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The Neuroscience of Better Negotiations:
An Overview
Jonathan Jordan
www.MindfullyChange.com
 Former Executive with Fortune 500 Companies
 Licensed Psychotherapist
 Member of the Society for Neuroscience
 Nationwide and International Speaker
 Published Author
 Certified Executive & Business Coach
 Owner of an International Business & Personal
Development Firm
Jonathan Jordan
Just a Little Bit About Me…
www.MindfullyChange.com
My First Book
Available on Amazon.com
(Audio version also available on iTunes)
www.MindfullyChange.com
Improvements in Brain-Imaging
Technology Have Led to…
Incredible Breakthroughs in Neuroscience
“As important for neuroscience as telescopes were for
astronomy”
www.MindfullyChange.com
Synopsis
 Humans evolved as social beings that need to interact
and exchange resources with others in order to ensure
mutual survival
 Our brains evolved in this cooperative social context.
Some of the human brain’s wiring related to negotiating
began to evolve over 3 million years ago
 As a result, our brains can be highly efficient when it
comes to negotiations
www.MindfullyChange.com
Synopsis, Cont.
 However, many modern-day circumstances create
threat-driven neurological reactions that greatly inhibit
our brains from functioning as well as they used to in
prehistoric times
 In order for our brains, and the brains of the other party,
to function in a way that is highly advantageous for
successful negotiations, we need to return our brains to
the reward-driven state in which they historically
negotiated well
 This optimal neurological state requires (at least the
perception) of cooperation rather than adversity
 Recent neuroscience research is illuminating how we
can best work with our brains (and those of our
customers, trading partners, etc.) rather than work
against our brains
www.MindfullyChange.com
Our Brains and
Commerce Co-Evolved
“It’s clear that human beings have been
finding ways to generate value for each
other as the world shifts around us for,
oh, at least 150,000 generations”
~ Marsha Shenk, Business Anthropologist
www.MindfullyChange.com
Some Essential Neurological
Background Information
1. Threat & Reward Brain Circuits
2. The Social Needs of Our Brain
www.MindfullyChange.com
Threat
 Focus: to survive
 Flight-or-Fight
 Stress, Fear
 Neuroendocrine changes
include an increase in
Cortisol – “the stress
hormone”
Reward
 Focus: to thrive
 Stay-and-Engage
 Trust
 Neuroendocrine
changes include an
increase in Oxytocin –
“the trust hormone”
Two Primitive Brain Circuits
that Greatly Impact Negotiations,
and Life in General
Disengage Engage
www.MindfullyChange.com
The Importance of Trust
www.MindfullyChange.com
How “Threat Response” Impacts Brain Functioning
www.MindfullyChange.com
THREAT
www.MindfullyChange.com
Why You Want Win-Win
 In sports and other competitive activities you want a
Win-Lose result. Causing your opponent to feel
“threatened” may give you a competitive edge
 When people feel very threatened they often act
irrationally. This may not only negatively impact their
own situation but may also negatively impact the other
negotiating parties
 In negotiations you want, at least the perception of,
Win-Win outcomes
www.MindfullyChange.com
Our Brains Respond to Social
Rewards as Powerfully as to Money,
Sex, and Chocolate!
www.MindfullyChange.com
David Rock’s SCRAF Model
of Neurological Social Needs
David Rock is the Director of the NeuroLeadership
Institute, a global initiative bringing neuroscientists and
leadership experts together to build a new science for
leadership development
www.MindfullyChange.com
The SCARF Model
What Rewards, or Threatens,
Our Social Brains?
We respond to the perception of…
 STATUS – how we compare to others
 CERTAINTY – clarity, opposite of confusion
 AUTONOMY – ability to make decisions, control
 RELATEDNESS – fitting in safely, group membership
 FAIRNESS – how we are treated compared to others
www.MindfullyChange.com
The SCARF Model, Cont.
 The more SCARF (social rewards) we perceive, the
more our brain feels “rewarded” and the more we trust
and engage cooperatively and display rational creativity
 The less SCARF (social threats) we perceive, the more
our brain feels “threatened” and we become defensive,
disengage and are more likely to become irrational
 For mutually successful negotiations, you want the
other party to perceive as much SCARF as reasonably
possible (at least in the initial stages of negotiation)
Disengage … Less SCRAF More … Engage
www.MindfullyChange.com
Communication:
Value Our Brains Assign to Incoming Stimuli
www.MindfullyChange.com
When You First Meet…
SOFTEN
You greatly reduce the neurological threat response by
greeting people with this approach…
 Smile
 Open Posture
 Forward Lean
 Touch
 Eye Contact
 Nod
Note: Smiling is the most common and universally
recognized gesture across all cultures
www.MindfullyChange.com
Project Assertive Confidence
Not Passive, Not Aggressive, Not Arrogant
 People who are perceived as not being confident,
having self doubts, etc., raise suspicions and can
trigger a threat response
 Arrogance can also be neurologically threatening
 Being friendly, assertive, and confident allows you to
quickly build rapport with almost anyone
www.MindfullyChange.com
Brain-Friendly Body Language
To Help Your Negotiations
(55% of communication)
 Uncross arms or legs - it might come across as
defensive
 Relax your shoulders - high, tight shoulders imply
tension, fear
 Nod occasionally when someone is talking – it gives the
message that you are being attentive and interested
(which is rewarding to the other party)
www.MindfullyChange.com
Brain-Friendly Body Language
To Help Your Negotiations,
Cont.
 Smile often, even laugh – this greatly lowers the
“threat” level
 Keep your head, and eyes, up – it is a sign of
confidence
 Slow down your movements – it makes you appear
more calm and confident, and less threatening
 Make eye contact - but don’t stare, it could induce a
“threat” response
www.MindfullyChange.com
How to Quickly Boost Your Brain
With Assertive Confidence
 In a recent study by the Harvard Business School,
researchers physically “posed” participants into one of
two sets of poses, high-power and low-power
 High-power poses involved stretching out to take up
more space, and opening the arms and/or legs
 Low-power poses involved contractive positions with
closed limbs
www.MindfullyChange.com
(Images courtesy of Professor Amy Cuddy, Harvard Business School)
Top: High-Power Poses
Bottom: Low-Power Poses
www.MindfullyChange.com
How to Quickly Boost Your Brain,
Cont.
 High-power posers experienced feelings of “being in
charge” while low-power poses reported a drop in
confidence
 Among high-power posers testosterone (a hormone
linked with feelings of power) levels increased by 25
percent while cortisol (the “stress hormone”) decreased
by 19 percent – in both men and women
 Simply holding one’s body in expansive poses for as
little as two minutes can cause neuroendocrine
changes that give your brain a significant surge of
confidence
www.MindfullyChange.com
“These poses actually make you feel more powerful”
~ Professor Amy Cuddy, Harvard Business School
A Power Pose To Quickly Boost Your
Brain Before a Negotiation
www.MindfullyChange.com
How to Change The Other Person’s
Body Language, and Neurological
Response, to Improve Negotiations
www.MindfullyChange.com
Quick Recap
 Avoid triggering the neurological “threat”
circuits in the other party because this will
result in “disengagement”
 To enhance “engagement” activate the
“reward” circuits in the other party where
possible – at least create a perception of
win-win
 Remember our brains have a strong
response to nonverbal communication
 Boost your own confidence neurologically
in preparation for negotiations – one way
to do this is adopting a “power pose”
To use neuroscience
to more effectively negotiate…
Presenter Contact Information
Jonathan Jordan
President, Global Change Management, Inc.
Email: Jonathan@MindfullyChange.com
Web: www.MindfullyChange.com
Thank You!

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The Neuroscience of Better Negotiations

  • 1. The Neuroscience of Better Negotiations: An Overview Jonathan Jordan
  • 2. www.MindfullyChange.com  Former Executive with Fortune 500 Companies  Licensed Psychotherapist  Member of the Society for Neuroscience  Nationwide and International Speaker  Published Author  Certified Executive & Business Coach  Owner of an International Business & Personal Development Firm Jonathan Jordan Just a Little Bit About Me…
  • 3. www.MindfullyChange.com My First Book Available on Amazon.com (Audio version also available on iTunes)
  • 4. www.MindfullyChange.com Improvements in Brain-Imaging Technology Have Led to… Incredible Breakthroughs in Neuroscience “As important for neuroscience as telescopes were for astronomy”
  • 5. www.MindfullyChange.com Synopsis  Humans evolved as social beings that need to interact and exchange resources with others in order to ensure mutual survival  Our brains evolved in this cooperative social context. Some of the human brain’s wiring related to negotiating began to evolve over 3 million years ago  As a result, our brains can be highly efficient when it comes to negotiations
  • 6. www.MindfullyChange.com Synopsis, Cont.  However, many modern-day circumstances create threat-driven neurological reactions that greatly inhibit our brains from functioning as well as they used to in prehistoric times  In order for our brains, and the brains of the other party, to function in a way that is highly advantageous for successful negotiations, we need to return our brains to the reward-driven state in which they historically negotiated well  This optimal neurological state requires (at least the perception) of cooperation rather than adversity  Recent neuroscience research is illuminating how we can best work with our brains (and those of our customers, trading partners, etc.) rather than work against our brains
  • 7. www.MindfullyChange.com Our Brains and Commerce Co-Evolved “It’s clear that human beings have been finding ways to generate value for each other as the world shifts around us for, oh, at least 150,000 generations” ~ Marsha Shenk, Business Anthropologist
  • 8. www.MindfullyChange.com Some Essential Neurological Background Information 1. Threat & Reward Brain Circuits 2. The Social Needs of Our Brain
  • 9. www.MindfullyChange.com Threat  Focus: to survive  Flight-or-Fight  Stress, Fear  Neuroendocrine changes include an increase in Cortisol – “the stress hormone” Reward  Focus: to thrive  Stay-and-Engage  Trust  Neuroendocrine changes include an increase in Oxytocin – “the trust hormone” Two Primitive Brain Circuits that Greatly Impact Negotiations, and Life in General Disengage Engage
  • 13. www.MindfullyChange.com Why You Want Win-Win  In sports and other competitive activities you want a Win-Lose result. Causing your opponent to feel “threatened” may give you a competitive edge  When people feel very threatened they often act irrationally. This may not only negatively impact their own situation but may also negatively impact the other negotiating parties  In negotiations you want, at least the perception of, Win-Win outcomes
  • 14. www.MindfullyChange.com Our Brains Respond to Social Rewards as Powerfully as to Money, Sex, and Chocolate!
  • 15. www.MindfullyChange.com David Rock’s SCRAF Model of Neurological Social Needs David Rock is the Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, a global initiative bringing neuroscientists and leadership experts together to build a new science for leadership development
  • 16. www.MindfullyChange.com The SCARF Model What Rewards, or Threatens, Our Social Brains? We respond to the perception of…  STATUS – how we compare to others  CERTAINTY – clarity, opposite of confusion  AUTONOMY – ability to make decisions, control  RELATEDNESS – fitting in safely, group membership  FAIRNESS – how we are treated compared to others
  • 17. www.MindfullyChange.com The SCARF Model, Cont.  The more SCARF (social rewards) we perceive, the more our brain feels “rewarded” and the more we trust and engage cooperatively and display rational creativity  The less SCARF (social threats) we perceive, the more our brain feels “threatened” and we become defensive, disengage and are more likely to become irrational  For mutually successful negotiations, you want the other party to perceive as much SCARF as reasonably possible (at least in the initial stages of negotiation) Disengage … Less SCRAF More … Engage
  • 19. www.MindfullyChange.com When You First Meet… SOFTEN You greatly reduce the neurological threat response by greeting people with this approach…  Smile  Open Posture  Forward Lean  Touch  Eye Contact  Nod Note: Smiling is the most common and universally recognized gesture across all cultures
  • 20. www.MindfullyChange.com Project Assertive Confidence Not Passive, Not Aggressive, Not Arrogant  People who are perceived as not being confident, having self doubts, etc., raise suspicions and can trigger a threat response  Arrogance can also be neurologically threatening  Being friendly, assertive, and confident allows you to quickly build rapport with almost anyone
  • 21. www.MindfullyChange.com Brain-Friendly Body Language To Help Your Negotiations (55% of communication)  Uncross arms or legs - it might come across as defensive  Relax your shoulders - high, tight shoulders imply tension, fear  Nod occasionally when someone is talking – it gives the message that you are being attentive and interested (which is rewarding to the other party)
  • 22. www.MindfullyChange.com Brain-Friendly Body Language To Help Your Negotiations, Cont.  Smile often, even laugh – this greatly lowers the “threat” level  Keep your head, and eyes, up – it is a sign of confidence  Slow down your movements – it makes you appear more calm and confident, and less threatening  Make eye contact - but don’t stare, it could induce a “threat” response
  • 23. www.MindfullyChange.com How to Quickly Boost Your Brain With Assertive Confidence  In a recent study by the Harvard Business School, researchers physically “posed” participants into one of two sets of poses, high-power and low-power  High-power poses involved stretching out to take up more space, and opening the arms and/or legs  Low-power poses involved contractive positions with closed limbs
  • 24. www.MindfullyChange.com (Images courtesy of Professor Amy Cuddy, Harvard Business School) Top: High-Power Poses Bottom: Low-Power Poses
  • 25. www.MindfullyChange.com How to Quickly Boost Your Brain, Cont.  High-power posers experienced feelings of “being in charge” while low-power poses reported a drop in confidence  Among high-power posers testosterone (a hormone linked with feelings of power) levels increased by 25 percent while cortisol (the “stress hormone”) decreased by 19 percent – in both men and women  Simply holding one’s body in expansive poses for as little as two minutes can cause neuroendocrine changes that give your brain a significant surge of confidence
  • 26. www.MindfullyChange.com “These poses actually make you feel more powerful” ~ Professor Amy Cuddy, Harvard Business School A Power Pose To Quickly Boost Your Brain Before a Negotiation
  • 27. www.MindfullyChange.com How to Change The Other Person’s Body Language, and Neurological Response, to Improve Negotiations
  • 28. www.MindfullyChange.com Quick Recap  Avoid triggering the neurological “threat” circuits in the other party because this will result in “disengagement”  To enhance “engagement” activate the “reward” circuits in the other party where possible – at least create a perception of win-win  Remember our brains have a strong response to nonverbal communication  Boost your own confidence neurologically in preparation for negotiations – one way to do this is adopting a “power pose” To use neuroscience to more effectively negotiate…
  • 29. Presenter Contact Information Jonathan Jordan President, Global Change Management, Inc. Email: Jonathan@MindfullyChange.com Web: www.MindfullyChange.com Thank You!