Can you Communicate? [Part II] – Body Communication: Read from People’s Faces

PANDO. Ventures
Can you Communicate? [Part I] – Being a Great Negotiator
December 9, 2017
Pando Ventures Johanna Bernt
September 18, 2018
PANDO. Ventures

Can you Communicate?

– Part 2 Body Communication: Read from People’s Faces

Only 30% of communication comes from talking. Just think about it for a second.

Another essential dimension of a successful negotiation is non-verbal communication, which basically refers to various mostly involuntary facial expressions, gestures and any other ways of expressing yourself in communication without actually talking to another person. Even though you may have great communication skills, it’s definitely not enough, as the language without words takes place all the time, most of the time you even don’t realize that.

But why exactly do you need to know about non-verbal communication and what should you pay attention to? Let us explain. We are all humans, and as human beings, we are in the power of emotions to the large extent. Emotions make us humans, however when much is at stake, as it often happens during business negotiation, people tend to become more emotional, impulsive which may play a low-down trick with them, as by overreaching you basically reveal your weak points, giving the other negotiator power in negotiation.

Obviously, one cannot fully learn how to get rid of them, but by practicing and paying careful attention to a certain body behavior both of yourself and the other side, non-verbal language may become a powerful tool in order to win a negotiation. Remember, getting good at body language starts with you.

PANDO. Facial Expressions

Here are some important tips for body communication you may take into consideration in order to leverage negotiation and achieve desired results by creating the right perception in a mind of another negotiator.

There is something no one can fake
Obviously, some people are really good at concealing their emotions making fake ones and restraining gestures that one will never identify the reality. However, in moments of emotional state, people also produce uncontrollable instantaneous facial movements which are almost impossible to change or control. Good news is that there are 7 emotions no one can fake: happiness, sadness, fear, contempt, disgust, anger and surprise. That means, that every single person makes the same combination of muscles moving to produce one of those emotions. Of course, they can vary in length and intensity, but the expression will be the same. That also means that your business partner will express his happiness or anger exactly in the same manner as you do. Realizing that, and understanding your own emotional expressions is really helpful in reading the other person’s non-verbal message.

Important “do’s” “don’ts” you need to know
Another good news Is that there are several valuable body languages “rules” which you should follow in order to make negotiation advantageous. Don’t cross your arms – that directly means that you are defensive and not fully genuine. Eye contact is important, but do not stare at a person, you make him or she feel uncomfortable which leads to overall negative perception. Also, relax your shoulders, stay straight or if you sit, try not to cross your legs for too long, lean a bit to a person and nod sometimes to show interest, smile. Pay attention to your face – don’t touch your hair too much, don’t touch your face, it shows that you are not confident and nervous.

Not only facial expressions and gestures matter
“Dress for success” is not just a fun phrase. It is important to understand that you are influencing and sending a certain signal to the other side by your appearance as well. It is proven that physical appearance really conveys emotions, and people who look accurate and well-dressed, build up the positive perception in the mind of the other negotiator. An interesting fact is also that your appearance also influences the way you perceive yourself which dramatically affects your behavior. You probably noticed that when you look good, you automatically feel more confident and comfortable which, no doubt, reflects in your body language.

Mind the culture
The last thing we want to note is that people may be the same in expressing some emotions, but when communicating to people from different cultural backgrounds, you should not confuse emotions with the certain culturally accepted behavior. That means that in some cultures making jokes and expressing emotions too often may be a common practice, but for the others, it can mean your instability and lack of professionalism. It also refers to eye contact, to the distance between negotiating people (personal space), hand movements etc. Some cultures, for example, consider long eye contact as the indicator of honesty and openness, while for others keeping it short means respect. Take this into consideration and do not confuse cultural differences with a bad tone.

All in all, communication is a basis for your successful professional life. Business is all about people. Brick by brick, you will build up a powerful startup and it will only flourish and grow further if you are able to communicate with people in a right way and wisely combine verbal and non-verbal communication patterns.

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