The next time you have a conversation, try tactics of relaxing, breathing and pausing. And taking time to analyze the silence.

Try focusing on the pauses. What do they tell you about what the speaker is saying, feeling, or trying to communicate? Then look at your own emotional and physical responses to the silence. Does it make you uncomfortable? What are you feeling? How is your body responding? Do you feel a strong urge to say something? Can you simply stay silent for a time, despite your discomfort?

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Try deliberately pausing when you want to emphasize something you have just said or to encourage your negotiation partner to reflect on it. What effect does this have on them? Does it increase the power of your last statement?

If not, try repeating it; then fall silent and pause again. Pausing can be a negotiator’s best ally. It allows you to take a breath, digest what has happened, and refocus your energies. Pausing may also force your negotiation partner to stop and re-evaluate what he or she (or you) just said. The space often makes new directions and breakthroughs possible.

Excerpt from The House Matters in Divorce by Laurel Starks, Unhooked Books.


About Laurel Starks

Laurel Starks is a divorce real estate specialist. Trained in both mediation and collaborative divorce methods, she speaks frequently on real estate and divorce issues to legal and alternative disputes resolution groups.

A former host of the talk radio program Real Estate Matters, Starks also serves as an expert witness in real estate matters related to divorce cases, including the mishandling of procedural aspects therein. She handles the sale of real property in family law cases, and is one of the top producing realtors in the nation. She was nominated in 2016 for the coveted Innovator of the Year by Inman News, the real estate industry’s leading news source. Laurel lives with her husband and two sons in Southern California.

Starks is the author of The House Matters in Divorce: Untangling the Legal, Financial and Emotional Ties Before You Sign on the Dotted Line, published by Unhooked Books.

From “The House Matters In Divorce,” by Laurel Starks. View this book at this link: