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Here’s how you ‘speak’ without saying a word

Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

80 Non-verbal communication

This section will briefly describe the various elements of non-verbal communication a great negotiator must recognise. All of these elements and the skills employed in responding to them will be explored in much greater depth in a later section of this book dedicated to non-verbal communication.

Great negotiators are astute observers and interpreters of verbal and non-verbal communication, and are skilled in both aspects of communication. They are always “listening” to what is being said between and behind the spoken words. And they are conscious of their own non-verbal communication when they are speaking and when they are listening. An estimated 70% to 90% of all human communications are said to be non-verbal. So non-verbal communication skills are crucial in any negotiation.

We are all communicating all the time, whether we are speaking or not. Our appearance, mannerisms, facial expressions, and posture make the initial impression in a communication. But the following non-verbal elements all add up to our total and ongoing communication throughout a negotiation: The position and angle of your head and shoulders; the movement of your eyebrows; eye contact/no eye contact and eye movements; lip formation (smiling, frowning, pursing, biting); breathing patterns; posture; movements and positions of arms, hands, legs, and feet; use of touch (handshaking; touching the other party’s arm, shoulder, or back; touching your own face, hair, etc.); even your body or breath odour.

These are some of the basic ways that people communicate non-verbally from moment to moment.

Great negotiators consciously observe and analyse their own non-verbal communications and those of the other party. And they consciously communicate non-verbally with the other party.


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