Negotiating anything is a complicated process, but it’s no secret that the more information you have, the better. That includes information about how the other person is feeling about a topic. Harvard Business Review points out that one way to get that info is to tell a story and look for facial expressions.
Photo by Luigi Mengato.
Looking for facial expressions during a negotiation is a great way to test the temperature of what you’re saying, then pivot your pitch if needed. Telling a quick story is a simple way to gather those response without actually agreeing to anything. Harvard Business Review explains:
Tell a story. Negotiators have an easier time controlling their expressions when they’re talking. So don’t ask too many open questions. Instead describe what you want or share an anecdote about another negotiating partner who shared concerns similar to theirs and watch how they respond as they listen. Their guard will lower a little and you’ll be able to see their honest reactions to what you’re saying — knowledge to guide the rest of the conversation.
Negotiations are never really easy, but that little bit of emotional reading provided above can make the process a little simpler. Head over to Harvard Business Review for a few more tips.
The Secret to Negotiating Is Reading People’s Faces [Harvard Business Review]