“These are not the arguments you are looking for!”
The rePhrased Photo Copier technique.
Over years we have all heard the line “Repeat their words back to them” as a method to calm down an upset client. I strongly disagree, repeating their complaint can come off as condescending and unnatural as a photocopier. Instead consider a rePhrase of what the other person says, in other words, put it in your own words. This makes them realize you’re listening and actually digesting their issues, that your really interested in what they’re saying. It makes them feel validated. Obviously, you don’t want to overdo this, once per complaint is usually a good balance of managing their needs.
Play on the need everyone has to help others.
Start off your conversation with “I need your help.” People don’t like the feeling they get when they don’t help someone out. Think about it which one sounds better, “do this for me” or “Can you help me with this issue?” The words “I need you help” improves your chances of getting your task done and having the other person enjoy the experience of being your “Helper.”
The power of nodding.
A nod is one of the most powerful aspects of body language. You can use it to help others and to help yourself accomplish goals in conversation.
Example: I have been in meetings where half the people in the room are texting and the other half are nodding off. I find that the speaker then starts to struggle, like a comedian that gets no laughs, a tough audience. One thing you can do to resurrect the meeting is ask questions and nod at the replies (so long as you actually agree) if done correctly you will see others in the room give slight nods as well. Be careful not to look like a brown-noser.
This also applies to getting people to agree with you. Its really basic body language: If you want someone to agree with you, nod while you talk. This gets the other person to nod too, and they begin to subconsciously agree with you.
Use body language to determine if people are actually interested in what you are saying.
Look at a single point in the room, nod or look at your watch. If someone is observing you, they will likely mimic you or react at the watch move by asking “Do you need to go?”
The power of their name:
This is one that I personally struggle with; I let my mind move on to the conversation before I take the time to commit their name to memory. You need to pause and repeat the person’s name at least once, then start sentences with their name or end questions with their name. Example; “What do you think of the project Kevin?” Use their name sparingly
Stand to one side when someone is angry.
Being next to someone is a completely different set of body language than standing in front of them. Whenever someone is angry and confrontational just rotate your body slightly so that you are not face to face. Standing next to him or her you won’t appear as so much of a threat, and they eventually will calm down.
Sit next to people you have trouble with in meetings.
This is a follow up to the last point about standing to one side, never sit across from an adversarial person in a meeting. Find a way to sit to their right. This is the body language equivalent of “we’re buddies” and will usually prevent a percentage of bad karma .