“Avoid 7 Trap Doors – Ultimate Advice On How To Win More Negotiations” – Negotiation Insight

“A good magician uses trap doors to disappear things. A good negotiator uses them to disappear the opponent’s opportunities.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Avoid 7 Trap Doors – Ultimate Advice

On How To Win More Negotiations”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Everyone is vulnerable to falling prey to negotiation traps at some point in negotiations. Even when some negotiators are aware of the potential danger in negotiation traps, some do not recognize the signs. Thus, they know not how to avoid the traps that lead to entrapment in negotiations.

What follows are seven traps to avoid in your negotiations. Not heeding the following insights will make the number 7 unlucky for you in your talks.

1. Not Memorializing The Negotiation Agreement

Have there been times when you engaged in negotiations and accepted the fact that the other negotiator would abide by the agreed-upon outcome on a handshake? If so, when the agreed-upon deliverables hit a snag, did you learn a lesson about concluding a negotiation and expecting parties to abide by the agreed outcome on a handshake alone? 

It is easy for an agreed-upon outcome to become ensnared in a negotiation trap. It is even easier for that to occur when you do not set the agreement in writing to memorialize it. Even when you negotiate with friends and allies, write down your agreement. A written document will serve as a point of reference and assist in avoiding negotiation traps.     

2. Abandoning Your Values

When you negotiate, you adopt different personas. You become triggered to react one way or another due to the actions of the other negotiator. And that can make you lose control of who you are and your values. To avoid that trap before entering into negotiations:

A.) Recall why you are negotiating, your core values, and what you will do to maintain them.

B.) Assess what triggers may trip inside your mind that could cause you to lose control, and be aware of the closeness of that occurring during negotiations.

C.) Remember, once you sacrifice your values, that can leave you in a position to have it occur again. Know who you are, what you are becoming, and the price you are willing to pay for that to happen. Do not trap your future negotiations by falling prey to your current bargaining.

3. Overlooking Good In Bad Outcomes

When bad thoughts in negotiations besiege your mind, you may tend to see bad outcomes. If that becomes your focus, you may overlook the good things that occurred. No negotiator gets 100% of what they want from a negotiation. That is why it is called a negotiation – you give and take.

Yes, analyze what you might have done differently to learn from past negotiation challenges. But never focus so much on the negative occurrences that you overlook the good ones. Do not allow your mind to be trapped by such.

4. Lack Of Insight About Goals And Objectives

When you are negotiating, are you always sure of your goals? Do you know the degree you are willing to compromise to achieve them?

Unclear goals are grave challenges for the negotiator that lacks insight about his goals and what he will forgo to reach them. And that becomes their trap. Never be blinded by your lack of sense of your goals.   

5. Answering Assumptive Questions

Assumptive questions take on the assumption that aspects of the question are valid. For example, the question, how many times did you fall when you had too much to drink? Suggest, you fell several times, and you had been drinking.

The trap in this type of question is, you could divulge too much information in your reply. For example, “I don’t drink much. I never fall when I drink. I’m just a social drinker.”

When exposed to assumptive questions, pose a question in response (e.g., why do you think I drink?). By doing that, you will avoid the trap of giving possibly unnecessary information, and instead, you will be gathering insights that you may use to your benefit.

6. Granting Validity To Unsubstantiated Claims/Conclusions

In our mind’s eye, we go into the future to see what awaits. That allows you to prepare for the future. But when doing so creates angst in your negotiation judgment, soothsaying can be the mischief that wrecks your mind and negotiation efforts.

It is okay to peer into the future when negotiating. Both you and your counterpart will assess the next move of each other based on prior actions. But do not allow unfounded validity to lend credence to unsubstantial claims that paint a bleak mural of that future. When in doubt, test it out. Do not make assumptions that information is valid – test it.

7. Focusing Too Strongly On Past Events

Every negotiator is a product of their past negotiations. And thus, every negotiator is driven, to a degree, by past negotiation encounters. That is okay.

It is healthy to use your negotiation past experiences to build upon additional skills. But never focus too intensely on past events; they can become the trap of imprisonment that prohibits your current and future negotiation thoughts from flourishing.  


There are more negotiation traps that you should avoid in your negotiations. By being aware of the negotiation traps mentioned and focusing on them, you will decrease the probability of being trapped in negotiations that lead you to an abyss. That means you will have somewhat insulated yourself from falling prey to such negotiation traps without isolating future negotiation opportunities. And everything will be right with the world.  

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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