“The mask you wear is a display to others of who you are. Always be aware of when and why you’re wearing that mask.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
What mask are you wearing today and how many times will you change it? The mask you wear affects your psyche.
A mask is a metaphor for the persona you project to others. It’s how you represent who you are. It’s the way you wish them to perceive you and the way you see yourself. Depending on the circumstances, you’ll wear different masks at different times throughout the day.
Some might say, changing your mask alters who you are; you’re not authentic. But who are you, and who’s to say when you’re authentic? You’re not who you were five years ago, or five minutes ago; you’ve changed. Does that make you inauthentic? No!
Since change occurs daily, moment to moment, do you not continuously morph into who you just became, while transitioning into who you’re becoming? In that transition, do you observe who you are in that moment? By being observant, you’ll note the direction in which your life is heading. You’ll note if you require change before displaying the mask you’re about to adopt. That will allow you to morph into a different mask to cast a different persona if you require it.
The point is, if you recognize the mask you’re wearing at any time and you’re aware of why you’re wearing it, you’ll be more mindful of why you display the personality you project, what promotes you to do so, and the circumstances that lead you to that point. You’ll have greater control of your life, the purpose for which you’re living, and a greater sense of where you’re headed in life.
So, what mask are you wearing right now and why are you wearing it right now? If you have an answer to that question, it’ll be easier to change that mask when it’s warranted. That will also mean that you’re at a higher level of recognition and control of your life. Those are invaluable factors from which to sustain growth, harmony, and success in life. Do that … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
In every negotiation, negotiators wear multiple masks. It’s called their persona. They do so to create and project the right image for a phase in the negotiation that’s appropriate for that phase. The mask they adopt adds to the perception you have of them. It may be a mask of harshness, sorrow, bullying, or tenderness. Its intent is to affect your psyche. The mask worn may represent negative manipulation, which is different from one worn to serve the greater good of the negotiation.
You must be mindful of the mask you perceive, as much as the one you project. Your mask intertwines with the other negotiator’s mask. Therefore, the mask that both of you display is based on what’s perceived.
If you want to increase your negotiation abilities, you need to know how and when to adopt a mask that suits the situation. You must be savvy when detecting the purpose of the mask shown throughout the negotiation, too. By enhancing your mental agility to observe, detect, and adopt the appropriate persona during different stages of the negotiation, you’ll experience more winning negotiation outcomes.
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
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