One strategy that can help build trust and rapport with the other party during negotiations is mirroring. In this blog post, we'll explore what mirroring is and how to use it to build better relationships and get better deals.
What is mirroring in negotiation?
Mirroring is a technique in which you mimic the other party's body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal cues. The purpose of mirroring is to build trust and rapport by showing the other party that you understand and empathize with them. When done effectively, it can help create a more positive atmosphere that is conducive to successful negotiation outcomes.
It may sound manipulative at first, but it’s not about “copying what they do” and more about bridging the communication gap by using styles they’re more comfortable with. Another example is called code switching. Code switching means changing up your language to match the style and dialect of the person across from you.
Maybe you use certain slang at home, or phrases with friends, co-workers, and/or family. Code switching helps the other person understand you much better since it uses language they’re familiar with.
If you’ve ever had a “secret language” with your friends or siblings, then that’s an example of code switching!
How to use mirroring in negotiation?
Mirroring can be a powerful tool in negotiation, but it requires some skill and practice to do it effectively. The key is to match the other party's body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal cues without being too obvious or invasive. For example, if the other party is sitting with arms crossed, you may want to cross your arms as well to show that you're on the same page. You can also mirror the other party's tone of voice by matching their speaking pace, volume, and inflection.
Tips for effective mirroring:
- Start by observing the other party's body language and tone of voice
- Match the other party's body language and tone of voice, but don't be too obvious or invasive
- Use short delays to avoid coming across as too obvious
- Pay attention to the other party's verbal cues as well, such as key phrases or emotional tone
- Practice active listening to show that you understand and empathize with the other party
Why is building rapport important in negotiation?
Building rapport is essential in negotiation because it helps create a more positive and collaborative atmosphere. When the other party feels that you understand and empathize with them, they are more likely to trust you and be receptive to your proposals. Building rapport can also help you establish a long-term relationship with the other party, which can lead to future collaboration and better outcomes.
Mirroring is a powerful technique that can help build rapport and trust during negotiations. By matching the other party's body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal cues, you can create a more positive and collaborative atmosphere that is conducive to successful outcomes. However, it's important to use mirroring effectively and not be too invasive or obvious. Remember to also practice active listening and pay attention to the other party's verbal cues. By using mirroring and building rapport, you can become a more successful negotiator and achieve better deals.