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Angry Faces Win Negotiations

A recent study caught my attention as it deals with two of my favorite topics- negotiation and nonverbal communication. Previous research has connected the two with respect to:

The importance of small talk & rapport

Overall impact of nonverbal communication

Slowing things down

Getting a baseline of nonverbal behaviors

The impact of warm drinks and hard chairs

The impact of a negotiator’s tone of voice

Sharing a meal shares gains

The ideal environment for a negotiation according to trainers

This current study, conducted at Harvard, connects when negotiator makes an angry facial expression with greater gains.

From redorbit:

Research has found that facial expressions can convey more information than verbal communication alone and a new Harvard University study has found that an angry glare can add effectiveness to a negotiator’s demands.

Published in Psychological Science, the study found that an angry glare adds additional gravity to a negotiator’s threat to walk away from the talks. The researchers also saw that the glared-at party tended to offer more money than they otherwise would have.

The researchers said they went into their study with the theory that an angry expression would add credibility to a person’s demands – and make it more believable that they would walk away if their demands weren’t met.

Read more about the study and the findings [HERE].

                        author

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School… MORE >

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