You do not really know somebody until you understand what they are NOT saying
When you are dealing with anybody in a stressful situation which could be when negotiating a good outcome whether it be in a sales situation, or a work situation or perhaps it could be in a personal situation, you cannot know for sure what the other person is thinking, so it is often important to control your own emotions so that your face does not speak for you.
Misunderstandings often arise when our faces speak for us.
It has been widely researched that we as humans have six basic emotions which include, happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust and surprise.
What is more relevant is that we feel that we can recognise these emotions on the faces of the people that we interact with and they are such that we all react differently when confronted with what our own perceptions of those emotions are.
As a very new Real Estate agent many years ago, I was selling a home for a couple who had very different values to what I had, so I am sure that my face showed shock and surprise a lot of the time when we were negotiating as their choice of words were not what I was used to.
Other times, I have laughed when perhaps I should not have, as my sense of humour is understandably different from somebody else’s. How often have you laughed at something in a movie when others stare with no emotion? We are all different, thank goodness.
When my late husband was courageously battling cancer, I found those times were very difficult. I was understandably feeling sad and anxious. But it was important to remain positive and hopeful for his sake. He was trying so hard to get through the terrible treatment, so by minimising any additional worry that could cause him anxiety was important.
I found it hard to control my facial expressions as I am an expressive person. So I needed to find happy things to make him laugh and positive things to keep us going. It was difficult to get the mix right, as I did not want him to feel that I was over happy or too sad and simply battling to cope with all the awful emotions of despair, fear, pain and grief.
We are all, after all, only human and most of us will look to the shining light at the end of the tunnel, hoping things will change for the better, so “hope” is one emotion that we should grasp with both hands and share far and wide.
Emotional faces are said to communicate both the emotional state and the behavioural intentions of an individual.
Happiness is associated with “approach” and anger with “avoidance”.
However, our responses to sadness and disgust are perhaps considered more complex.
Sadness often causes withdrawal in an individual , but it is different for each of us, mostly governed by our current circumstances.
Our disgust often shows as an immediate withdrawal from a situation if we do not agree, or if it challenges our beliefs.
So if you think about it, in a sales negotiation scenario perhaps, when you are challenged by a person’s lack of manners or bad language, you might withdraw and try and neutralise the situation. You could draw it into a new direction giving you time to assess the situation and find a compromise, in order to make progress in the negotiations.
Experienced negotiators will mask their personal feelings and choose their words and body language carefully.
We will often trust a smiling, happy person and feel that they are more trustworthy over a person who has an angry or unsmiling manner.
Always maintain friendly eye contact and be aware of your facial expressions.
Once when negotiating with a pompous, unfriendly, but extremely wealthy man, he made it quite clear that he did not like negotiating with a young woman, who he had assumed was inexperienced.
I was on time, and smiled and then I went to shake his hand, he ignored my hand and promptly turned on his heel to lead me into his lounge, still unsmiling and unfriendly.
As a fledgling salesperson I had been told ” hold your head up high and look for his personal space” and there it was, a big comfy chair that looked like his, so I made for the chair and sat in it.
He was immediately put out of his comfort zone, and seemed to change before me, even though he was no less unfriendly and continued to be abrupt, he did listen to what I had to say and happily signed the contract.
I thought that perhaps he had forgotten his manners, but was later told that he was used to walking over people as he was a man of power in his organisation.
My personal view was that it took very little to be polite when one is doing a job and a good job at that.
I sold his property for a very good price and he made a very handsome profit, and in the years to come, made even more money on the properties that I sold for him, as he became a client for life.
I chose to believe from the many referrals that he gave me, that he appreciated my strong work ethic and friendly manner in getting the job done.
Work hard, have fun, play fair, dream big. We only get one chance at this life!
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