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Your Weekly Walkaway - There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip... Episode 2
The Weekly Walkaway highlights negotiation in its ‘good’, ‘bad’ and sometimes ‘downright ugly’ forms. Newsletter Issue No. 31 (4th May 2023)
What to expect?
Quote of the Week - "There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits lookout at every joint and motive of her body."
Thought of the Week - Episode 2 - There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip
Remember: You are a negotiator!
You are always managing some form of conflict, a difference of opinion or interest.
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QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"..There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,
Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits lookout
At every joint and motive of her body."
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip
In Episode 1 we took a look at how negotiation is stressful and makes us feel uncomfortable. This can cause us to react instinctively, emotionally and unconsciously. This can shut down the thinking parts of our brain and kick us into survival mode.
Survival mode is controlled by our inner chimp, Lucy. She controls fear and emotion and is very strong. She overrides ‘You’, the rational and logical part of the brain, and takes control of our computer, the things we say and do.
In a negotiation Lucy can put us into fight, flight or freeze.
This is obviously a big problem for negotiators! So being able to manage these situations requires an understanding of our own inner chimp and how to control it.
We finished with a story of Freya and David. David had used ‘The Angry Gorilla’ tactic to control Freya.. in a price increase negotiation.
Effective negotiators like Freya have learnt to control their inner chimp, so they remain calm and in control during negotiations.
So, let's take a deeper look at what happens to you when Lucy perceives conflict and gets control of your computer.
Negotiation is conflict. Negotiation is a conflict of interests, opinions and points of view. When you are in a negotiation your Lucy perceives that conflict as danger so she;
takes over your computer;
floods your body with adrenaline and other stress hormones like cortisol;
prepares you for fight, flight or freeze.
This, in a negotiation, comes out as anxiety and stress and affects the things you say and the things you do.
Your body goes through a series of changes, including increased heart rate, perspiration, and changes in blood pressure.
Effective negotiators are trying to get into your head.
Effective negotiators are constantly observing, deducing and making assumptions based on what they observe of you. How stressed and anxious are you and what does it all mean.
So not only do you need to control your Lucy (Episode 3) to protect yourself from ‘them’ you also need to be able to observe ‘their’ non-verbal and ‘their’ verbal communication to deduce ‘their’ emotions and levels of stress to get into their head.
First off lets us be very clear.
‘This’ is not an exact science.
You need to be comfortable working with assumptions and being wrong! But a good start is to recognise you are looking for the collaboration of three, the clusters and changes of behaviour between;
Lets Get Started. It’s gonna be a big one…
Let’s not get involved with Jedi mind tricks, hocus-pocus or NLP but look at truth. You see, we are all individuals. We are all different and our eye movement is also different.
Eye movements can provide valuable insights into a person's mental state, including their levels of stress or anxiety.
What can be observed is;
Dilated pupils and or a fixed stare can indicate intense concentration or interest;
Stress or anxious eyes may dart around or become fixated on a certain ‘point’;
Fear or anxiety can make eyes open wide, their pupils enlarge (Prey taking in all possible danger and escape routes) this makes the forehead crease and sometimes you may see a mouth droop or gape;
Anger or frustration can make the eyes narrow (predator focusing on prey);
Excessive blinking or squinting could signal anxiety or fact hiding while slow eye movements can be associated with focused attention;
Recalling or constructing a memory, eyes moving Up, Down, Left or Right can indicate cognitive processing (Note - Different peoples eyes move… well, differently);
Unconsciously eyes can focus on areas of interest or look away from what makes them feel uncomfortable.
Stop it. You are not The Mentalist. You’re not some kind of Jedi Master or FBI criminal phycologist.
It is important to note that interpreting eye movements is not a fool-proof method of understanding someone's thoughts or emotions. Eye movements can be influenced by a variety of factors, including fatigue, medication and cultural differences.
So, take care. Take time to observe ‘them’ in their ‘normal’ state and watch where and how their eyes move in different situations under different circumstances. Ask them questions when they are not stressed or in conflict. Observe them. Then and only then will you be able to measure any change in eye movement and deduce appropriately.
Unconscious body movement can give us an understanding of the levels of stress or anxiety our counterpart is experiencing. Their level of fight, flight or freeze.
Their body may unconsciously express stress though tapping their foot, fidgeting with their hands, or bouncing their leg. Additionally, a stressed or anxious person may appear tense, with clenched fists or a stiff posture.
These movements are often signs of nervous energy that needs to be released.
Observing the body can help identify when someone is uncomfortable, stressed, or anxious. Here are some examples;
Heartbeat and breathing
When the heart beats faster it is to carry more oxygenated blood to the muscles.
Fight or Flight.
The breathing oxygenates this blood. This can be seen as faster chest movement or an intake of breath, deep or shallow. They seem ‘breathless’. Watch for the expression of “Nostril flaring”. This allows more air to oxygenate the body.
Unconscious Body Touching
Due to the increase in blood flow around the body, certain areas, where blood vessels are closer to the surface of the skin, make our bodies change microscopically. This is more seen and felt above the chest where there is less fat.
Their nose, chin, ears, eye brows, neck and head are all affected. The increased blood flow fills these areas ever so slightly and they can unconsciously touch them.
You remember the story of Pinocchio. When he lied his nose grew longer!
The fight, flight and freeze response can also change the colour of their skin. This happens when blood vessels dilate, causing increased blood flow and a reddish appearance to the skin, this is known as blushing or flushing.
Blushing or flushing can be a sign that they are feeling embarrassed or ashamed, or that they are experiencing a strong emotional response to a situation. This is most noticeable around the cheeks, ears, neck and sometimes fingers and hands
What has just happened to cause that response?
Pale or clammy. Acute stress, fear or anxiety, on the other hand, will do the opposite. Their skin may become pale. Blood drains away from the face towards the leg and arm muscles and the internal organs. This is because the body's fight-or-flight response redirects blood flow away from the skin and towards the internal organs, in preparation for physical action. As a result, the skin may appear pale or bluish and the person may feel cold or clammy to the touch.
Increased sweating will show as a shine or sheen on foreheads, lips, chins or dampness around sideburns and the back of their neck which in turn can create unconscious, touching, wiping of these areas.
“you look like you’ve seen a ghost!”
People lick their lips or dry out their mouth when they are anxious or stressed, which is a well known sign of nervous energy or discomfort, but how about grinding or clenching of their teeth or jaw? This can occur because the muscles in the jaw become tense, and the person may be unconsciously trying to relieve this tension through biting or grinding their teeth.
Also, how about these?
Pinching or pursing the lips together so they appear thin can be a sign someone is controlling their emotions or facts. It is an unconscious reflex, they don't or didn't want to talk;
Biting, chewing or licking lips could signal fact hiding;
Covering the mouth while talking could be a sign of discomfort or fact hiding;
The smile. If the corners of their mouth don’t go up, but are pulled straight back it may indicate an untruthful smile.
Unconscious Muscles Movement
As that blood is redistributed to the muscles they prepare for fight or flight but with nowhere to run too or fight the muscles release their stress through;
The freeze can make someone do just that, stop normal movement.
Watch for inconsistencies
If they shrug (meaning they don’t know). When they ‘SAY’, they do. “I can't pay that (Shrug)”;
The nodding and shaking head, together. Are they saying yes or no?
The nodding head (meaning “yes”) but they ‘SAY’ “No”.
Their Lucy wants to say ‘Yes’ but they want to say ‘No’ (The conflict in their own head).
Approach these observations with caution and sensitivity. People's behaviours can be complex and influenced by a wide range of factors. It's important to avoid jumping to a deduction solely based on someone's body.
Approach body observations with curiosity alongside Eyes and Voice.
When they are stressed or anxious changes in their breathing and mouth and throat muscles will affect the sound and quality of their voice.
Higher or more strained pitch. One common change in voice associated with stress or anxiety is a higher or more strained pitch. This can occur because the muscles in the throat and neck become tense, making it harder to control the tone of their voice;
Faster or tense. A person's speech may also become faster or more pressured;
Vocal tremors or stutters. They may experience vocal tremors or stutters. The muscles involved become less coordinated or they are having difficulty controlling their breathing;
Also, when their Lucy gets control of their computer she will use words to defuse ‘her’ discomfort. We call it “Pillowing”. Whether they are speaking or writing, watch out for their ‘Pillowing’. Here are some well known examples;
YES. YES. You should blush with embarrassment as you read what you say….
“My first offer is 50…”
“Honestly, I can only offer 50…”
“Somewhere in the region of 1000…”
“around about, 100…”
“I can do between 30 and 40…”
“We can probably do 50…”
Pillowing gives you away just as much as them. It shows a lack of confidence and assertiveness. And if you don’t sound confident, how do you expect them to be influenced by what you say?
So, As I Stated At The Beginning
‘This’ is not an exact science.
You need to be comfortable working with assumptions and being wrong!
Observe the collaboration of three, the clusters and changes of behaviour between their Eyes, Body and Voice.
The better you know someone the better you will be to observe changes in them. So get out there. Go observe your counterparts in their natural wild state, when they are not ‘in conflict’..
Ask check-questions and observe their behaviour as they respond. Note this behaviour.
Now, when it comes to negotiation, you can observe the collaboration of three and check for inconsistences.
Now, if they are uncomfortable, stressed, embarrassed or anxious about something make an assumption about why and…. test it.
Watch for their non-verbal and verbal response. This will give you even more information you are looking for.
But be prepared to be wrong!
Next Weeks Weekly Walkaway - Episode 3
New Week, the final episode in this Lucy trilogy. ‘How to control your Lucy’
Sorry.. You’re gonna just have to wait for next week.
We’d love to read your comments or thoughts. What do you think?
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