We spend the day negotiating
Sometimes we don’t even notice, because it’s revealed through our eye movements or facial expressions, but nevertheless, we are negotiating. An article from BBC based on a study published in the magazine, Evolution and Human Behaviour, says that frowning is not to scare people away, but an intrinsic technique of negotiation to get what we want. The harder it looks like we are going to make it for the other person to convince us, the easier it will be to get what we want. So, if you frowned at any point today, you were actually negotiating.
But, there is another important aspect to take into consideration when trying to convince someone: culture. Where you are from and the places you have lived throughout your life all play a part. I’m from Spain, but over the past 15 years I have also lived in Germany, the UK, France, and the US. To be completely honest, the process of adaptation I had to go through was not always easy. For me, having most of my meetings on the phone in the US threw me off of my game at times. I was used to face-to-face meetings, where I had talked to vendors or partners, and could feel their reactions throughout the discussion. When I lived in Germany, every time I finished a project, I never expected a pat on the back, and most certainly didn’t listen out for a cheerful, “Good job!” They feel as if that kind of validation should be limited to children and is totally inappropriate in a professional environment. (As you know, it’s a totally different scene in the US, seeing that I’ve had someone respond with “Great idea!” after I simply said, “Good morning”). Also, for some countries in Latin America, it may be considered impolite to flat-out say, “no” to a request. That can be totally misleading if you don’t know how to read between the lines.