Improve Your Negotiating Skills by Learning to Read People
We are all human. One thing we do is react to what we hear or see.
These reactions are typically unintended communiques to the other person as to how we feel about what we have just witnessed. When speaking you, as well as the other person, need to listen. The other person is listening to your words. You should be listening/observing the other person's physical/emotional/tonal reactions.
Speaking really is a two-way form of communicating. Concurrently your words provide information to the other person and the other person's non-verbal reactions provide you with information.
When you first meet the other person, the verbal, nonverbal, overt, discreet responses to your initial casual conversation / small talk will begin to give you a feel for how comfortable or confident the other person is, how interested he or she is in the issues to be discussed, and how you can expect the person to react under pressure. The other person's style, mannerisms, dialect, diction, education, background, knowledge, expertise are often immediately exposed from the moment you begin speaking. Rather than thinking about what you will be negotiating in a few moments, pay attention to the subtle insights the other person is revealing while he or she is at ease. What you learn about the person will help you decide how best to approach him/her once the discussion becomes serious and focused.
Negotiating is a natural process. Being effective at it, however, is not. It takes hard work and discipline to be more than a casual negotiator. Taking the time to improve your ability to be more aware of the responses of others will yield big benefits in your personal, social and professional life.