What does your body say during negotiations?

While making negotiations, you need to be conscious about the signals sent from your body. Sometimes it can be a decisive point of the overall impression you make. Apart from the essential part of the talks, your behavior and appearance can express a lot and become a crucial element that influence the final result ofyour negotiations.

As widely known, in conversation we express our ideas and feelings not only with words but also through facial expressions, voice tones, and gestures. In business, that it’s extremely important to be aware and try to control the body language (technically known as kinesics). It’s necessary to master the art of reading and using the nonverbal communication. Moreover, body language varies also cross-culturally, so people can interpret it differently, what may be useful fact in the process of making international businesses.

Some studies show that up to 93% of communication is nonverbal (Borg, 2010). With no doubts, language skills of negotiation and bargaining play an important role, but even clothing and grooming may send message to others, and present ourselves with confidence and authority.

These are the general rules, you should follow:
1. Stand with your back straight, shoulders back, and your chin up.
2. Keep arms relaxed at your side.
3. Avoid nervous gestures i.e. tapping with foot or playing with a pen.
4. Keep hands off your face and never pick at your nose, touch your ear or scratch your chin.
5. Keep the consistent eye contact.
6. Take care about the proper distance between you and your opponent.

With some practice, you can use nonverbal behavioral patterns to easily persuade, influence someone’s opinion, play as more self-confident, or simply detect lie or truth. Nobody says it’s silly to follow our intuition, even when our partner of negotiation has a remarkable oral skills. Also, it’s wise to control if the sense of statements correspond with nonverbal communication. Try to pay attention and probably, you’ll be surprised what you can learn about what is going on during negotiation, regardless of what is being told.

Human body is said to be capable of producing 700,000 different movements (Hartland and Tosh, 2001) that may be interpreted! These are the most common meanings of gestures listed:


As you can see, only a little bit of knowledge and a bit of experience is needed to read and express the body language properly. By using your body to transmit the appropriate message to your opponent, you can enhance the chances of the perfect deal and keeping the negotiation in a friendly atmosphere!