting offer may disappear before you can shift acts.


“I won’t accept that offer under any circumstances!” Be cautious when adopting this act. It can leave you in a position that’s difficult to retreat from. While this can be a good tactic, if it’s overused and you must concede, you’ll be weaker throughout the rest of the negotiation.

To combat the perception of being in a weaker position, consider feigning momentary hopelessness. It’ll lend credence to your act. But you must attempt to regain your defiant act, be it from a less entrenched position, to regain your position. You’ll only be able to use the hopelessness ploy once, twice if you’re overly convincing. So, be mindful of how and when you employ it. If you do so too early in the negotiation, you’ll lessen its effect later. If you do it too late, you’ll bring additional scrutiny upon your act.


Most people like helping people. It’s a characteristic that’s pleasing. It’s also a characteristic that some people despise. Thus, you must know when to be a helpful actor and when to drop the act.

Dominant negotiators, the bullying type, tend not to want help. They already know what’s good for the negotiation. From their perspective, your insights will only hinder the process.

Invoke the helpful act with collaborative negotiator types. They seek input to promote win-win negotiation outcomes. To better effect this act, consider when you’ll lead and when you’ll follow. To follow, ask the other negotiator for her opinion. Then, build on it. To lead, present a non-threatening offer and ask your collaborator what she thinks of it. Build on what she says.


Most people don’t like to be dominated; it places too many restrictions on them. Nevertheless, acting dominantly versus someone that’s savvy and in control can have its benefits. The difference lies in whether you’re perceived as being overbearing, strong-willed, or just knowledgeable. To effect this act, attune yourself to the other negotiator’s perception. There can be hidden value in this role. Knowing how to uncover that value makes it more valuable.

The stage you’re in, in the negotiation, should direct how you act. Like a good director, if you time your actions appropriately, your actions will be more believable. That will lead to more winning negotiation outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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How to Negotiate Better and Avoid a Liar’s Beating

 “To avoid beatings, avoid their cause.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

When you negotiate with a liar, be cautious. Identify him as fitting into one of three categories, a habitual liar, a loose attendant with facts, or one that honestly misstates information. There’s a distinct difference between those three mindsets. To negotiate better and avoid a liar’s beating, know those differences and how to address them. This article notes the distinctions and gives insights into doing just that.

Habitual Liar

This is the negotiator that will lie for the pleasure of deceiving you. He obtains a ‘high’ when viewing himself as a master trickster. He’s also the most dangerous negotiator type that you can encounter because, at times, he’ll lie just to be lying. Don’t let your guard down with this type of negotiator. If you do, you may pay a high cost for your lesson.

Loose with Facts

The negotiator who uses facts loosely may be someone that seeks to sway you with information. He may do so if he senses your logic is driven by data. In his attempts to sway you, he may quote statistics and/or facts that aren’t as valid as he professes them to be.

If you suspect he’s playing loosely with facts, pull out your mobile device. Ask your favorite Internet site about the validity of his statement. Do that in front of him. You may have to do that a few times. He’ll get the hint that you’re not someone swayed by the tactics he’s employing.

Misstates Information

Something that’s stated as the truth is a lie if it’s not true. And, everyone misstates facts at times. This may occur due to faulty memory. Because of that, your guard doesn’t have to be as high as with the other two types. Nevertheless, you should still note the degree of misstatements he makes. If he projects a demure demeanor while doing so, he may be using that as cover to hide his deceit.

Test the Liar

Regardless of the liar type, test him. As an example, cite an erroneous fact pertaining to the negotiation. Observe what he does with it.

  • The habitual liar may embellish it, or attempt to use it to his advantage quickly; this may occur at any point in the negotiation.
  • The loose fact individual may extend your version while waiting to see where it might lead; he’s not ready to bite on your bait. If he brings it up later, note when he does so. That’ll be an insight into how he plans to use such information.
  • The misstates facts person may not say anything; that could be a clue that he’s not overly enamored with facts or the lies that extend from them. But, if he attempts to use the erroneous information to his advantage, consider moving him into one of the other categories.

If you sense deception, use the web the other negotiator is spinning to capture you, to ensnare him. To do that, if you’re speaking in-person, watch his expressions. Observe the degree his eyebrows rise; to the degree they do so, you will have surprised him. Note what he does next (i.e. stammer, clears his throat, rubs his eye(s)). Those gestures will indicate that he knows you’ve caught him. And he knows that you know it.

In every negotiation, a negotiator will lie to some degree. You should be most concerned with those that continuously lack conformity to the truth. They’re the ones that will attempt to expand the negotiation pie, only to steal it from you in the end. Thus, the more adept you are at recognizing and knowing how to negotiate better to avoid a liar’s beating, the less likely you’ll incur that beating … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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How to Win More Negotiations by Framing Better


“Framing is the impactor on one’s sensibility.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

When framing anything, the better the frame, the greater the chance for a successful outcome. Consider a wall, versus a fence, versus a barrier. You can use all of them to protect those that are inside. They can also be what keeps those on the other side from gaining entrance. And, you can state that they can protect those on either side. So, what’s the difference from a framing perspective? The difference lies in the perception of how you define the barrier. That’s why framing is so important.

When you frame content to be discussed in a negotiation, your framing of it determines how it will be perceived, how it will be discussed, and how the negotiation will flow.

The following are a few insights you can use to win more negotiations by framing them better. Doing so will increase your chances of having a winning negotiation outcome.

Value Proposition:

Before you attempt to frame a discussion, you should know what someone’s value proposition is. Because, if you make a concession that’s not perceived as being valuable, you might open yourself to a greater request (e.g. I don’t need that, but how about ‘x’). If you’d not intended ‘x’ to be discussed, you could have framed your offer by stating, I can concede on this, but not ‘x’. By doing that, you take ‘x’ off the table before it has the chance of entering the offer proposition. Mind you, the other negotiator can still request to have it, but you will have set a marker for denying him his wish. If you’ve used it as a red herring, you may turn the perception of its value to a greater benefit to your position. Then, if you wish to concede it, you should request something substantial in return.

Framing Mindset:

“He was right before, isn’t he right now?” Be careful of how you validate or accept a point as being valid. Just because an entity has been right 99 percent of the time, doesn’t mean that it’s right this time. Then again, if the other negotiator subscribes to such a thought, use it to your advantage.

You can do that by stating that you’ll be discussing ‘x’. Then, state that ‘x’ has been proven to have a 99 percent accuracy factor. Framing any point in that manner lends more credibility to it. There’s also a sense of security implied in the statement, because most people like the perceived sense of being surrounded by others.

Combating Opposing Framing:

If it doesn’t serve your purpose, be prepared to refute the framing attempts of the other negotiator. While doing that, have your own talking points ready to rebut his attempts to refute yours.

A good negotiator knows the hidden value that lies in framing a negotiation. Therefore, there will be an aspect of ‘give and take’ as you and he spar over the process you’ll use, and how you’ll frame those processes, to engage in the negotiation. During the planning stage of the negotiation, give serious thought to how you’ll frame your points and the strategies you’ll use to alter the other negotiator’s perspective.


How are you going to act? The persona you project during the negotiation, confidence, or a lack of, and when you project that persona, will impact the negotiation. So, you should plan for how and in what circumstances you’ll promote a certain persona versus another. That’s also where framing comes in. If you synchronize the framing with your persona, you’ll have more perceived credibility.

Framing can serve as a silent ally that lies dormant while waiting to lend assistance in positioning the negotiation. When used stealthily, it can be what gives you a hidden advantage that the other negotiator never sees coming. Thus, using it wisely can enhance your chances of winning more negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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