Space plays a big role in negotiations. You have a definite space bubble you carry around you. If you trust people, you let them in to your space. Negotiations naturally make us more nervous and lead us to want as much space as we can possibly get. This is why most people tend to sit across the table from each other. This is the worst thing you can do! When you sit across from someone they naturally divide the table in half and half becomes your space and half becomes their space. To test this out, try going to lunch with someone and putting your beverage, the salt and pepper shaker, etc. on to their half of the table. You will find they will become agitated and move their chair back or they will slowly move things back so the space is even.

When negotiating, make sure you have a room that has enough space for each person to have elbow room. Once a person’s body space is invaded they will stop thinking rationally and will instead put their energy towards getting their space back! And the negotiation will most likely never close. Your best bet is to have a room with a round table so there is no “head” spot. It brings a feeling of equality to the negotiation.

Read about The Masters of Negotiating by ordering your copy of The Masters of Impact Negotiating. Over a dozen negotiators, including Anne Warfield, share their passion for persuasion.