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Conversation Dynamics Predicts Negotiation Outcomes
Extensive research has shown that verbal and non-verbal communication strategies can affect negotiation outcomes. But could being an outstanding negotiator take more than having the right words, the right tone, and the right smile? We explore how differences in conversation dynamics—such as how much, how often, and how fast negotiators talk—relate to negotiation outcomes. We analyzed 18,796 speech turns from 180 negotiation simulation recordings. We found that longer average speech turns are positively associated with objective outcome, while frequent backchannels positively predict relational outcomes. Variance in speech turns and frequent interruptions both negatively relate with objective and relational outcomes, respectively. This research suggests for the first time that how much and how often negotiators talk, acquiesce, and interrupt could make or break a deal.