“Use Confidentiality Secret Weapon in Successful Negotiations”

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Using confidentiality wisely in negotiations can lead to successful outcomes.

During a negotiation, have you ever felt like you were getting confidential information that you were not supposed to share? Did you feel special, because you were getting what you perceived to be secret information? Most people feel that way whether they’re in a negotiation or not.

You can use the appearance of confidential information and confidentiality as your secret weapon in your negotiations to increase the probability of having a successful outcome to your negotiations. The following are tips about how you can use confidentiality in your negotiations as a secret weapon to sway the other negotiator.

People will only trust and relate to you if they believe in you and think they can trust you. Telling them something that’s confidential amplifies their state of emotion. Thus, to the degree what you tell them in confidence is perceived as being of value and to their best interest, you’ll amplify the trust factor they extend to you. To amplify their trust factor even higher, tell them something in confidence that they perceive as not being in your best interest.

The psychological impact can be meaningful and subliminal when you tell the other negotiator something that’s confidential. He’ll feel like you’ve taken him into your confidence. This is like having a psychological lever that you can use to maneuver the other negotiator; don’t misuse it. In essence, he’ll feel like he can trust you more. After all, you’ve disclosed something that’s of value to him and hopefully something from which he’ll benefit. So, when using confidentiality consider the psychological impact it will have on the other negotiator. Make sure what you impart in confidence is something that is of value to the other negotiator and something from which harm will not befall you.

Body Language/Nonverbal Communication:
To heighten the impression of confidentiality, lean closer to the other negotiator when imparting your secret information. This nonverbal gesture will subliminally signal that specialness of what your about to convey. Add to that the tonality of speaking in a lower, more hushed tone of voice and you will have perfected your confidentiality pitch.

Please don’t misinterpret my words. I’m not suggesting that this tactic be used simply as a misleading ploy. In the planning stages of your negotiation, genuinely consider what you can tell the other negotiate in confidence that will endure you to her.
For added value, use this tactic during a segment of the negotiation when you might be at an impasse, or at a point when you think such a gesture of goodwill will be most appreciated.


If you still question why confidentiality works as a viable tactic in a negotiation, it’s because it’s very much akin to the law of reciprocity. The law of reciprocity states, when someone gives something of value to you, or does something that has value, there’s a natural desire to return the gesture by giving or doing something for them in return. When you confide in someone, you build and establish trust. Thus, they want to reciprocate.

If you want to increase your negotiation outcomes, consider how and when you can use confidentiality as a secret weapon. If used appropriately and at the right time, you’ll be surprised at how beneficial this tactic is … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


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