The Power of the Flinch In Negotiating

The Flinch

Use of Flinching In Negotiating

Flinching is the physical action of reacting to a proposal/demand/situation posed to you by the other party.

By physically flinching, the other party will see your surprise and dismay at their proposal.

When someone makes a proposal to you that is completely outrageous, and they know it, they have made this proposal to watch how you object to it.

It is very important at this stage that you react to their proposal. If you do not flinch, they will believe they can possibly get away with what they have proposed. As you didn't react to their proposal they may be thinking you will take what they say as truth.

So, remember whenever a proposal is made to you make sure to visually AND verbally react to it.


Well you can open your eyes wide in surprise, put your hands up near your face and say

"Oh my gosh, fifteen thousand euro/three days/two hours (or whatever). I couldn't possibly do that."

Now, the secret here is to NOT SAY A WORD. Leave the onus on the other party to reply to your outburst. Typically what

happens is people will flinch, give their outburst and then continue with their tirade. They may say something like "Oh my gosh, I couldn't pay that. You are too expensive, and I am not going to deal with someone who won't even start to be flexible on price."

So as you can see above, the ranter has talked himself out of the room, and all the other party was doing was gauging his reaction to their initial proposal.

Remember to flinch to a proposal and then say nothing. Put them on the back foot.

Kevin O'Connor is a Negotiations Consultant based in Dublin, Ireland. With years of industry experience using negotiating techniques, you can be sure that these techniques are effective and when used you will see an improvement in your negotiating.

For more tutorials and examples please visit