For more effective negotiating, it helps to know body language to help divine what the other side is really thinking, says Greg Williams, aka the Master Negotiator, a Roselle, N.J.-based business consultant/speaker and author of Negotiate: Afraid, "Know" More. Here are some tips.
Keep an eye out. "Yes, when people lie, some have difficulty maintaining eye contact," says Williams. "But you need a baseline to begin with. Prior to sitting down, observe how long your counterpart maintains eye contact when you sense he's telling the truth; contrast that with when he might be exaggerating."
Read her lips. "Sometimes your counterpart will keep her hands over her mouth or close to it. Through that gesture, she's indicating that she's trying to hold her words back. She can't help doing so because the body never lies – words do."
Track his feet. "When a negotiator's feet are pointed toward you, he's likely engaged and, more than not, being forthright. As his feet start to turn away from you, so will his desire to engage in the conversation."
Spot other cues. "Clammy hands often indicate nervousness, and a tone that turns suddenly from light to serious can indicate a desire to disengage."