Triggers: Discovering the Hot Buttons that Stimulate Emotions - Body Language Secrets to Win More Negotiations - Greg Williams, Pat Iyer

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

Chapter 6. Triggers: Discovering the Hot Buttons that Stimulate Emotions

Allen Carter ushered his opponent, Terrence Titler, into the private dining room at his exclusive club room at the racetrack. As the waiter hovered over them, Allen ordered an expensive bottle of wine and said, “Terrence, feel free to order anything you like.” At every opportunity, Allen exuded an air of wealth.

Terrence came to the meeting with the intent of buying Allen’s racehorse. Terrence’s business was shaky, but he believed that he would attract more clients if he owned a racehorse. He knew that once he had a horse, he would be welcome in the rarified world of horse racing. Surely, business would improve once he was part of that set.

At the conclusion of the meal, Allen and Terrence began negotiating the price of the horse. Allen allowed a hint of condescension to creep into his voice. “Of course you know, Terrence, taking care of a horse involves feed, training, and vet bills. Are you sure you are prepared for the expense?” As Terrence sat up straighter, he took a deep breath and said, “Absolutely! It will be no problem at all.” He then made an offer for the horse that was more than he could afford, but with that kind of challenge, how could he back down?

Personality Traits

Terrence and Allen displayed common personality traits. People generally display characteristics of one of four personality types. Knowing this directly affects the way you negotiate. The four personality types are coordinator, investigator, trendsetter, and relater.

The coordinator is an organized, passionate, creative, and motivated person. She is calm and flexible, someone who likes to have fun.

The investigator is intense. She’s more cerebral than intuitive. She also relies more heavily on her perceptive skills. The investigator tends to have somewhat of an innovative mind-set. These individuals tend to be very secretive and somewhat isolated and cautious about trusting someone.

The trendsetter is social, charming, energetic, and comfortable in almost any situation in which she finds herself. If she is not comfortable, she seeks ways to increase her comfort. This is a person you’ll see happily networking in a social situation; she makes connections very easily. She is outgoing and radiates attractiveness while admiring others and easily adapting to new environments. She is easily able to influence others.

The relater is a problem solver. She is self-motivated, engaging, honest, and has a high level of integrity. The relater has the tenacity to get the job done. This individual is detail oriented and builds connections within networks, paying attention to the power people.

Anyone can shift among the four personality traits based on their needs and the situation. Terrence wanted to buy Allen’s horse; he was projecting the position of a relator. He wanted to build connections to power people within the racetrack world. He was motivated to improve his business. He was engaging with Allen because he determined he was going to get Allen to sell him the horse because of how the horse would be a benefit to his overall business activities.

Allen was displaying the traits of a trendsetter; he was social; the racetrack was his world. He had to be somewhat charming and display energy so that Terrence would feel comfortable with him.


Allen allowed a hint of condescension to creep into his voice when he asked, “Of course you know, Terrence, taking care of a horse involves feed, training, and vet bills. Are you sure you are prepared for the expense?” This question served as a trigger in provoking a reaction out of Terrence. Allen was eliciting any type of body language gesture that might reveal if Terrence was somewhat uneasy about the money he would need to spend on the horse. Allen’s positioning provoked a trigger that would do two things: First, it would make Terrence somewhat uneasy as he contemplated, “How much is this going to cost?” At the same time, from a negotiation perspective, he was setting Terrence up for the expectation that buying the horse was going to cost a lot more than he might be willing to spend. The implicit challenge was, “Are you man enough?” (This specific challenge has caused people to undertake all kinds of risk, from smart to foolhardy.) Nevertheless, it’s an excellent way to position yourself at the beginning of a negotiation. By watching the body language response of the opposing negotiator, you gain insight into what he thinks of your attempts to position him.

Allen created an environment to underscore the challenge to Terrence’s manhood. He held the negotiation in an extremely upscale environment because he recognized Terrence’s craving to improve his status. The positioning was designed to set up Terrence to pay more for the horse than he planned. Imagine the same conversation in the stable surrounded by horse manure.

Purpose of Triggers

Triggers are a way to invoke a mind-set in the other negotiator so that you can manipulate him into an advantageous position for yourself. Therefore you need to understand the value of triggers and to what degree you use them. Allen used a trigger with Terrence of stressing the cost of owning a horse. That challenged Terrence’s ego and the image he wanted to project. The negotiation became a matter of saving face.

When I was a teenager, my friend dared me to speak to girls our age. That was a challenge, a trigger, to make me say, “I accept your challenge.” Triggers are used in a lot of situations to test others or change their mind-set about how they might do something.

Triggers versus Hot Buttons

Hot buttons are situations that I define as those that may make somebody lose control, and thus are dangerous. As an example, I used to get very angry if someone cut in front of me when I was a younger driver. The trigger is being cut off. The hot button is the reaction of getting angry. Suppose you were raised to believe that it is rude to interrupt another person who is talking. Imagine yourself engaged in a negotiation where you have a lot at stake. Your irritation is growing because of the many obstacles in your path. You feel your irritation turn to anger. Then your opponent interrupts you. The trigger of being interrupted sets off the hot button reaction.

Sometimes triggers will invoke hot buttons. Here’s the point of the usefulness of triggers and hot buttons: You may use triggers to manipulate someone’s hot button. Then you know how to control them mentally. Allen used a trigger of discussing the cost of the horse’s care to hit Terrence’s hot button of wanting to be a man with an air of success.

Look for the effectiveness of triggers by reading body language. Is the other negotiator tugging at his collar? You now know there’s a trigger at work. Watch body language to gain valuable insight by understanding the other negotiator’s mind-set, motivation, and the trigger that provokes a hot button. You can then invoke that trigger to cause the same reaction later in the negotiation.

Negotiation Triggers

Allen taunted Terrence to make sure that he would step up to the challenge of owning a horse. There are other negotiation triggers: fear, anger, desire to be comfortable, desire to be trusted, complacency, and the threat of loss. There are many more triggers depending upon the type of individual that you’re dealing with.

Once you understand the person’s motivation, you know how to manipulate the situation and which triggers and hot buttons to use.

Suppose your opponent values being comfortable. As we’ve discussed in a previous chapter, the limbic system is focused on maintaining comfort. Create discomfort through triggers to stimulate the other person to seek comfort. You can use a trigger to keep him in that uncomfortable state for as long as that purpose serves you. Then allow him to escape that environment to a more comfortable one so that he is rewarded for making concessions. Remember how in Chapter 3 I discussed using the temperature of a room to make people uncomfortable?

Consider the power of urgency as a trigger. For example, Norman and Vivian were both interested in buying a property. They got into a bidding war with each other. The real estate agent was in the middle between the two people. He said, “I need to have your decision by 5:00 today because I have another person who’s put in a bid for this house. I’m not allowed to tell you what that amount is, so come up with your best offer.”

Urgency in this case served as a trigger, but only to the degree that the opposing party believed it to be. I’m making a distinction about the usage of triggers, especially as it relates to urgency in this particular case. Norman thought, “Okay, let’s see what happens. I’m not going to move. I’m not going to budge at all.” Vivian raised her offer, which the owner accepted. Norman lost the deal and realized, “The next time this real estate agent says something about there being a sense of urgency (the trigger), I better believe it.”

Use the wrong trigger at the wrong time and you can get penalized. As an example, in the situation mentioned with Norman and Vivian, the trigger of urgency and time was used to entice both to make a better offer. The trigger worked with Vivian and thus she increased her offer. Norman didn’t believe the urgency that was being invoked and made no movement. With Vivian, the sense of urgency was the right trigger used at the right time; for Norman, because he didn’t necessarily believe there was another offer, it was the wrong trigger at the wrong time.

Always be aware of the situation in which you use triggers. Plan how to use triggers at specific points in the negotiation to have the best-possible outcomes.

Triggers with Personality Types

Personalities will respond differently to triggers. Consider the real estate deal Vivian won. Vivian was a coordinator. She responded well to the trigger of urgency. Coordinators are passionate, creative, calm, and usually flexible. The sense of urgency might disrupt the calmness that person will normally feel in any environment. Vivian really wanted that property and was unsettled at the chance she might lose the deal. She quickly moved to revise her offer because she became uncomfortable with the idea of losing. The trigger of urgency moved her into action.

Consider how the investigator might react to urgency. That type of person is someone who is somewhat secretive, isolated, and intense. Norman was an investigator. He needed concrete information—proof that the counteroffer was real. The real estate agent used the same trigger, the sense of urgency, with this individual. Norman thought, “Is the agent trying to manipulate me? I bet there is no other buyer. Let me see what happens.” Urgency had no effect on him. Know the triggers that work with personality types; know when to apply them.

The hot button for the coordinator is disruption of her calmness. That person is not going to feel comfortable in a situation with a sense of urgency that you’ve invoked. She likes to stay in a calm environment. Suppose the coordinator-type person sat in front of you. You might observe body language revealing her discomfort: rubbing her hands to comfort herself, fidget, or play with objects in the room. She will tell you through these actions about her level of comfort. Your role is to guide the other person to feel a level of discomfort so you can guide her toward comfort. If you were in the role of real estate agent, you’d say, “You will be more comfortable and increase the chance of getting this property if you make your best offer.” Influence your opponent through skillful use of hot buttons and triggers. They’ll direct you to know exactly how to assist her in achieving what she wants.

Vivian is a trendsetter. You should display a lot of energy because that’s the trendsetter’s preferred environment. She senses a subliminal message based on your level of energy. You might say, “You really should increase your offer right now if you want to get this property” instead of the lower-key message, “Maybe you might think about upping your offer if you really want to get this property.”

The reason I stress the level of energy is to emphasize the trigger of your tone—the pace and volume of your speech. Use it to convey the level of energy that you have and connect with the personality type of the person to whom you are speaking. Don’t use the same level of energy with an investigator. Remember, he’s already secretive; high energy scares him. He may back off in fear, wondering, “What is this person really trying to do? Why is she trying to rush me?” His personality type becomes a little more skeptical and thus you would not want to use high energy in such a situation.

When Personality Types Team Up

Barry and Kaitlyn Samples leased cars from the same dealer for over 20 years. Their pattern was to sign three-year leases and to turn the car over at the end of that period. After they moved out of state, their car lease was up so they approached a dealer in their new town to turn in the leased car and obtain a new model. After signing all the paperwork, Kaitlyn picked up the new car. She grimaced when she drove out of the lot—the car was missing an important safety feature on which she relied to avoid collisions. “I was sure Barry asked for that,” she thought. She called the dealer when she got home and said she needed to switch the car for one with the feature. Boyd McCormick, the manager of the car dealership, said, “I don’t think I can do that. Let me check.” He called Kaitlyn back and said, “I talked to the Finance Division. They said once you signed the paperwork, you committed to taking that car.”

Kaitlyn was a relator, a problem solver with a lot of social connections. She would not accept “no” as an answer. She called the Finance Division, who knew nothing about the problem Kaitlyn described. Barry got involved. He was an investigator—a person who was cautious about trusting the general manager. Barry called the North American headquarters of the car manufacturer. After describing his long history of leasing cars made by the automobile manufacturer, he received an apology for what occurred. Next, Barry called Boyd. The manager was very friendly, called him by his first name, but still balked at switching the car. Barry discussed the calls he had made and finished with, “You know my wife is big into social media,” and he paused. Boyd was silent for a moment, and then said, “Mr. Samples, we’ll take care of switching the car. Please tell your wife to share on social media that we did what was necessary in order to satisfy your needs.” The couple got the car they wanted.

What were the factors that led to this outcome? Barry’s investigator personality resulted in him doing his homework and using the chain of command within the car company to get to the top. He was suspicious about why the dealership manager would not change cars. As he listened to the manager attempt to deflect his wish for a different car, he found out Boyd did not want to accept the car back because it was not a commonly leased car model. Boyd said he did not want to get stuck with it. Barry concluded the story about the Finance Division was just that—a story. He held this conclusion back.

When Barry confronted Boyd with the phone calls he made, he showed he did his homework and put Boyd on guard. Barry activated Boyd’s trigger that said, “Uh-oh, I’ve been caught.” That also pressed an invisible hot button in him that cried, “How do I extract myself from this situation? I have to save face.” Barry then applied more pressure to him with the statement, “My wife is very active in social media,” meaning “If you give me a raw deal, others will hear about it.”

Boyd was a coordinator. He was organized and motivated, usually calm. He wanted to solve the problem and make Barry stop complaining so calm would be restored. He realized, “I have a serious situation. How do I really get out of it and do so as gracefully as possible?”

Note that Boyd switched from calling Barry by his first name to his last name. The transformation indicated he had a different level of respect for Barry. There is a nonverbal display of respect when somebody formalizes any situation. It’s also somewhat like watching a change in body language. If you were looking at Boyd talking to Barry on the phone, you would have seen him sit up straighter, paying more attention. The coordinator personality was fearful of the storm that would follow a complaint on social media.

Was there any value in a direct confrontation with Boyd? Barry could have said, “You lied about talking to the Finance Division.” This accusation would have pushed Boyd’s hot button to create an uncomfortable environment until Boyd agreed to give Barry and Kaitlyn the car they wanted. However, Boyd agreed to switch cars without Barry needing to accuse him of lying. Barry knew he needed Boyd in the future, since he ran the only car dealership of this kind in the town.

If this discussion took place in person instead of over the phone, Barry would have paused and allowed Boyd to squirm until he gave in. Then Barry would have smiled, a nonverbal signal that indicated, “Thanks for agreeing to see things more my way.”

Boyd displayed his coordinator personality when he became calmer. He used creativity and diligence to locate the car the Samples wanted. He was motivated to resolve the issue. The Samples could have asked for more concessions as a result of the discomfort they experienced in going through the ordeal they had to endure to investigate the situation. Boyd would likely have been amenable to requests. If he said no, the Samples could have started the whole cycle again of putting him back into a state of discomfort. By doing so, they would have gone through the process until he said, “I’ll give you whatever you want to comfort you.”

Although Boyd gave the Samples what they wanted, he was not finished with the negotiation and was still unhappy at having to accept the original car back. A few days after the agreement about the swap, Barry stopped by the dealership to get the new car. Boyd told him, “If you spend only $15 more per month, over a six-year period of time you could buy this car.” Boyd’s hot button was trying to avoid getting stuck with the car. He was doing whatever he could to protect his position; the Samples were doing the same. Barry probed Boyd’s motives by saying, “Wait a minute. Whose interests are you considering here—ours or yours? It sounds like you’re just trying to position this deal such that you don’t get this car back. All you are concerned about is getting rid of the car. You are not concerned about my wishes at all. Is that what I’m to take away from this discussion, that you are not interested in my safety or what I want? Is this how your dealership deals with customers?”

Note how Barry used a trigger to make Boyd uncomfortable. Barry watched Boyd’s body language. Boyd placed a hand over his eyes. His body language said, “I don’t want to see this situation.” Then he covered his ear, indicating, “I don’t want to hear any more about it.” As he turned his head sideways, he was conveying, “I’m not going to take this on head on.”

If you’re talking on the phone to the other negotiator, listen to his voice to detect changes in inflection. You will gain insight as to whether a trigger is starting to lead to a hot button. Imagine the other negotiator saying to himself, “I’m going in the wrong direction again. Let me see how I can give him whatever he wants so I can get out of this uncomfortable situation.”

Use the power of probing to find out if a trigger will activate a hot button and cause discomfort. In so doing you get a lot more out of the negotiation. Keep applying pressure to cause more discomfort. Barry followed the subtle threat of “My wife is very big in the social media space” with a pause. He did not have to spell out the implication: “Treat me wrong if you want to, but a lot of people will hear about it.” The YouTube video of 2010, “United Breaks Guitars,” is an example of the power of social media, with over 15.5 million views, and undoubtedly caused United Airlines a lot of embarrassment.

Always know before you enter a negotiation how you can use triggers and hot buttons. Do your homework to find out about the person to whom you’re going to apply these strategies so you have a plan. Anticipate what you are going to do, how you’re going to implement certain aspects of your plan, and how you are going to maneuver around potential roadblocks. Definitely consider the use of triggers and hot buttons before you even get anywhere near the negotiation table.

Identifying the Personality Type of the Other Negotiator

Earlier in this chapter I identified the four personality types. How do you confirm which personality type you are dealing with when you are talking to the opposing negotiator? People switch back and forth between personality types all the time dependent upon how they feel, the situation that they’re in, and the level of comfort they’re experiencing. The coordinator can change to the investigator type, which can change to the trendsetter type, which can change to a relater type. One of the things that you do is to probe to see what characteristics are predominant during any point; use a trigger to invoke yet a different personality type.

Suppose you said in a jovial manner at the onset of a negotiation, “This is going to be a great experience today. Wouldn’t you agree?” The coordinator is calm, passionate, creative, and flexible. She likes to have fun. The coordinator will agree with you.

Let’s say you said the same thing in the same tone to a person you suspect is an investigator. That person is somewhat secretive and isolated. He thinks, “What is with all this happiness and gaiety? I need to find out what he is really up to and trying to do before I allow him in my space.” Watch the body language of the investigator as he sits with arms crossed and says, in a guarded manner. “Sure, it will be fun.” Remember, the body never lies. Pay attention to the crossed arms and defensive manner.

Expect the trendsetter to be more engaged and open to having such an interaction. Make her comfortable. Stress the social aspects of the discussion you are engaging her in, and offer her some networking opportunity as a reward after the negotiation is completed.

Observe for problem-solving skills in the relator. This person loves to solve problems and has a high level of integrity. If you accidentally misstate something during a negotiation, expect the relator to correct you, even if it is detrimental to her position.

Body Language to Stimulate Triggers

How do you use the tone of your voice and the pace to enhance a negotiation so that you’re achieving your outcomes? I walked into a store and wanted an item that was no longer on sale (it had ended two days before). I said to the salesperson, named Damian, “I would like to have this item.” Damian said, “No problem, sir.” Then I said, “I’d like to have it at the price it was listed for a few days ago.” Damian replied, “Sir, that sale ended.” I said leaning in toward him, “Yes, but you have the authority to give me that at the sales price, right?”

I used body language to nod my head in the affirmative, trying to get that person to follow me. I used tonality when I lowered my voice and also used the implied trigger of, “You are important.” That was the hidden meaning behind my words. Damian said, “No sir, actually I can’t give it to you at that price.” “Okay,” I replied and then I stepped forward. Again in that confident voice, leaning toward him, I inquired, “Why can’t you give it to me?” Damian responded, “Sir, I’m just not allowed to.”

Here’s a negotiation tactic that you always need to employ when you’re seeking something. If someone says he can’t get it for you, you communicate the assumption that somebody can. Thus I said in the same type of voice, “Who can?” Damian said, “If anybody, my manager can.” I said, “May I please speak to your manager?” I said that with a higher sense of authority in my voice. I was using tonality to indicate I’m somebody to be reckoned with as opposed to “Oh okay, well may I please speak to the manager?” I knew this individual would go back to his manager.

Damian went to the back of the store and said to Noel, his manager, “There’s a crazy guy out front. He wants this item at the price it was on sale for a few days ago and I told him I can’t do it.” Noel replied, “Why are you coming to me?” Damian admitted, “I told him you might be able to help him.” Rolling his eyes, Noel sighed and walked to the front of the store. In a dismissive tone, he said to me, “Sir, the sale ended several days ago.”

I replied, “So you mean to tell me that you are not empowered to satisfy a customer.” I exactly matched his tone. This invoked a trigger: “He is just like me. People tend to like people who are like themselves. By matching his tonality I set off the trigger that he likely was not even aware of that conveyed: “Okay, this guy and I are on the same page.”

Here’s another tactic I employed when he made the statement that the sale had already ended. I challenged him and that was the trigger that I invoked in him. Here he was standing in front of his employee and made to appear to be belittled because he did not have the power to satisfy me. I took note of the fact that Damian looked at Noel in a side glance, meaning “You really don’t have that level of power?”

Remember, I used the trigger of “Are you powerless?” which also pressed a hot button in Noel to say “Wait a minute. I’ve got to stand up for my manhood in front of my employee.” The manager capitulated by responding, “Of course I can give you this at the sales price.” That’s the way you could use your tone and pace to enhance your message.

The four personality types respond differently to tone and pace of messages. For example, think of the coordinator as a person who is organized, motivated, passionate, creative, calm, and flexible, and likes to have fun. With the coordinator type, you may start the negotiation by saying, “This is going to be so much fun. When we reach this agreement we are going to have so much fun. We will remember it for a lifetime. I’ll tell you something else, it’s going to allow us to be more creative with the way we craft the outcome of this experience. If we have to be flexible in so doing, I’m sure that you and I together can truly handle it.”

What message have I just shared? I used certain words that resonate with the traits of the individual that reinforce the fact that I’m aligned with the way this person thinks. Remember what I shared earlier: People like people who are like themselves. At the same time, I’ve reassured this individual without threatening her that things are going to work out well because we’ll be flexible. We will adapt to any changes that come up.

Can you imagine the tone of voice I used in that message? If you are thinking “upbeat,” you are right. My voice was lighthearted, friendly, and enthusiastic when I talked about the fun of the negotiation. I did not convey that the negotiation would be serious, demanding, or upsetting. The coordinator wants to be calm. If you get too excited and get her too excited, you can put her in a state of discomfort. Be cautious in keeping a balance between fun and excitement.

Reckoning with Your Own Triggers and Hot Buttons

So far I have shared how you can use the other negotiator’s hot buttons and triggers. The astute negotiator is also observing how you react. What are your triggers and hot buttons? How do you respond when the other negotiator is honing in on your own triggers and hot buttons, and is attempting to control the negotiation by using them?

Know your triggers and hot buttons. For example,

✵ Do you believe you should always get the best possible deal? (Have you ever seen a person who is so focused on saving money that he drives 20 minutes to return batteries to a store because he found them somewhere else for 2 cents less? I have.)

✵ Do you believe that for every negotiation there has to be a clear winner and clear loser?

✵ Do you find that when other people make certain assumptions about you based on the way you look, you react to set them straight?

✵ Is dismissiveness or condescension a hot button that makes you fight back?

✵ Do you get angry when you are interrupted?

✵ Do you get angry when you feel your time is being wasted?

✵ Does being put on hold for several long minutes make you angry even before your phone call negotiation begins?

Earlier in this chapter I shared that other drivers cutting me off activated my hot button and made me angry. Realizing I would react in such a situation, I knew not to let that trigger cause me to react in that manner. I had to become aware of it and want to change my behavior.

Knowing that the other negotiator will use some of your hot buttons and triggers against you means heightening your awareness and preparing how you’re going to react in such situations. Consider reacting in the opposite manner than the negotiator expects. This will throw her off and disrupt what she planned to do in the negotiation. The investigator will be suspicious about why you gave an unexpected response. “What’s he trying to pull off?” he’ll wonder. The relator will go into problem-solving mode while the trendsetter will be uncomfortable with your response and will strive to become more comfortable. The flexible coordinator will likely be most successful in dealing with your unexpected response.

Giving unexpected responses is one way to combat the other negotiator’s usage of your triggers against you. At the same time, use a trigger against her while she’s in a state of confusion wondering why you did not act the way that you were supposed to. Confront the issue head on: “Why did you think I’d act like that?” Say it in a condescending manner, pushing her back on her proverbial heels. When she responds with, “Oh I didn’t mean anything by it,” you reply: “Oh, yes you did.” Your voice would display the mild antagonism taking on the traits of a somewhat secretive investigator. What does she do next?

✵ Does she back down as you become more intense?

✵ Does she appear to stumble in her pace?

✵ Does she make more concessions?

✵ How does her body language change?

Observe your opponent’s body language, tone, and pace to determine to what degree your behavior is helping you achieve the goal of the negotiation. But even moreso, control her use of triggers against you and the hot button issues that she thought would cause you to react in a certain way. Sometimes, a strong offense weakens a strong defense.

Now take note. I said before that you should always know what those triggers and hot buttons are. Be aware that negotiators use red herrings. These are items in a negotiation that have the appearance of value but you are willing to forego in order to achieve something else. Red herrings have little value to you but great perceived value to the other negotiator. Use them to trigger the “I want it” factor in the other negotiator, which becomes nothing more than a trigger to cause her to salivate at the thought of quenching her desire. Be on guard for the red herrings that others offer you; don’t get deflected by them.

In Summary

Develop a keen understanding of the priorities in a negotiation. What do you want out of it? What triggers do you need to use to achieve those goals? What body language signals do you anticipate you and your opponent will use?

Look at the best- and worst-case scenarios. By having those outcomes in mind you will understand where you are at any one point in the negotiation based on the body language signals that you’ve actually received. Observe reactions to triggers—do they enhance or impede the negotiation? Use them to get more of what you want. To the degree they don’t, toss them aside.

Always understand what triggers will likely help you gain. What are the hot buttons and triggers, and why do they work? What are your alternatives if the hot buttons are not effective? How are the personality types likely to react to a trigger? How can you thwart others using your hot buttons? Have plans in place for how you’re going to react based on the triggers that are used against you in a negotiation. Observe the impact of triggers on body language. You will literally be able to hone in on the actions that occur based on the triggers you use and the hot buttons that are invoked. With this knowledge you have a better chance of enhancing the overall flow of the negotiation and enhancing the probability that you’ll come out ahead in the negotiation.