“Trust This Is How To Use It To Increase Your Negotiation Skills” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Trust is the nectar that fuels successful negotiations. And a lack of trust is the poison that stifles it.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

Click here to get the book!

“Trust – This Is How To Use It To

Increase Your Negotiation Skills”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

They have lied about everything else. Why should we trust and start believing those liars now? John was upset. As he and his team huddled during a break, he made that statement and asked that question.

As he fumed, he went on to say that the opposing negotiators were not trustworthy. They lost their trust when they did not abide by our agreed outcomes in the last negotiation phase. Everything they say is the prelude to a possible trap. We need to hone our negotiation skills and get tough with those guys.

Trust carries a high value in a negotiation. But are you aware of how to use it to increase your negotiation skills? 

Good Uses Of Trust

There are aspects of using trust in a negotiation that will benefit your position. To recognize those benefits, you must know the person’s character with whom you are negotiating. Because if you use the following displays with the wrong negotiator type, they will take advantage of you.

Display Vulnerability

When displaying vulnerability, a negotiator subliminally says that they are not afraid of being exposed. That can endear them to the opposition. It will also enhance the negotiation process if the opposing negotiator reciprocates. That is how reciprocity’s glow seeds the negotiation for a favorable outcome for all parties involved in the talks.

Display Reasoning/Build Camaraderie

There is a paradigm shift in the minds of negotiators when they feel they are negotiating with, opposed to dealing against, the other party. And when a negotiator displays his openness to deal with reasoning, he instills camaraderie in the mind of his negotiation partner. And that is the significance of exhibiting reasoning. It helps build camaraderie. Using it appropriately will enhance your negotiation skills.

Set Expectations

When trust sets the value of a negotiation, it lays the groundwork for how negotiators will engage one another. It also sets the expectations for the mannerisms and decorum negotiators will display towards one another. Thus, a negotiator can use trust to create the framework upon which the negotiation will proceed.

Malicious Uses Of Trust

Stalling Tactic

A devious negotiator can use trust to slow down or stall the negotiation for the purpose that serves his position. He might do so to gain a different perspective of where he thought the negotiation was going versus where it has gone.

Nevertheless, be mindful of someone that employs this ploy in your negotiation. And when you spot it, recognize this tactic and your opposition for what it and the tactic is. Your opponent may be sizing you to see how well you will fit into the crosshairs of deceit.

Obtaining Information

Have you ever been in an environment where someone intentionally attempted to alter your perspective? How did you feel – suckered? That is what a scheming negotiator may do to gain information from you. He may act like a friend, but he is your foe in reality.

If you sense a negotiator is using trust as the wedge to pry information from you, question yourself about his efforts. There is something that the negotiator is not disclosing through words. Instead, he shows his intent through deeds. Note his actions. They will be the roadmap to the land of despair towards which he seeks to take you. If that is not where you wish to go, create a different map.  


Another way a negotiator uses trust maliciously is to manipulate the opposition. That occurs when he is trustworthy with some opposing team members while being less truthful with others on that side. That can create disturbances within that group and lead them to question one another about the validity of the manipulator’s statements.

While this can be a sinister way to create wedges within the opposing negotiation team, it can also create division within the manipulator’s ranks. Therefore, be mindful of where this tactic may deposit your negotiation efforts. Using it and being aware when others are using it against you will increase your negotiation skills.

Trust But Verify

Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me. So goes the cliché about someone’s trickery cast upon another. And that is the mindset that can occur with negotiators when trust is lost.

Negotiators sense when something is not the way it appears. When that happens to you, pay attention to your intuition. That is the signal attempting to reach your state of consciousness. It may be the dull sensation of a gut feeling or something you can’t put your finger on.

So, verify the truth whenever you feel the level of trust purported is not reality. You will uncover more about those that would otherwise fool you by not being trustworthy through that effort.


A negotiator can use trust to deceive, delude, and deplete the opposing negotiator. Or, they can use it to build a repertoire with the opposition. When assessing the viability of a negotiator’s trust, lend more credence to what they do, not what they say.

Therefore, if you want to increase your negotiation skills, understand the value and harm of using trust wisely. That will give your negotiation skills a boost. And everything will be right with the world.  

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

Check out this offer to learn more about negotiating better and reading body language!

Listen to Greg’s podcasts at https://megaphone.link/CSN6318246585  Once there, double click on the one you would like to hear.

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

To receive weekly free 5-minute sneak peeks into the brilliant techniques offered by Greg, click here

https://www.themasternegotiator.com/negotiation-speaker/   and sign up at the bottom of the page

Scroll to Top