Chapter 12: The unspoken language of power: interpersonal dynamics of nonverbal behavior in mixed-gender negotiations
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Nonverbal communication is an integral component of how individuals search for information to understand others’ interests, goals and intentions. Recent research on the intersection between gender and nonverbal behavior has investigated gender differences in both the display (e.g., expressiveness, valence and intensity) and decoding (e.g., sensitivity and accuracy) of nonverbal cues. A more deliberate focus on the nonverbal dynamics related to power, particularly those in mixed-gender dyadic negotiations, has the potential to inform multiple theoretical perspectives on gender differences in negotiation processes, performance, and outcomes. To this end, we offer a fresh perspective on the nonverbal dynamics pertinent to mixed-gender negotiations. In our chapter, we examine convergence among theories in social relations and negotiations research, review empirical literature on key interpersonal factors influencing dyadic social interactions (i.e., power, trust and gender), and document how many of the observed patterns of gender differences in nonverbal behavior map directly onto and correspond with power differences in nonverbal cues. Furthermore, we develop theoretical propositions expanding on what we view as three fundamental interpersonal properties of nonverbal cues, including mode (e.g., implicit vs explicit), intent (e.g., spontaneous vs strategic), and consequence (e.g., competitive vs cooperative). Our goal is to advance research, theory and conceptual integration at the nexus of gender and negotiation to provide a foundation and agenda for future research.

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