Greg Williams

How To Be More Influential By Negotiating Better and Reading Body Language

Are you a small business leader or midlevel corporate manager that seeks to advance your business, or your career? Do you find your initiatives challenged by information and resource gaps by those that don’t “get you” at times?

If so, this article will be of value to you as it highlights ways to cast a greater level of influence, gives insight into how you can negotiate better, and raises your awareness per being able to read body language.

Let’s examine influence, how you acquire it, why you’re not influential at times, and how to use it once you have it.

What makes you comfortable? What makes those that you’d like to have influence with comfortable? How do they view you in comparison to those with whom they seek comfort when being around those people? All of these and more, are questions you need to pose to yourself to assess where you are in your mind per those questions, and where you might be perceived to be by others. Remember, people like people that are like themselves. Thus, the more you appear to be like those you wish to influence, the easier it will be to do so.

How do we acquire influence and what should we do with it once we have it? Influence is a state of mind whereby you’re able to get people to act on your behest. Take note of what just occurred! I gave you my definition of influence. It may be slightly or drastically different from yours or someone else’s. The point is, once you know how someone views a situation, or the definition they give to a word, you have insight into the way they think and the meaning they assign to aspects in their environment. Then, you need to couple that with their perspective of what value is for them. Once you’ve acquired that insight, genuinely match your request to a goal/quest that they wish to obtain. Let them feel the emotions of your sincerity while showing them the benefits of adopting/addressing your suggestions. That will lead to you becoming more influential and having others readily seeking to assist you in acquiring your goals and theirs.

How do we lose or not acquire influence?

With some people, no matter what you do, it will not be good enough to draw them closer to you. If you identify that you’re in such a situation get away from it, to the degree you can. There will be situations in which some people will not like you. That can be due to their unconscious biases or biases that they’re well aware of. In such situations, sometimes you have to leave an environment to have people appreciate you for the value you possess. The perception of your value is what will allow people to perceive you as being influential.

When it comes to negotiations, the way you set it up and the strategies you employ have a great impact on how successful you’ll be. Remember, you’re always negotiating. Thus, when setting up an official negotiation, take into account the activities you’ve engaged in with the person/people you’ll be negotiating with and the impact that past impressions will have on the current negotiation. As mentioned above with influence, in a negotiation, the more influential you appear to be the more trusting you’ll be perceived as being. Don’t squander that perception. In a negotiation trust is a major factor per how far someone is willing to believe in what you say, compared to what you’ll do. Thus, if you’re perceived as being trustworthy, the opposing negotiator may think that something might not work out, but they know they’ll be able to trust that you’ll make them whole. That one aspect will allow you to gain more from every negotiation than you otherwise would have been able to achieve. There are also negotiation tactics and strategies that go into ways to maneuver in a negotiation to reach more favorable outcomes (i.e. when to concede, how slowly to appear when doing so, etc.), but those purviews will be left for another article to explore.

Now let’s discuss a very small component of body language. Body language and nonverbal signals move us emotionally more than most people are aware. In general, watch for hand movements that are not aligned with the words being spoken (e.g. words-this is going to increase your sales, hand action-pointing downward), pace of speech (i.e. slowing down might indicate one being more reflective, speeding up might be a point of excitement), and when such occurs. In particular, take note of what you said that stimulated the person to perform the mentioned gestures. Therein will lie insight into how well their body language is synchronized with their words.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

About the Author

Greg WilliamsGreg Williams, known as, “The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert,” is the author of the newly released book Body Language Secrets to Win More Negotiations.

Sharon Drew Morgen

Making Negotiation Win-Win

Using current negotiation models, people feel they are giving up more than they want in exchange for receiving less than they deserve. As part of standard practice, negotiation partners going into a negotiation calculate their bottom line – what they are willing to give up, and what they are willing to accept – and then fight, argue, cajole, or threaten when their parameters aren’t met. People have been killed for this. But there is another way.

In 1997, Bill Ury and I had to read each other’s books (my book was Selling with Integrity) in preparation for working together for KPMG. Before our introductory lunch meeting in Santa Fe, I read Getting To Yes (where BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement – originated), marked the areas I disagreed with in red, and sent the marked book back to Bill. There was a lot of red: his book teaches how to get what you want (potentially win-lose) rather than how everyone can walk away satisfied (win-win). After much discussion during lunch he agreed with me.


Win-lose is an incongruity. If one person loses, everyone loses – hence there is only win-win or lose-lose. Yet in the typical negotiation process it’s hard to find a win when the ‘things’ being bartered are not ‘things’ at all but representations of unconscious, subjective beliefs and personal values (termed Criterial Equivalents in NLP). And neither negotiation partner understands the values these items represent to the other: a house in the country might represent a lifetime goal to one person, and just a place to live to another; a $1,000,000 settlement might illustrate payback for a lost, hard-won reputation to one person, and extortion to another. When much younger, I spent a fortune on a 14K gold waist chain, believing that this decadent indulgence defined me as ‘making it.’ Seriously.

It’s possible to take the negotiation beyond the ‘things’ being bartered, away from the personal and defended ‘representation’ factor, and chunk up to find mutually shared values agreeable to both – and then find ‘things’ that represent them. So it might be initially hard to agree who should get ‘the house’, but it might be possible to agree that it’s important everyone needs a safe place to live.

Focus On Shared Values First

Try this:

  1. enter the negotiation with a list of somewhat generic high-level values that are of foundational importance, such as Being Safe; Fair Compensation;
  2. share lists and see where there is agreement. Where there is no agreement, continue chunking up higher until a set of mutually comfortable criteria are found. A chunk up from Fair Compensation might be ‘Compensation that Values Employees’;
  3. list several possible equivalents that match each agreeable criterion. So once Compensation that Values Employees is agreed upon during a salary negotiation, each partner should offer several different ways it could be achieved, such as a higher salary, or extra holidays, or increased paid training days, or a highly sought-after office, or higher royalties;
  4. continue working backward – from agreement with high-level, foundational criteria, down to the details and choices that might fulfill that goal, with all parties in agreement.

Discussions over high level values are often more generic, and far less likely to set off tempers than arguments over ‘things’: if nothing else, it’s easier for negotiation partners to listen to each other without getting defensive. And once values are attended to and people feel heard they become more flexible in the ‘things’ they are willing to barter: once Compensation that Values Employees is agreed to, it’s possible to creatively design several choices for an employee to feel fairly valued without an employer stretching a tight budget.

About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is founder of Morgen Facilitations, Inc. ( She is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation®, the decision facilitation model that enables people to change with integrity. A pioneer who has spoken about, written about, and taught the skills to help buyers buy, she is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

To contact Sharon Drew at [email protected] or go to to choose your favorite digital site to download your free book.

The 7 Most Common Negotiating Mistakes

While even the word ‘negotiation’ can evoke fear, stress and anxiety for many, the intent is quite simple: to discuss and ultimately agree on a deal. Whether it’s a multimillion dollar contract or just deciding where to meet for lunch, life is rife with negotiations. And, the negotiation process is a lot like a chess game where strategy reigns supreme — one thoughtfully considered move at a time. Make a careless, short-sighted, ill-conceived move and suffer the perilous consequences.

Even when faced with the most daunting of deals, regarding the act of negotiation as a ‘game’ may alleviate the apprehension and give you the confidence to make power plays that will ultimately facilitate your desired result. Unlike strategy games like chess, however, the most effective deals are a win-win proposition for all parties rather than a winner-loser result.

The 7 Most Common Mistakes that are Made During a Negotiation

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About the Author

Eldonna Lewis-FernandezVeteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of Think Like a Negotiator, has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International—a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills—as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

Recommended Resource – The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating

The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating

by Richard Weisgrau

About the Reference

The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating by Richard Weisgrau provides readers with a complete set of practices and strategies for successfully negotiating through numerous situations. Richard explores both the psychology and activities occurring before, during, and after a negotiation. Through his book, readers learn to:

  • Differentiate between principle and positional bargaining
  • Negotiate contracts, purchases, and service deals
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Barter
  • Assess risk
  • Take advantage of the psychological aspects of negotiating
  • Employ rhetorical tactics and body language successfully

Benefits of Using This Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating for its thoroughness in covering a multitude of negotiating situations. We found Richard’s book a good ready reference for small business owners and large company division and department managers.

The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating covers the psychological and behavioral aspects of negotiation, both being critically important to a successful outcome. Additionally, Richard provides an easy-to-follow method for negotiation preparation, execution, and follow-up. By using the prescribed methods, readers should find their negotiations more successfully resolved.

If we had one criticism of The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating it would be that the negotiating approach seeks an equitable outcome; precluding the opportunity for overwhelmingly positive terms.

The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating provides readers with actionable steps to negotiate the situations most commonly encountered by small business and business group leaders. While not intended to inform the actions of those negotiating ‘super-deals,’ the thoroughness of the methods and real world examples conveyed makes The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide to Negotiating a StrategyDriven recommended read.

Recommended Resource – Getting to Yes

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

by Roger Fisher and William Ury

About the Reference

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury recognizes that professionals are in a frequent state of negotiation and provides them with the tools needed to achieve a desirable outcome. This book probes many diverse negotiation circumstances from both sides of the debate and offers constructive, easy-to-follow methods to achieve one’s desired outcomes by:

  • Disentangling the people from the problem
  • Focusing on interests, not positions
  • Working together to find creative and fair options

These methods help the reader negotiate with anyone at any level of their organization.

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors believe that negotiation is a key component to individual and organizational success. Getting to Yes breaks down these give and take situations; providing the immediately actionable tools needed to achieve a favorable outcome and making these situations less intimidating. If we had one criticism of the book, it would be that the authors seek to achieve a ‘fair’ or ‘equitable’ outcome for each side. While this appears admirable, it forfeits an upside gain that an effective negotiation might be able to otherwise achieve.

Getting to Yes provides a thorough, actionable negotiation tool set that is critical to every professional and organization’s success; making it a StrategyDriven recommended read.