4 principles of successful business negotiations
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The role of nonverbal communication in business. 

Communication with the people around us plays an important role in every person’s day-to-day life. It helps us build relationships, solve problems and achieve the goals set.

One of the key elements in communication that is often neglected is body language. It is no secret that people can “talk” not only with words, but also with gestures, facial expressions and even glances. Surely you’ve heard of such concepts as verbal and nonverbal communication.

Effective use of nonverbal communication is of great importance in our life, helping us achieve better results. There are 4 main principles of such communication:


1. Kinesics — body language

Whereas words convey facts and information, kinesics communicates the feelings, emotions and attitude associated with them via actions. The ability to perceive gestures and facial expressions, especially as immediate reaction, is really useful. It can even steer your negotiations along a more favorable path.


2. Prosody — vocal and intonation behavior

During business negotiations, every person, as a rule, picks his/her words very carefully. The tone of the message can be altered by a single expression used. Exceedingly fast speech may indicate nervousness and stress. A rising inflection at the end of a sentence normally indicates a question, which is an effective way of showing the interlocutor your sincere interest in the conversation.


3. Proxemics — interaction with space

The distance between interlocutors indicates the degree of their relationship’s closeness or formality. Edward Hall, an anthropologist, discovered three comfortable distances that people use for perceiving their interlocutor:

              0-122 centimeters for personal communication;

              122-336 centimeters for social interactions;

              more that 336 centimeters for public presentations.


4. Chronemics — the use of time in nonverbal communication

The use of time influences communication and carries valuable meaning of discourse. For example, a pause prior to the beginning of a speech may signify that an important statement is about to be made. A long time of silence in the middle of a conversation may conceal nervousness and discomfort.



In conclusion, nonverbal communication can be one of the key parts of your business strategy. It is necessary to study the interlocutor as much as possible, so that nothing is left to chance when you sit down at the meeting table. The conscious use of correct posture, control over facial expressions and gestures, as well as active listening to the interlocutor can contribute to achievement of high business results.

If you are a manager, nonverbal communication will also help you to communicate with your subordinates. However, in this matter, much more will depend on the leadership style you have chosen.

Read more about it in the article: What leadership style do you choose?

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Published: 17.04.2024
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