“Stop Liars From Lying – 7 Ways To Have Greater Negotiation Success Faster”

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“Stop Liars From Lying

7 Ways To Have Greater Negotiation Success Faster”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

In negotiations, liars lie because some cannot help themselves from lying. And while liars may consider themselves telling little white lies, those of little consequence, their lies can become offsetting if you are the opposing negotiator.

When truth and lies intersect in negotiations, deception is often the driver. And I am willing to bet you do not like others deceiving you. That is why spotting and stopping liars can be your negotiation game-changer, allowing you to achieve a greater negotiation outcome faster.  

In this article, I give insights into recognizing deception and how to stop a liar’s lies from derailing negotiation. I will also highlight seven strategies you can use to negotiate better by identifying and dealing with those who lie during your talks.

Observing Deception – Spotting A Liar

Before delving into detecting liars, I will highlight some of the tells they exhibit. There are five particularly to observe to discern when a liar is lying.

1. Body Language: When people lie, their body language changes depending on why they are doing so. Some people will show it through an uptick or slowing of their gestures. They may also begin to fidget with inanimate objects or soothe themselves by touching their body parts. Pay attention when such signals occur.

2. Micro-expressions: Micro-expressions last for less than one second. They are involuntary gestures emitted before the brain can stop them.

Thus, micro-expressions pierces the veil of hidden emotions that a negotiator may attempt to conceal. Observing them will give you more insight into why that person is lying. 

3. Story Alignment: Liars may misalign their story when requested to repeat it. To trap a liar when noticing that, inaccurately cite something they said. Attribute it definitively as their statement. Observe if they become nervous, begin stuttering, or accept your account as truthful. If they exhibit any of these signs, especially the last one, you most likely have caught them in their lie. 

4. Playful Or Defensive: Liars may become playful or defensive when you challenge them. They may become playful to seek your fun side to engage. They may also become defensive.

In either case, you should heighten your senses. Most likely, they are attempting to alter your mind to soften your mood. They know you are close to unveiling their deception. 

5. Use Of Qualifiers In Language: Qualifiers are words that modify a statement. During negotiations, when a negotiator frequently uses words like all, most, some, must, should, etc., become alert. For example, “Most negotiators should know they may get some of what they want. And some should know that most don’t get all of it, so they must be satisfied.”

The sentences may not sound succinct. That is what can happen when a liar becomes frightened about being caught in a lie. In that case, the use of ‘most,’ ‘some,’ ‘should,’ ‘must,’ and ‘all’ could be the canary in the mine of deceit, warning you of the lies the liar is telling.

The following are qualifier classifications:

Quantity: some, most, all, none

Time: occasionally, sometimes, now and again, usually, always, never

Certainty: I guess, I think, I know, I am absolutely certain

Possibility: could, may, likely, possible, probable

Necessity: must, should, ought, required, have to

Quality: best, worst, finest, sharpest, heaviest

When a negotiator uses these words frequently, take note.  

Stopping Liars from Derailing Negotiations:

Being able to detect deception will assist you. But stopping it will enhance your efforts more. The following are suggestions on how to address that.

1. Positioning Yourself: At the point of suspension, go over the ground rules and state that you are honest and open. Ask the other negotiator if they will do the same. Get their agreement. 

2. Stay Calm: If you are 100% certain the opposition is lying, do not show it through your tonality or body language; stay calm. The more relaxed you are, the more comfortable the liar will become, believing you have bought their deception. 

3. Seek Clarification: Slightly modify a statement made by the other negotiator. Recite it to them, and see how your modified version is received. By feigning the need for clarification, a liar will leak tells highlighting their deceitfulness.

4. Use Empathy: Assess why the other party is lying. To help uncover their ruse, use empathy to project a façade of caring for them and understanding why they may not be telling the truth. Do not expose too much of your hand. Make them wonder if you are on to them.  

5. Using Leverage: Once you observe inconsistencies in a liar’s statements, consider informing them that you are aware that they are lying. That may stop them from continuing their deception. That is step one.

6. Expressing Displeasure: Step two, depending on your negotiation position and ability to control it, harshly or mildly show your displeasure about being lied to. You want the opposition to feel uncomfortable.

7. Restate Ground Rules: At this point, restate the ground rules about both of you being honest and open. Ignite pressure points by letting the other negotiator know without trust and honesty that they are dooming the negotiation.

If they display a lack of remorse, or do not alter their behavior, exit the negotiation. They will only taunt you with further lies if you continue.


Spotting and stopping liars from lying during negotiations offers challenges. But if you plan to have greater negotiation success, you must become adept at doing so.

By implementing the suggestions mentioned, you can spot, stop, and keep in check the lies that liars tell. So, implement them in your next negotiation. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://megaphone.link/CSN6318246585

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

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