CIA Overvalued Trust While Negotiating, Do You?

People died in the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) for trusting too much. When you negotiate, what price do you pay for trust?

In the world in which the CIA operates, as with negotiations, trust is a highly valued commodity. With the CIA recently paying a very ‘high price’, as the result of having their trust misplaced, the question becomes, what are some of the lessons that can be learned from their experience and how can those lessons be applied in everyday negotiations?  The following are thoughts to ponder.

  1. When negotiating and evaluating the degree of trust to bestow upon someone, consider the overall consequences of granting the other negotiator too much trust. Be astutely aware of the ramifications that could confront you, as the result of having that trust aligned against you.
  2. Be cautious when placing people in less than optimum situations from which to negotiate emotionally. When you apply too much pressure in a negotiation, the person upon whom you apply the pressure may agree with your perspective for the moment. Later, he may not be able to deliver the requirements of the agreement, or resent you for placing him in such a position. In either case, you could be left with a situation that’s a lot less favorable than you had anticipated.
  3. In situations involving trust, trust, but verify. In the developing stages of a friendship or business relationship, most people adhere to such procedures. When negotiating with the same party over many sessions and an extended period of time, trust becomes instilled automatically in the negotiation process, and the verification process becomes lax. It is at the point when you feel most comfortable with bestowing trust upon the other negotiator that you become the most vulnerable. Be careful not to become too laidback about trust, as the result of feeling what could be a false sense of security.
  4. Everyone wants to be able to trust the negotiator with whom he’s negotiating. When it comes to trust, don’t be blindsided, because you refuse to see what may be in front of you. If you see, or sense signs of untrustworthiness, speak on it sooner versus later with the party from whom you perceive such emotions. Deceit may be waiting in the wings and the negotiation outcome could be weighing in the balance.

When negotiating, I’m not suggesting you become paranoid about trusting people. I’m suggesting you become more alert to those that you allow to have your trust. Once you do, you’ll become more insulated against disappointments. You’ll be less likely to give your trust blindly … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • When assessing the trustworthiness of an individual, be careful whose ‘bandwagon’ you jump on. Just because an associate has had a trustworthy relationship with a negotiator doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience.
  • When using pressure in a negotiation, remember pressure causes situations to expand. Monitor the degree of pressure that’s being created in a negotiation. Control it before it has a chance to explode.
  • Never fear to trust someone, but never be fearful to verify that trust. If it comes down to offending the other negotiator, or being left with a negotiation outcome you can’t live with, which position would you prefer? Always consider the consequences of trusting someone too much.
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