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2011-10-19 23:02:48

Silence Power

Hello Good Negotiators

One of my favorite saying is, "Never say anything that won't improve on silence."  That confirms the source of power known as silence. It is and always has been so effective and so universally available.


Silence Power

Women have long had an almost inherit knowledge of this power of silence.  They've learned the negotiating secret that silence always makes the 'other side' feel uncomfortable.  Now before you get hyper-sensitive that this is a sexist remark, know that if you accused me of that to my face, I'd give you the 'silent treatment'.


You'd have to marinate in the echo of your accusation and quickly come to the realization that what I actually did was give women a well deserved compliment.  Men tend to be quick to reply, too fast on the defense and too quick at opening thier mouth and inserting a foot.


In any bargaining exchange - be it business, family or personal - one party being silent allows that party to gain power.  Now they have to maintain eye contact.  They have to show little or no emotion.  They have to get a feel for how long that silence should last and know that a few second usually does the trick.


That silence not only enables a 'power shift', it also provides time to carefully craft a reply.  Speaking too quickly, too 'off the cuff' has compromised the effectiveness of many a good negotiating position.


What's the old phrase...."You can be silent and have people think you are a fool, or you can open your mouth and prove it."  We've all had our share of speaking without our best strategy fully engaged.


Good negotiators know that often the best response is..............................silence. Shhhhhhhh, it's working.

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