Be Consciously Mindful of Deception and Deceit While Negotiating

Are you consciously mindful of the perils that deception and deceit have on you and the other negotiator while negotiating? There’s a very fine line between deceit and deception. Therefore, deceit and deception have to be used cautiously, less they wreak havoc on a negotiation.

The problem with using either deceit or deception in a negotiation lies in the manner in which they are perceived. Everyone practices some form of deception when they negotiate. It can be in the form of not fully disclosing your ultimate position, not disclosing information that would detract from your position, or in a myriad of other ways. Deceit on the other hand is outright lying.

The trouble occurs when you or the other negotiator feel he’s being intentionally misled. Then, trust is broken, which causes the bonding process to become stymied, which in turn causes the negotiation to proceed less expeditiously.

If you sense “something’s not right” with information you’ve been given, or you receive quizzical inquiries stemming from information you propose when negotiating, consider the following.

  1. Assess what you’re sensing.
    1. Try to determine what has caused you to feel what you’re experiencing. Was it the way the information was presented? Did you or the other negotiator do ‘something’ nonverbally that caused you to perceive doubt or be perceived as doubtful, about the validity of the information presented? Once a determination is made, bring it to the forefront of the negotiation and seek clarification. At that point, observe very intently the repositioning of the point. Look for uneasiness and/or the degree the new position changes from the original one.
  2. Determine how best to respond.
    1. In considering how best to respond, consider how your reframed position will be viewed, or how the other negotiator reframed his position. Compare the new position to how it was perceived prior to its reframing. In particular, consider if the reframed position ‘adds value’ to the negotiation, and if so, who is advantaged by the reframing. It may be more palatable to allow the position to remain unchanged, with an explanation addressing the misperception possessed by whoever initiated the point.
  3. Make sure everyone understands the revised information and they agree with it.
    1. Once you’ve determined to what degree the information in contention has been addressed, be prepared to move on in the negotiation. Initially, do so cautiously and observe the demeanor of the other negotiator to seek any behavioral differences in his negotiation style. If there’s no change, assume the situation has been addressed satisfactorily.

The presentation of information in a negotiation can become tricky. Regardless of how you address the perception of deceit or deception, be sure to cast your efforts carefully, because those efforts will become the source of your negotiation prosperity … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • If you perceive deceit or are perceived as being deceitful, address it sooner versus later in the negotiation. You will only enhance your position be doing so.
  • Deceit can be concealed in negotiation. Like in any negotiation, sometimes you have to rearrange what you see, in order to view the situation for what it is.
  • No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. When you’re negotiating, determine to what degree a mistake is just that, versus deceit, before acting upon information.

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