Watch Your Nonverbal Cues in a Mediation Setting
In a mediation setting, sometimes what you’re not saying can be just as important as what you are saying. For this reason, it’s very important that you pay attention to your nonverbal cues so you avoid giving off a message you’d rather not broadcast.
Here are a few examples of some of the cues you should be aware of.
- Gestures and body language: When a person folds their arms, it projects a feeling of dissatisfaction, anger or hostility. Avoid crossing your arms during a meeting—staying open makes you appear more open-minded and cordial.
- Rolling eyes: Rolling your eyes projects sarcasm and impatience, which will certainly not help you at all at the negotiating table. As much as you might be tempted, avoid this sort of behavior.
- Eye contact: Maintaining eye contact can show that you are paying attention and listening to what your spouse is saying, but there are times at which long-term eye contact can feel threatening or aggressive. That being said, if you routinely fail to meet your partner’s eyes, it could project a sense of mistrust or dishonesty.
- Sighing: Sometimes a sigh just happens naturally and you’re not even thinking about any meaning. Other times it’s a more voluntary cue that indicates frustration, tiredness or hopelessness. Avoid sighing out of frustration, as this could introduce some hostility into negotiations.
- Punctuality: While this doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the list, it’s still something you should consider. Arriving late to a mediation session indicates to the mediator and your spouse that you are not taking your responsibility seriously, and that you do not value your time. This will create a negative first impression and get you off on the wrong foot in your negotiations.
For more information about how you can find success in your mediation session, contact an experienced Long Island attorney at Solutions Divorce Mediation.