"7 Micro-Expressions You Need To Know – Negotiate Better" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

A pale expression held his face. Holy ‘blank’ was the four-letter word obscenity he uttered. We’re in a full-blown crisis! Dumbfounded, he said, what are we going to do now? We have to negotiate with them! His associate said, let’s meet with our adversaries. We can read their micro-expressions during the meeting to gain insight into their real thoughts and feelings. That’ll allow us to know what’s really on their minds.

Do you know how to read micro-expressions? Do you know what they are? Continue reading, and you’ll be able to answer both of those questions. Plus, you’ll discover how you can use them when you’re in a crisis.

Micro-expressions:

Micro-expressions are emotional displays that last for less than a quarter of a second. They reflect the reality of someone’s thoughts at that moment. Hence, if you’re able to interpret someone’s emotional displays accurately, you’ll have insight into their current emotional state. Doing that will give you insight into how they feel about an offer or statement. During a crisis, having this insight gives you real-time information about the direction you should take.

There are seven micro-expressions generic to everyone throughout the world.

  • Fear – When detecting genuine fear, look for raised eyebrows, widened eyes, and parted lips with the bottom lip protruding downward.
  • Anger – Anger is denoted by lowered eyebrows and flaring nostrils reminiscent of a bull before charging.
  • Disgust – This micro-expression is displayed by the upper lip turned up, while the nose is wrinkled.
  • Surprise – You’ll recognize surprise through raised eyebrows, wide eyes, and open mouth.
  • Contempt – This gesture appears as a sneer. You’ll note it by one corner of the mouth turned upward.
  • Sadness – Note sadness through drooping eyelids and downturned lips. A change in voice inflection and tonality may also accompany genuine sorrow.
  • Happiness – Happiness is shown through wide-eyes with crow’s feet or wrinkles at their corners, a smile, and raised cheeks. A degree of exuberance may also accompany this gesture.

Using Micro-expressions In Crisis Intervention:

Knowing someone’s real thoughts allows you to understand their source of motivation – and that’s the benefit of being able to read someone’s expressions.

During a crisis, use the unannounced information you’ve gathered and assess how strong the opposition is. From there, determine the degree of mental or real force to summon. Another plus is the ability to evaluate the commitment that those on the opposing side have to one another. Accordingly, if you can identify those with less alliance, you may be able to separate them from the others. Therefore, you’d be weakening their numerical strength, which may assist in decreasing their overall power.

Once you’ve gathered the mentioned insights, consider different ways to use them to your benefit. As an example, you might:

  • create false scenarios to confuse the other party per the direction they should take
  • align some of your stronger positions with their weaker ones (do this to keep their stronger points at bay) – then you can state that you’re trying your best to meet their needs
  • form a splinter group, consisting of those from your side, theirs, and neutral stakeholders to combat the overall strength of the opposing party – this maneuver is akin to divide and conquer, with the benefit of your team becoming stronger, while their’s become diluted.

Feigning Micro-expressions:

While genuine micro-expressions give insight into one’s mind, you can fake them. As an example, you can exaggerate contempt by turning one corner of your lip up and allowing it to linger longer than a micro-expression. Even if the other person didn’t initially observe your expression, you could ask if he saw what you’d done. Regardless, you’ll have him on the defense by asking questions and him answering them.

Confront With Caution:

There’s nothing more daunting than sizing up an adversary and not identifying its true leader. That means you must be hyper-aware of who your real opponent is and the decision-making abilities they have. You’ve heard about the power behind the throne. Even more so during a crisis, that’s who you want to confront. Your rivals may have a shared leadership structure or using a front-person as the face of their team. They’d do that to confuse you.

To identify a power source, observe who might look at whom for confirmation before making or accepting an offer. You can also detect subtle signals per the hesitation in committing that act. That’s where your observance of micro-expressions will lend assistance in identifying a person fronting as one possessing power.

Reflection:

Being able to identify and interpret micro-expressions accurately will give you an enormous advantage in any situation. During a crisis, having this skill will magnify your power exponentially. So, if you use this ability wisely, you’ll deter and avert more crises… 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 [email protected]

"Negotiator Safety Perspective Is A Strong Matter Of Perception" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

As a negotiator, what’s your perspective of safety when negotiating? It’s a question you should consider because your perspective influences your thoughts and actions. If you’re not aware of that, you could find yourself engaged in irrational thinking and behavior, which would not support your negotiation efforts. Consider the following thoughts in your future negotiations.

Sensations:

Do you feel it? When negotiating, can you feel the change as it’s occurring? As you’re negotiating, attune yourself to your sensations. In some cases, you’ll sense subliminal signals; they may not fully register at your level of consciousness. If you’re aware of such sensations, you’ll be alert to signs that signal the need to alter your strategy. Note when you have a sense of foreboding. That may be your first warning signal that something may be amiss in the negotiation.

Assess Emotional Wellbeing:

Do you note your EQ (Emotional Quotient) when negotiating? Your EQ is your ability to read and adjust to signals in your environment based on the person that emits those signals. Thus, the better you are at deciphering signals and adjusting to them appropriately, the better you’ll be as a negotiator. Therefore, always maintain control of your EQ.

Environmental Impact:

What credence do you give to your negotiation environment? The environment shapes your perspective. If not controlled, it’ll shape you!

Consider this, you’re a salesperson at a Mercedes dealership. A Woman drives up in a Chevrolet. She comes in and begins looking at vehicles on the showroom; she’s looking at the high-end Mercedes, not those in the lower price range. What are your thoughts about her and how you might service her needs? What approach would you take to do so? Would your approach be the same if she arrived in a Mercedes? Do you consider the clothes and jewelry she’s wearing? You’ll probably consider those questions and many others before approaching her. Note what was omitted – her need to feel safe in dealing with you, the vehicle she might purchase related to how safe it is, how you’ll deal with her later. Unless you take that into consideration, you may be losing the opportunity to uncover her real desire to purchase the vehicle. Those omissions will also impact the negotiation.

In every negotiation, safety is a silent variable that tags along for the ride. If the exchange between you and the other negotiator becomes tense, the need for safety is usually the harbinger that signals foreboding. It’s also the creator of anxiety, which can lead to stress.

Conclusion:

As you negotiate, be aware of safety’s role. Do so from the perspective of everyone that’s involved in the negotiation. There will be times when you and the other negotiator are worried. You’ll miss that anxiousness as to why that worry exist if you lack focus.

Suffice it to say, to be more successful in your negotiations, first focus on the fears you and the other negotiator have about the outcome. In making those assessments, consider how you and she can use the perception of safety to enhance your perspective. By engaging in this process, you’ll eliminate potential pitfalls that might befall the negotiation, while developing a clearer path to where victory lies for both of you… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

How To Exploit Misinformation And Disinformation When Negotiating – Negotiation Tip of the Week

In most negotiations, some form of misinformation is conveyed. That can occur in the form of disinformation, which may or may not be considered misinformation. The way you and the other negotiator perceives the differences between the two determines the path of the negotiation.

“… but I don’t lie!” The person making such a pronouncement, more than likely, just lied to you.

This article delves into how to exploit and use disinformation when negotiating and how you might also consider using misinformation as leverage to enhance your negotiation position.

Misinformation:

While misinformation (i.e. information cited wrong, unintentional representation of the facts, information omitted, etc.) can be disheartening in a negotiation, it can be forgiven if the information was not delivered with malice and/or the intent of drastically dissuading you from your negotiation plan. That’s the marked difference between misinformation and disinformation.

Disinformation:

Disinformation is the clandestine intent to influence an action that makes you question not only what the truth is, but it also makes you question yourself per the validity of your thoughts. That can be devastating in a negotiation. In such a scenario you’re not really sure what reality is. Thus, you negotiate based on the ghosts you’ve assembled in your mind. That’s like helping the other negotiator negotiate against you.

How To Advantage Your Position:

  1. Verify whether misinformation or disinformation is being employed against you. This can be accomplished by knowing the facts before assembling at the negotiation table. More than likely there’s a mixture of the two. In that case, discern which is more prevalent by asking the opposing negotiator to provide the source(s) of his information. It’s very important to make that request because the rest of your strategy will flow from that point.
  2. Seek to catch him in a situation where you know his information is suspect at best and false at worse. If you know he’s ‘on-the- ropes’ while trying to defend himself, let him stew and observe his body language (i.e. perspiring, touching his face, rubbing his hands, etc.) Those will be signs of his uneasiness with the position he’s in.
  3. Challenge him by asking his perception of the truth and to what degree he’s being forthright with you. Based on his response, assess to what degree you’re willing to continue in the negotiation. Definitively state that you won’t tolerate any form of mistruths. Let him know that trust hangs in the balance and the only way you’ll continue is if you can trust him.
  4. Understand that the preceding strategy has a maximum effect when you’re in a power position in the negotiation. Therefore, consideration should be given to the degree of power you have and how it’s perceived by the other negotiator before you attempt to implement it.

With a premium being placed on the truth in a negotiation, you might question why a negotiator would convey some aspects of information and omit others. The answer may lie in how far he’ll go to get a negotiation deal and the possible deceit he’ll engage in to accomplish that goal. Thus, the more you probe to uncover his hidden agenda, his source(s) of motivation, the greater insight you’ll gain into the mind that operates his actions. Once discovered, you can become his puppet master, controlling him and the flow of the negotiation. That will align you for the negotiation win… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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