Nothing but negotiation

The Gap Partnership

'Mirroring body language' is a key negotiation technique

Both sides will feel on the same level if they have identical stances

09 August 2010

Employees should mirror their adversary's body language as it is a crucial negotiation technique, according to an expert.

Nick Morgan, president of Public Words, a communications consulting firm, expressed his belief that negotiators should adopt a similar seating or standing position as their opponent.

He wrote on "That will send an unconscious message to the person that you are on an equal level and generally in agreement with them. They will begin to trust you."

Although many disagreements can be avoided even before verbal communication has started, certain situations require a different approach.

Mr Morgan claimed employees should align themselves with the other side if they become aggressive.

By facing the same way as their abusive adversary, negotiators show they are heading in the same direction and are adopting a non-threatening stance.

Mirroring and alignment should not be used obviously as it may be perceived as patronising, he added.

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