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Brian Tracy! Art of Negotiation! The Power of Hints in Negotiation

Art of Negotiation

Chapter 15. The Power of Hints in Negotiation

People are greatly influenced by their environment

and the power of suggestion implicit in the people

and situations around them.

Up to 95% of your thoughts,


and decision-making activities are influenced

or controlled by your environment.

Your task is to be aware of the suggestive influences around you

and how they affect your thinking

as well as your partner’s.

Then do whatever you can to control those elements.

For example, choosing a venue for negotiations.

The location of the negotiations has a huge impact on the terms

and conditions that are adopted.

When you sit in the other side’s office,

you will inadvertently suffer some loss in the negotiation.

You lose the psychological advantage

because you are outside your comfort zone

and the other party is firmly in their zone.

The other party is more confident,

feels himself has more authority,

and you are not or if you do,

the opponent is overwhelmed.

Life becomes easier and more beautiful

when we can see the good in other people. ― Roy T. Bennett


Change Location

You often find that in serious negotiations,

such as: union/management relations

and especially in extremely complex business arrangements,

the parties will agree to go to a separate location,


is outside the comfort zone of both.

This puts the two sides on an equal footing in terms of psychology

as well as environmental influences.

Something as simple as asking to discuss a problem at a coffee shop

or at a restaurant is a better idea than discussing the same problem

at the other party’s headquarters,

even anywhere any other context in which

the opponent has a psychological advantage.

Authority from character

Personality is also another suggestive factor.

The best personality types in negotiation are empathetic,

warm and friendly.

The more comfortable you are with the other person,

the more open and willing you will be to respond to their requests.

The opposite is also true.

The more friendly and cheerful you are,

the more likely you are to get a better deal than

if you were reserved and unsympathetic.

Empathy is considered the number one psychological quality

of great salespeople.

People who know how to lead others into business transactions seem

to have very high levels

of empathy.

They are loved and respected by the other party,

and the other party feels more comfortable entering into an agreement with them.


Posture and body language

Another suggestive element is posture and body language.

According to Albert Mehrabian at UCLA,

55% of your communication with others lies in your body language

– or your body movements

and postures in relation to the other person.

First, avoid sitting across from the person you’re negotiating with.

When sitting in that position,

you have invisibly put yourself in the opposite position.

You’re sending the unconscious message

that the two of you are already enemies

and will “fight” each other to the end.

Over the years,

I’ve found that sitting at a round table

with your partner

or sitting cross-legged are the easiest positions to come to terms with.

Negotiating message from the hands

Another suggestive influence in negotiation,

related to body language,

is hand movements and position.

For example,

when you cross your arms,

the other person will most likely understand

that you are closing yourself off

to the other person’s arguments.

You send a signal that you reject or disagree

with what the other person is saying.

One of the common expressions of openness,

honesty and sincerity in communication is to open the hand.

When you negotiate with your arms down,

hands open,

and palms up,

you’re showing the other side

that what you’re saying is reasonable,



and harmless.

When you lean forward,

look straight ahead,

listen attentively,

and nod your head,

you create a warm and positive impression of a caring

and sincere person who truly wants

to find common ground

or connect acceptable to both parties.

Other suggested elements


You are more likely to negotiate a better deal

if the physical environment around you

– furniture,



– feels comfortable.

Relaxed or tired.

You can always negotiate effectively

if you get enough rest before entering the discussion.


hunger and thirst.

Before starting a negotiation,

if you have a delicious meal,

your brain can function at its best.

Same goes for drinking water.

The best foods for the brain are those high in protein.

Stay away from bread,



hot dogs or overcooked meat,

all of which will actually make you feel groggy all morning.

Negotiating after having a meal

with the other party is also an attractive technique.

After having a meal with another person,

we almost always feel better,

having a warmer attitude towards that person.

We will also like them more

when we share something with them.

Your attitude.

The last element of strength

when negotiating is your attitude.

In a negotiation, a positive attitude

– defined as playfulness and optimism

– will help you achieve the desired outcome much more effectively

than a negative one.

Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude. — Ralph Marston

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