Colors: Controlling the Emotional Palette - Body Language Secrets to Win More Negotiations - Greg Williams, Pat Iyer

Body Language Secrets to Win More Negotiations - Greg Williams, Pat Iyer (2016)

Chapter 4. Colors: Controlling the Emotional Palette

Adam, the Los Angeles-based man sitting next to me on the plane to Newark, New Jersey, was clearly nervous. He said, “As soon as we land, I am headed into an important meeting in Manhattan that will affect the future of my business. I am negotiating at a bank for a loan.” In a glance, I spotted a problem. He wore a shirt with huge bright pink flowers and no suit jacket. “Adam, I suggest you make a stop at a menswear store before that meeting.”

Colors can provide insight into a person’s status. Consider this situation: I was the vice president of a company. I had on a freshly ironed white shirt, a red tie, and navy blue suit. The president was casually dressed in a yellow shirt and a pair of slacks. When the president and I walked into a seminar, a gentleman mistook me for the president. He said, “Sir, I would like to talk to you and your staff about how we can improve your business operations.” The reason the gentleman approached me was because of the colors I was wearing and the fact that the president of the organization was dressed very casually. Colors project an image that will enhance or detract from your power as a negotiator.

The Meaning of the Power Suit

The power outfit I had on was a combination of navy blue, red, and white. Blue conveys stability, loyalty, wisdom, and intelligence. Red symbolizes energy. White is associated with purity. The combination projects someone who is energetic, truthful, and pure, someone who is good—just from the color combinations alone.

Usually people will have three colors on and sometimes two. They may have on a navy blue suit, a white shirt, and a red tie. They may have on a black suit, a yellow tie and a white shirt. That says something about that person’s demeanor. The dark suit conveys formality and elegance. Look at the major color scheme that someone has on. When I say major, if the person had on a dark-colored suit, that would be the major component. Then look at the other combinations, the accessories that go along with the main color.

As you read this chapter, you will discover how colors and color combinations influence the perception people have of you.

Colors and Body Language

Your colors may provide clues about your personality. Outgoing people may wear more lively colors. Their colors may project the attitude of “I’m not afraid. I’m open. I want to be noticed.

Look at me!” People may wear drab colors if they don’t want to attract a lot of attention.

Envision this: You’re driving down the street and you see two pedestrians. One is dressed in dark colors and the other is wearing light-colored colors. More than likely you’re going to notice the person in the lighter colors. Our eyes are drawn to light versus dark colors. This is why some people will choose to wear certain colors based on the influence that colors have on body language.

Consider another situation. A business owner is about to complete the last of several meetings to negotiate the sale of her business. She’s wearing a well-tailored green jacket and black slacks. What is the significance of her clothing choice? Green is associated with money. The black slacks project elegance and formality. If you look at the combination of the colors she has on, she’s projecting financial success, eloquence, and formality.

Shelley’s eyes widened when she saw Woodrow enter the room. Woodrow was about 50 pounds overweight. He wore a bright yellow suit. Shelley thought, “What a clown!” She said, with a hint of sarcasm, “Nice suit, Woodrow.” Missing the sarcasm, Woodrow said, “Thanks. I got it on the sales rack.” Shelley thought, “I bet that suit was there for a long time before you bought it!”

Shelley made several assumptions about Woodrow when she saw him in the suit. First, she knew Woodrow lacked fashion sense. But second, she concluded he did not take himself or the situation seriously. The yellow suit made Woodrow look larger and less believable. Shelly found herself wanting the negotiation to be over quickly. She was afraid that she would laugh at his appearance if she stayed in the room with him. Whenever Shelley looked at Woodrow, all she could see was his suit.

Imagine Shelley’s reaction if Woodrow came in wearing a black suit. The black suit would have not made him look more obese and would lend some elegance to his appearance. Coupled with a white shirt, the combination of black and white would express purity and make Woodrow more credible and appealing.

Color invokes a mind-set. Shelley would not take Woodrow seriously when he wore a yellow suit. Suppose Shelley leaned away from Woodrow while saying, “Yellow! You know most serious people don’t wear yellow, especially yellow suits.” Note that this aggressive statement would have told Woodrow that he was out of alignment with his environment. Shelley shifted some positional power in her direction. She enhanced her positional power through her body language; she acted repelled by his outfit. “I tell you what, Woodrow, let’s reconvene tomorrow. I find myself unable to focus on our discussion. Your suit is blinding me.”

Positional power is the power anyone will have throughout the course of a negotiation. It ebbs and flows from one negotiator to the other based on the offer that’s been made, the value of the offer, and the intent of the positioning statements. Shelley used her positional power to control the negotiation and gain an advantage over Woodrow.

Let’s look at this from a different perspective. Let’s say Woodrow is a highly placed executive who had a momentary fashion lapse. He walked into the meeting wearing his yellow suit. There you are wearing your nicely tailored navy blue suit, white shirt, and red tie. You’re ready for this negotiation. You are set. “Bring it on” is the mind-set that you have. In walks this guy with a yellow suit on. He has the power to give you what you need for your business. You stare at him and swallow the comment you were about to make. You defer to his positional power and focus your gaze on his face, avoiding looking at his yellow suit.

Colors and Culture

In today’s world, you can be negotiating with a person from another country who comes from a radically different culture than yours. Consider the culture in which you are negotiating and adjust accordingly.

I wore a yellow velour shirt on my first day of junior high school. What a bad choice—one I remember years later! First of all, it was a hot day. Velour is a heavy material. Yellow really makes you stand out. I remember the older kids teased me by calling me a canary. They did so because in that culture it was not cool to stand out, especially by wearing yellow. Very few boys actually wore yellow.

In my desire to be accepted, I put myself outside of their boundaries and thus the same thing occurs when people are considering how they will negotiate in a particular culture. You can go anywhere in the world and find the two prominent colors that people use are black and white. If you are going to be negotiating based on someone’s cultural background, understand if black has special meaning, such as evil. Knowing this will help you avoid wearing black. You might want to wear blue if that’s more acceptable in that environment.

When I was in my mid-30s, my kids bought a shirt for me for Father’s Day. The shirt had wide stripes of yellow, orange, green, and red. While wearing the shirt, I happened to walk by one guy and the guy said to me “Hey, that’s really nice.” I thought, “Okay.” I was puzzled and kept walking. I happened to pass another guy and he said, “You know it’s nice that you’re not afraid to wear your colors.” I thought, “What is he talking about? Not being afraid to wear my colors?” I finally understood based on the environment that I was in that these men assumed I was gay.

If I was negotiating in that culture and I had intentionally put that shirt on, I would have sent a message of, “I’m just like you.” I would be creating an internal bonding process just by the colors that I had on. I would also be sending the signal that I was not afraid to be recognized for what I was if I were gay and had those colors on. That would influence the negotiation based on that culture.

I’ve described the impact of a man wearing a yellow suit and a woman wearing a green suit jacket with black slacks. Here are additional considerations for selecting your clothes. Know the environment in which you are negotiating and the message that you wish to send. As an example, I shared the strategy of entering a gay environment wearing clothes that would show alignment with the culture.

The same thing is true if you happen to be negotiating in an environment where you’re an artist. You believe someone needs to perceive you as having the background that you possess in order to be more believable and more authentic.

Recall Adam, who was wearing a bright flowered shirt on his way to a business meeting to get a loan for his business. Adam did not follow my advice to stop at the menswear store. When he walked into the conference room, right away he saw a display of emotion on Ivan’s face, who was a conservative banker. Adam read microexpressions that he interpreted as surprise and contempt, as well as dismissal. “You don’t like my shirt?” he asked. Ivan dishonestly replied, “It is fine. Everything is good.”

Suppose Ivan answered truthfully: “It’s not what we normally see people wear when they’re looking for such a substantial loan for their business.” Now that Adam has drawn out the truth, he can explain, “As an artist I wear bright colors to express the creativity that I have.”

Adam has worn the appropriate clothing for the discipline that he’s involved in but the wrong clothes for the banker’s world. He used his observation of microexpressions and body language to attempt to repair the damage. He scrambled to shift Ivan’s mind-set and to establish positional power by helping Ivan see why Adam wore the flowered shirt.

You are standing in front of your closet the night before a critical negotiation, contemplating what you will wear the next day. Understand the environment in which you are going to be in and the impact of the colors you choose. To what degree are they aligned with the environment, the concepts of acceptable clothing choices, and the values of the other people present? Consider what you are trying to accomplish based on the mind-set of your opponent. You should be able to anticipate the impact colors have and the meaning that they have to that individual.

Consider the nature of the industry in which you are negotiating and the status of the other negotiator. How liberal or conservative is the industry? What do people usually wear who work within that industry? If you’re going into a 9:00 to 5:00 banking environment, one that is conservative, you would not walk into that environment with a bright suit on because you would not be perceived as being serious. Knowing that, it would behoove you to go in wearing muted colors of navy, gray, or black. Be very aware of what environment you’re going into. It is not helpful to your success as a negotiator to allow your clothes to act as an obstacle to achieving what you want during a negotiation.

Colors and Weight

When I was a kid, I went to the circus. I was always amazed at how the guy would accurately guess someone’s weight before that person stood on a scale. One day I asked him, “How do you do it? What is the factor that helps you predict someone’s weight?” “It’s the colors they wear,” he told me. “If people have on bright colors I will usually take away about five to 10 pounds, depending on my estimate of their size. If they have on dark colored clothes, I will usually add five or 10 pounds to my estimate.”

I never forgot that simply because I realized he was adjusting his estimate based on colors; that’s the influence that colors have on your appearance.

As any dieter knows, the colors you wear may make your body appear larger or smaller. You will notice when people want to look very elegant and slimmer they’ll wear black. There are times when you want to appear smaller; you will wear darker colors to a negotiation. If you want to appear to be larger, you will wear lighter colors.

Once I was with a client who had on a blouse and suit jacket that were a little too tight for her body size. Her blouse was a very bright pink. She and I were talking about how we would be able to negotiate rates for bringing consultants into her business.

I kept noticing she was really uncomfortable. She repeatedly tried to pull her suit jacket over her blouse. She could not close her jacket. When I tried to narrow down the rate I would charge for my services, I watched her squirm. Initially I thought she was squirming because of the rate I proposed. I quickly came to understand through her body language that it wasn’t the rate at all. I did that by testing a bracketed rate system. (A bracketed rate is the lowest rate I know I’d be able to accept to address her engagement and not lose money. In a negotiation you should always have a bracketed system in mind to indicate when you’re at the high end of the bracket (i.e., the most you expected) and when you’re at the low end (i.e., your walkaway point). The middle of that system is your sweet spot—one where you and the opposing negotiator should have the greatest possibility of being in agreement.)

What I realized was that it was the tightness of the clothes and the brightness of her blouse that was influencing her reactions. She was distracted by her clothing; that came through in her body language.

I’ve shared a little bit about clothing and picking out clothing while thinking ahead to the strategy you wish to project in a negotiation. Your body size and type should influence the clothes you’re planning to wear.

Gauging Reactions to Colors

Keep in mind that some people are color blind and cannot recognize certain colors. But for the rest of the population, you can read body language to get insight into how someone perceives the colors you have on. Just watch microexpressions, such as eye movement, when you first enter into his environment.

✵ Does he give you a casual glance up and down?

✵ Do his eyes actually dilate?

✵ If so, what does that mean?

These microexpressions might mean the person likes the color combination that you have on. This gives you a clue as to how you might be able to negotiate with that person based on the colors that you have on.

Changing Your Colors during a Negotiation

Think about a negotiation you have been in when a person takes off a suit jacket. For example, Jeremy and Anita were attorneys who were negotiating to settle a personal injury suit. Jeremy was wearing a gray tailored jacket. As they hit an impasse in the negotiation, Jeremy took off his jacket to expose a white shirt. Anita watched the change in colors and pondered its meaning. She considered the timing and reason for Jeremy removing his jacket. Why was he prompted to do so, and what was the message he was sending? For example, earlier in the chapter I shared that the white shirt displays innocence and purity. Anita wondered, “Is Jeremy trying to project an air of innocence? Is he sending a subliminal message of, ‘I’m pure. I’m really open to the statement that you’ve just made’”?

Anita speculated, “Why did he take off his jacket at this point in the discussion? Is he really getting too hot also?” Anita thought, “This is a signal I should watch Jeremy more closely.” She observed Jeremy to rub his eye, meaning, “I don’t want to see this offer.” Then he tugged at his collar. She wondered, “He could be saying, ‘This is really making me hot under the collar.’” The removal of Jeremy’s jacket caused Anita to watch his body language to add to her interpretation of why he took his jacket off and the meaning of the white shirt.

Consider the timing of the jacket’s removal. Jeremy took it off when they hit an impasse. Was he saying, “Let me get down to work, roll up my sleeves, and dig into this negotiation so we can come up with a reasonable number”? Was he saying, “You can trust me. You see my white shirt, which is depicting purity and cleanliness. It’s also depicting the fact that I can be trusted. There’s safety in what I’m saying. You know you want to accept my offer, don’t you”?

In addition to the thoughts Anita had about why Jeremy exposed his white shirt, she could have also considered if he was signaling surrender since he’d also tugged at his collar, and rubbed his eye. Take note of such signals when you’re in a negotiation. If you’re unsure as to a meaning at one point, pay attention to the signals that follow. The additional insight will help you validate what you’d sensed earlier.

You’re in the middle of the negotiation and you have shifted your perspective. How do you use colors that you wear to reflect that change? One day you wear a conservative navy blue suit. At the end of the day you are not satisfied with the progress of the negotiation. The next day you wear a white suit. Your adversary asked you, “Are you okay?” “Why do you ask?” you respond. “Because you have on that white suit and it’s not the norm.” You reply, “Oh I’m feeling good. As a matter of fact, yesterday’s negotiation went so well I thought I would just brighten things up.”

Is that sarcasm? It is dependent upon how things went yesterday, but you’ve shaken up the dynamics. You have changed your outfit completely and gone in the opposite color direction from what you had on the previous day. You are sending a nonverbal signal of the fact that you have mentally changed: “Expect different techniques from me today.”

Take into consideration all of these nuances to project body language signals during a negotiation.

Environmental Colors

As you have seen, colors influence the thoughts and strategies of negotiators. Note how you feel when you walk into a drab room. Bright colors stimulate you. Isabel was meeting with Homer to discuss providing a series of training sessions for his sales force. They were sitting in Homer’s office, which had black walls. “Why am I having such trouble thinking of how to structure this deal?” Isabel wondered. “I’d hate to work in this office. It is like a cave!” Although Isabel was unaware the drab environment was stifling her creativity, she knew she wanted to escape the room. “Homer, do you think we could move to your conference room so I might be able to spread out my proposal?” Isabel felt an immediate lift in her mood when she moved into the brightly lit conference room.

Although black clothing may convey elegance, black can also symbolize death, evil, and mystery. Black walls can be depressing. When Isabel thought about that room, she wondered if Homer deliberately had negotiations in his office to control the tone of the discussion. The colors in the room may have a direct impact on the flow of the negotiation.

Testing Assumptions about Colors

You might for strategic reasons draw attention to the other negotiator’s clothing by asking questions. It can be helpful to understand how the other person perceives colors based on his culture and body size. Let’s say you are negotiating with Darin and have a two-day negotiation planned. Darin enters the room on the first of two days; he is wearing a yellow suit. You might assume Darin is wearing a yellow suit because he is oblivious to how heavy it makes him look. Test this by saying, “I’ve noticed that you’re wearing a nice yellow suit today. Tell me, how do you feel when you wear it?”

Darin replies, “It makes me feel sharper.” You ask, “What do you mean by sharper?” “It makes me think clearer. It makes me feel as though I have more energy,” Darin clarifies.

Whatever Darin says enables you to decode his perspective of what he’s wearing at that particular time. If, on the other hand, Darin says, “I like to wear yellow suits because I really don’t really care what people think. I’m my own individual. I do what I want because I’m the one who blazes new trails for others to follow.”

You’re able to decode the fact that Darin does not care about how other people might judge him for wearing yellow. He likes the color and is going to wear it regardless of what others think. In deciding to test your assumptions about Darin, you go further: “Yellow is an unusual choice for businessmen who want to be perceived as serious.” Darin gives you a blank stare.

Darin told you how he felt about his yellow suit on the first day of your two-day negotiation. On the second day, Darin came to the negotiation table wearing a different yellow suit. He heard what you said. You gave him your input. His nonverbal statement in this case said, “I told you before that I am of the mind-set that I’m a leader. I don’t care what others think. Yellow is a color I like and I’m going to wear it.” You’ve decoded the fact now and verified it not only through Darin’s body language and nonverbal responses that he is someone who is different.

Having heard your message, suppose Darin came back the second day wearing a charcoal gray suit, yellow tie, and white shirt. Now you know you have altered his perspective; he has changed his mind-set about the appropriateness of what he should wear. You’ve also tested his assumptions about his freedom as a leader to wear whatever he wanted. Now his nonverbal message is, “I heard what you said. I rethought it. I realize I could have more impact if I fall in line with your expectations. I am willing to change.”

Darin’s willingness to change shows how open he is to change; this has implications for your strategies during the negotiation. You’ve learned that when challenged, Darin backs down. You take note of Darin’s changes based on the colors that he was wearing and that he wore a darker-colored suit on the second day. You know that you’ve truly influenced him and caused him to alter his perspective.

Lest I mislead you, remember that you could make all kinds of assumptions about color that could be wrong. Keep in mind that unusual color choices or clothing may not be deliberately made. You might be putting too much stock into your interpretation of a color combination when literally the person stood in front of his closet and grabbed the first thing that was at hand before coming to that negotiation. I have seen people in color combinations or clothing that were unusual at best. I stood behind a woman in a line at an airport gate who had put on her shirt backwards. It had a little pocket that was over her back instead of in the front.

Even if someone has on a black suit with a white shirt and a yellow tie, it’s a different mind-set than the person who has on a yellow suit with a white shirt and a black tie. Yellow has become the predominant color with that suit being a larger piece of clothing.

Let’s say the person has on orange, black, green, and purple. You think to yourself that the person is color blind. You might also speculate that the person doesn’t care how he looks and if you make that assumption, you then carry that over to what else might he not really care about. There is a danger in making assumptions based not only on the color combinations that people wear but how they look in those color combinations. Some people look better even if they have on the same color combinations if they’re wearing vertical versus horizontal stripes. When that’s the case you have to give thought to what was he thinking in wearing that garment. Exotic color combinations can be very distracting when you’re actually in a negotiation.

Decoding the Meaning of Colors

As I have mentioned up to this point, several factors influence the meaning of color, including culture, occupation, and status. Here are some generalizations about colors.


Red is associated with energy, but it’s also paired with war, danger, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, and love. You may have heard of prostitution in a “red-light district.”

Most people first think of power when they consider the color red. Earlier in this chapter I mentioned the red tie as part of a power suit. You’ve heard of the power suit or the power outfit, and it usually has red associated with it. Red is a dominating color. Men are definitely drawn from a psychological perspective toward red more so than women. It’s part of the makeup of men.

A group of researchers experimented with the impact of red in drawing attention to an object. They put a dollar bill on the ground and watched as people walked by to see who would pick the dollar bill up. Nine out of 10 people who walked past the dollar bill picked it up. The researchers changed the conditions by putting a red line down on the ground, and then placed the dollar bill right beside the red line. The exact opposite happened. Ten people would go by the dollar bill; one would pick it up and the other nine would bypass it.

When the people who bypassed it were asked why, initially some said, “I don’t know. There was something that wasn’t right with bending over and picking up that dollar bill.” After the researchers suggested that maybe the red line had something to do with it, the research subjects said, “You know, now that you’re saying that, I guess I was sensing danger. It’s a trick, something was not right.” Red has that ability to influence people.


Orange originates from red and yellow. In so doing, the color of orange actually takes on some of the properties of red’s energy aspect and it takes on the property of the joy of yellow. It also has the connotation of the tropics. Orange is associated with gaiety, happiness, and the fun environment of tropical surroundings. Orange has the power to put you into a mood, a mind-set, whereby you feel a little happier than you normally would. You will wear such colors in the summertime, you’ll notice. Orange is associated with nice weather. You don’t see people walking around a lot in the winter with orange on, although they may wear orange during the autumn harvest season.


Sunshine yellow invokes not only joy and happiness, but it also represents intellect and energy. We all know how much energy comes from the sun. Yellow injects that perspective into your mind-set. People in an environment with a lot of yellow tend to get more excited. You might not want to put somebody with whom you are negotiating in a yellow room if you want to avoid excitement.


Green is paired with money, nature, fertility, growth, and harmony. Green is associated with freshness. It’s vibrant, healthy, and good for you. You may have heard of the green grocer who sells fresh food.


Blue is associated with stability, trust, and loyalty. I have mentioned blue throughout this chapter. Blue has the connotation of someone who is wise, confident, smart, honest, and faithful. “I’ll be true blue to her.” You may have heard that expression in the past; blue conveys such sentiments because of its attributes.


I love purple. Not only from a branding perspective does it convey energy, but it also has the components of blue from which energy stems, which is also found in the colors of red and orange.

Along with that energy aspect, purple symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It is associated with royalty.

When I considered making purple part of my brand it was because I liked the color without fully understanding about the characteristics associated with it and its impact on others. The more I learned what certain colors meant, I understood why it had that effect on me. I am ambitious and I like nice things in life. People have told me that I’m powerful in certain situations. The color happens to denote exactly those characteristics about me.

Consider how people can incorporate a color into clothing. When I negotiate, I often wear a dark-colored suit, a white shirt, and always a purple tie. Think about what that is saying from a color combination perspective. The dark-colored suit is emanating power and elegance while the purple tie is radiating energy, power, and nobility. I’ll usually have on a white shirt and a white handkerchief in my jacket pocket, or one that is a combination of purple or white. I send out that cohesive signal of radiating power, nobility, purity, and energy in so doing.


White is associated with goodness, innocence, and purity. It also symbolizes safety along with cleanliness, and it has the added value of depicting faith. A bride wears white on her wedding day to symbolize the purity that she possesses. In most societies, white is good and black is not so good. The guy with the white hat in the United States is always depicted as the hero. The guy in the black hat is always the villain.


Black indicates power, elegance, and formality. It also indicates death, evil, and mystery. We associate black with death and mourning. People wear black to a funeral to convey grief. Men have to be very cautious about wearing an all-black outfit. A black suit and black shirt has a criminal connotation. All black has more of an indication of death, evil, and mystery than if you lightened it up by wearing some of the other accessory colors. The body language signal that you’re actually sending if you had on all black would be one of “Caution! Don’t get too close to me. You don’t know what I might be up to.” That’s the mystery aspect. Conversely, a woman who dresses in all black might be viewed as sophisticated.

You’ll also notice when police officers or the National Guard are in a situation where they have to put down a riot they will have on all-black garb because that’s intimidating. Can you imagine if they had on all pink or all yellow? That might be another way to put down a riot because people would be laughing so much that they wouldn’t be able to do anything else. Therein lies the different color schemes and the influence that such can actually have in a negotiation or any other environment in which you find yourself in.

Combatting Distracting Colors

Earlier, I shared two examples of how to avoid being manipulated by distracting colors: You decided to look at your opponent instead of at his yellow suit. Isabel asked Homer if they could move to a brightly lit conference room to get out of a black-walled office. These negotiators were aware of the impact of the colors in the environment.

This chapter is designed to help you understand what colors typically mean. But you can deliberately tune out the connotations of colors and assign your own meaning. Suppose you said to yourself, “Wait a minute. Look at these guys in their suits and ties. I’m going to be as strident as I wish to be and go against the grain by wearing my bright suit. I’m not going to be manipulated by them at all.” You have to be aware of the risks associated with the degree you put yourself outside of the normal boundaries with such a mind-set. Nevertheless, you can do so to keep yourself from being manipulated by colors or people’s associations with colors.

There’s a politician that was a TV reality person at one time. He used his positional power to have his minions actually tell people how to interact with him, sometimes to the degree of what colors to wear before they met him. As an example, they told people, “Don’t shake his hand. He doesn’t like shaking hands with people.” The first thing the politician would do as soon as that person came into his environment was shake his hand. Right away that person would think, “Wait a minute, I was told he doesn’t like to shake hands.” The politician used this strategy to manipulate others.

If you are aware that certain color schemes occur in an environment, you can choose not to be manipulated by it. For example, Isabel could have said to herself, “I find Homer’s office dark. I will view it as restful instead of depressing.”

In Summary

Always consider the negotiation environment that you are going to be in and how different color schemes are perceived. Think through why you should wear a certain color scheme in a particular environment. I hope I have emphasized why you should never randomly select clothes from your closet before an important negotiation.

Do you wish to send the signal of being self-reliant and not necessarily one that follows the lead of others? If so, you may think about wearing the exact opposite colors that would be the norm for such an environment.

The colors of clothing and a room send messages that influence a negotiation. Harness this knowledge to control your appearance and observe the other negotiator’s clothing. By being aware of the role of colors, you can deliberately send messages to others, as well as recognize the messages others are sending to you.

Be aware of the signals colors actually send and how they influence you from a body language perspective. Your effectiveness as a negotiator is based in part on the image you project and how you wear your power. The better you feel based on the colors that you have on, the more likely you will complete a successful negotiation.