Posts tagged "People"

“How To Ask Powerful Questions To The Right People” – Sunday Negotiation Insight

“To get better answers, ask the right people better questions.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)



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“How To Ask Powerful Questions To The Right People”


She looked at him and became emotionally aroused with each passing moment. Finally, she said, “who are the right people that can answer my questions?” The customer service rep that she was speaking to sheepishly said, “mam, I’m not sure – I just started working here last week.”

How many times have you found yourself exasperated over an unresolved situation? Did you take a moment to examine why you were upset? Such situations usually stem from four possibilities:

  1. You have the wrong demeanor
  2. You’re not speaking to the right person
  3. You ask the wrong question
  4. You’re not asking powerful questions

The following will assist you in addressing all four of those factors.


Your Demeanor:

No matter with whom you’re speaking, your demeanor will determine how they interact and respond to you. Thus, your demeanor needs to match the situation. If you display one that’s weak, in the face of a strong personality type, she may dismiss you as not being relevant. If you position yourself through your demeanor as someone that’s significantly above the other individual, he may become uncooperative.

To adopt the best demeanor, before making your approach observe the other person’s mannerisms – assess their feelings and the kind of day they may be having. Based on your assessment, if it’s appropriate, look for ways to compliment them. If they’re in ‘rush mode’, be pleasant and get to the point with your questions.

The overarching point is, position yourself right before posing your questions and you will have won half the battle.


Speaking To The Wrong Person/People:

It’s ludicrous to think you can get the right solution by talking to the wrong person. So, before seeking assistance, inquire about the person’s ability to grant your request. If he states that he can’t offer a solution, ask who can.

The point is, don’t waste time presenting questions to someone that can’t provide a solution. Doing so will only further exasperate you. It will also cause you to be less tolerant with the person that can provide a solution to your situation.


Asking The Wrong Question:

Depending on the circumstances, it may be correct to ask someone if they can assist you or who’s in charge – posing such questions will begin the engaging process. But if you know with whom you should speak to obtain a resolution to your concerns, don’t dilly dally – get to the point.

Asking if someone has the responsibility or authority to assist you indicates that you’re not familiar with the environment. Use more powerful questions such as those that follow to improve your position.


Asking Powerful Questions:

The very first question you ask sets the tone for the discussion to follow. And it should be a question that’s posed to the right person – the person that can grant your request. Thus, the question must be dynamic – one that places you in a position of authority and control. And, as an aside, authority doesn’t have to mean that the other person must sing your praises – it means that he cares enough to assist you. To solicit his support, ask such questions as:

  1. How quickly might you resolve this situation (the assumption being he has the authority and he’s going to resolve your problem)?
  2. How much of a rebate/discount might I receive to rectify this situation (this question suggests that you’re seeking restitution)?
  3. When I speak with a ‘higher authority’, how would you like me to represent our interaction (this question can border on intimidation – be cautious about its use – never attempt to intentionally bully or demean someone – that can cause an unforeseen and unimagined backlash)?


There’s power in the way you ask questions and to whom you pose them. Thus, if you ask the right questions in the right manner at the right time, you’ll experience the right outcome more frequently … and everything will be right with the world.


What does this have to do with negotiations?


Questions are the backbone of negotiations. Therefore, by asking the right question in the right situation, you enhance your chances of getting the answers that lead to a better negotiation outcome. Never overlook the power of posing the right questions to the right people. Asking the right questions can be your silent ally.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


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Posted by Greg Williams in Strategies for Successful Negotiations, Negotiation Tips, Difficult Negotiations & Conflict Resolution, Social Media and Negoiating, Emotional Intelligence, Negotiation Psychology, Sunday Message of Hope and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“How To Misdirect People To Distract Negotiations” – Negotiation Tip of the Week


Negotiation Tip of the Week


“Through your actions, you choose to be good or better. Choose wisely!” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert




“How To Misdirect People To Distract Negotiations”


Do you use misdirection to distract the other negotiator in your negotiations? Have you ever wondered why magicians use misdirection in their acts? Misdirection serves to divert attention from one occurrence while directing it to another. It’s used as a strategic ploy by smart negotiators.

Whether you realize it, some form of misdirection occurs in every negotiation you’re in. If you’re not aware of that fact, you may not be aware that sometimes misdirection is used against you. As soon as you sense a negotiator is employing it, raise your awareness to what’s occurring in the negotiation. Therein will lie why he’s attempting to distract you.

Discover how you can increase your negotiation skills by using and being aware of when misdirection is being used in a negotiation.


Misdirection Tactics:

Act dumbfounded – There are times when acting like the bumbling idiot, or someone that doesn’t comprehend everything that’s being discussed is advantageous. You can use this tactic to get more information from the other negotiator while not giving him more information that he might use against you.   

Cite meaningless statistics (They can even be made up.)Some negotiator types love numbers. If you happen to be negotiating with such a person, quote statistics and/or challenge those that he cites as a way to dilute and/or cast dispersions upon them. In some cases, by raising doubt, you can promote and inject different thoughts into the negotiation. When doing so, promote thoughts that serve you and not the other negotiator.

Ask to have questions repeated –  By asking to have questions repeated, sometimes a negotiator will be thrown off track from his main point. In that moment of confusion, you can attempt to have him adopt a path that serves your negotiation purpose. The way to do that is to state something akin to what you heard that’s different than what was said.


When to use misdirection:

Stalling: – Sometimes when you need more time, for whatever reason in a negotiation, you can use misdirection to buy the time you need. You can do that by talking about prior negotiations you’ve had that are similar to the one you’re in while recounting the outcome; the hidden lesson in your recantation should be the subliminal message conveying what the other negotiator should do in the current situation.

Alter the pace of the negotiation – In basketball, when one team is ‘in the zone’, the opposing team calls a timeout. They do so to change the momentum/pace of the game. If the pace of your negotiation is to the advantage of the other negotiator, change the pace by misdirecting his attention to something else. It can be anything as long as it accomplishes your objective.

Create confusion – Convoluted thoughts can lead to convoluted outcomes. They can also lead to the outcome you seek. In any situation where confusion resides, an opportunity is its partner.

Control – Use references that are irrelevant to what’s being discussed. By doing so, you’ll be exercising more control over the negotiation. Thus, by controlling misdirects, you control what’s being discussed. That increases your power in the negotiation.


As you can see, misdirection can serve you well in a negotiation. Use it wisely and your negotiation efforts will be rewarded with more winning negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.


What are your thoughts? I’d really like to know. Reach me at


Remember, you’re always negotiating.




Posted by Greg Williams in Strategies for Successful Negotiations, Negotiation Tips, Difficult Negotiations & Conflict Resolution, Social Media and Negoiating, Emotional Intelligence, Negotiation Psychology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,