Using Everything to Get Something

I just wrote about the fact that a lot of times in negotiation what is "not said" is exactly what "should be said"...  More succinctly: when the other party explicitly states that an point (such as money or time or a competitor...) is NOT important -- IT IS VERY IMPORTANT.

It's all too true!  Those of you nodding your heads with me probably learned the hard way (like I did).

Getting inside the head of your opponent, prospect, partner (etc....) is important because it provides context to what that person is saying and doing.

Here is an interesting article I read about something as simple as observing where people sit on a bus:

Forward-minded people tend to sit at the front of the top deck, according to Dr Tom Fawcett of Salford University, the independent-minded in the middle and those with a rebellious streak at the rear.

Dr Fawcett, a lecturer on mental toughness who has helped train Olympic athletes, said there were definite patterns in people's behaviour depending on where they sat.

He said: "With something as habitual as getting on a bus people may find it surprising that their choice of seat can actually reveal aspects of their personality."

He concluded that bus passengers fell into seven distinct groups.

Those at the front on the top deck are generally forward thinkers and those at the back are rebellious types who do not like their personal space being invaded, he found.

Sitting in the middle are independent thinkers - usually younger to middle-aged passengers more likely to read a newspaper or listen to a personal music player.

On the bottom deck at the front tend to be gregarious meeters-and-greeters while those in the middle are "strong communicators". Travellers who automatically head for the rear downstairs are said to be risk-takers who like to sit on elevated seats because it makes them feel important.

He defined a final group as chameleons - travellers who do not care where they sit because they feel they can fit in anywhere.

He did not say what happened to forward thinkers on a single-decker bus - presumably they wait for a double-decker.

Dr Fawcett said the study was an "observational" one.

He said: "It was carried out as an observational survey - we noted people's body language and whether there was any interaction with other passengers, if they were sociable or withdrawn or even anti-social."

OK...  So this is England AND highly controversial  -- BUT seeing and interpreting details like this can be the difference between connecting and winning rather than being the "always guy"...

Food for thought?