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 >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

How To Represent Parties Who Choose Private Divorce Mediation

As private mediation becomes an accepted method of resolving the issues presented in a divorce, increasing numbers of clients are asking lawyers to provide a new kind of service, as...

By Michael Becker, Esq.
Category

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To Resolution!

Question: “How many mediators does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” Mediator: “So what I hear you saying is that you would like the room to be brighter.” The...

By Carl J. Debevec
Category

All Behavior Makes Sense

Collaborative conflict resolution rests on the premise that "all behavior makes sense". No matter how outrageous or unreasonable a person seems, in his own mind, in that moment, his words...

By Trime Persinger

Find a Mediator

X
X
X