Everybody Lies When Negotiating. Do You?
When you negotiate, do you lie? Please, don’t even think about becoming indignant. Everybody lies when negotiating, for one reason or another. If you say you don’t lie, you’re lying!
Depending upon what someone is trying to achieve, some lie substantially more than others. Some people believe, when they’re negotiating, if they tell a ‘white’ lie, it’s OK. Some believe a successful negotiation outcome justifies the mean, and thus they do what is necessary to accomplish the goal.
You can be more successful during negotiations by being aware of what motivates people to lie. Below are a few reasons people lie and how you might assist them to tell the truth.
Seven reasons why people lie when negotiating.
1. To keep from exposing a weakness.
2. To keep from being confronted by the truth (OK, this falls under the heading of Duh! However, can you discern why the other negotiator feels mentally enslaved by the thought that an altered truth presents?)
3. Avoid the embarrassment that a bigger lie reveals.
4. Not sure to what degree they may be devalued if the truth is divulged.
5. To enhance the value by which they’re perceived.
6. Entice or entrap the other negotiator to move from one negotiation position to another.
7. To protect the emotional feelings of someone else.
How to protect yourself and detect when people are lying.
When you know why someone might be lying, you can probe his or her story for details. In this case, there are two considerations to keep in mind; one is too much detail, the other is too little detail. The negotiator who is adept at lying knows in order to be convincing, he has to blend the right mixture of detail. He knows if he talks too much, he’ll begin to divulge points that will allow the other negotiator to find ‘holes’ in his story. On the other hand, he’s aware that too little detail displays the fact that he may be ‘forging the truth’ with embellishments.
Observe the other negotiator’s mannerisms to detect a change. Then note why you think the change may have occurred. Don’t question him about the change initially. Wait to uncover other perceptible alterations of the truth. Once you’ve accumulated sufficient feedback, question him as to why he altered his mannerism. Then observe his body language and delivery of information, seeking signs that display his uneasiness with the conversation. If he begins to glance away as he’s speaking, playing/fingering objects nearby as he’s talking, feigning offense for your supposed transgression, tugging at his collar, stammering, or other behavior that indicates he’s uncomfortable, he’s lying and knows you’ve caught him. At that point, you can provide a solution that alleviates his discomfort.
This article wasn’t written to pass judgment on anyone. The article was written to make the reader more successful when negotiating, and to raise the awareness level to the fact that lies occur during negotiations. To that, some may say, “I’m already aware that lies occur during negotiations.” You may realize that lies occur during a negotiation, but the savvy negotiator learns to detect, defuse and defend against a lie throughout the negotiation process.
When you become adept at detecting lies and the underlying reasoning that causes them to become injected into a negotiation, you’ll be better equipped to progress the negotiation down a path that leads to a successful outcome … and everything will be right with the world.
The Negotiation Tips Are …
When negotiating (for anything) …
Have you ever ‘altered’ a story to enhance its appeal? (That’s called lying. Always remember that you lie and others lie too.)
Have you ever told someone you’d assist them, only to find a ‘convenient’ excuse to back out of the commitment? (If you try to explain away your reason you lied, and others have done so when they did so to you.)
Prior to ‘altering’ the truth, have you ever considered the ‘size’ of a lie, to determine its viability? (If so, you compared the lie you were contemplating to one you already told. Thus, you’ve lied in the past. This was a ‘trick’ question. )
If you’d like more information about Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator, visit his website at https://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com, where you will also find information about his new book, “Negotiate: Afraid, ‘Know’ More.”
Related: Negotiation Workshop
Neutralizing Negotiation Tactics
Public Negotiation Training