The Negotiator Magazine

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  1. Open/Uplifted Hands with Palms Facing Out

            This posture is used to indicate the sincerity of what is being verbally communicated. It is frequently associated with “final offers” to demonstrate that the offeror has nothing more to concede. If the signal seems insincere, it is most likely a deliberate attempt to deceive opponents.

  1. Crossed Arms/Crossed Legs

             This may be an aggressive, adversarial posture or a defensive position, depending on the particular position of the arms and legs. If the arms are folded high on the chest and one leg is crossed with one ankle on the knee of the other, this tends to be a combative posture. On the other hand, if the arms are folded low on the chest and one leg is draped over the other, it is a more defensive posture. In both cases, however, these tend to be unreceptive positions. If opponents begin bargaining interactions in such positions, it can be beneficial to take the time to establish sufficient rapport to induce them to become more receptive to what is being discussed.

  1. Covering and Rubbing One Eye

             This is a nonverbal sign of disbelief. It is the nonverbal equivalent of the disbelieving expression “my eye.” Negotiators who encounter this posture when they are making critical representations should recognize the possibility their statements are not being accorded much respect. They may have to restate their communications in a more credible manner.

 

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April 2007