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Secret Strategy to Negotiate Successfully Against a Deceitful Negotiator

» Introduction
When you negotiate, are you bewildered by an opponent that won’t ‘play fairly’? I’ve written negotiation lessons in the past detailing strategies and tactics you should be aware of when negotiating. When you’re negotiating with an opponent that’s not ‘playing fairly’, your awareness level of ‘what to do’ to combat his tactics should be increased.
» Step 1
When you negotiate, are you bewildered by an opponent that won’t ‘play fairly’? I’ve written negotiation lessons in the past detailing strategies and tactics you should be aware of when negotiating. When you’re negotiating with an opponent that’s not ‘playing fairly’, your awareness level of ‘what to do’ to combat his tactics should be increased.

One of the shrewdest strategies that can be deployed against anyone negotiating is that of someone that does not ‘play by the rules’. In essence, your negotiation opponent, (that’s how you should view someone that uses this type of tactic, compared to someone that’s easier to deal with at the negotiation table being viewed as a partner) may lead you to think both of you are in agreement on a negotiation position, only to turn around later during the negotiation and state that agreement was not what he understood it to mean. To say the least, such a negotiation tactic can be very frustrating to deal with. Another tactic he may use is to outright misrepresent his position, after having stated it succinctly, prior to altering it. What he is most likely attempting to do is confuse you and keep you mentally off balance, as you progress through the negotiation. How then might you deal with such a person who uses such diabolical negotiation tactics? I suggest the following …

· As I’ve written on numerous occasions, you have to understand the mindset that your opponent possesses. What that means is, you have to recognize and identify the tactics the person is employing. You’ll be able to gain a lot of insight from the process you’ll go through in gathering background information on that person, prior to entering into the negotiation.

From the background information you gather, you’ll get insight into whether the person uses the, ‘misrepresenting his position’ style of negotiation as one of his core competencies when negotiating. From that insight, you can discern the level of success he has had in using such tactics. Then, you need to ask yourself the following questions …

a. Is there a ‘real’ communication issue between you and your opponent, or is an attempt being made to shroud communications in an effort to disguise the negotiation tactic he’s using? Initially, you can give your opponent the benefit of the doubt, but clarify at every opportunity your opponent’s understanding of the point made and accepted. Then, get him to buy into what is being agreed upon, have him write it down and sign it. Psychologically speaking, you’ll have him verbalizing the agreement in addition to him signing the understanding of the point being agreed upon. You’ll also be sending a signal to him that indicates you know how to combat his tactic.

b. Is this person casting himself in the image of a rube to disguise the tactics he’s using? If so, why is he doing so? To seek some form of realism to his negotiation position, let him know how you perceive his actions. Further explain that if he continues to misrepresent and misconstrue his understanding of the covenants of the negotiation, the negotiation will not be able to progress in a beneficial manner. In essence, ‘call him out’ on his behavior. Let him know there will be negative consequences to the outcome of the negotiation, if he continues to use such tactics.


In the end, most likely, it will be better for you not to invest a lot of time and effort in the negotiation; more than not, you’ll end up being sorry you negotiated with this person. If on the other hand, you’re in a position whereby you have to negotiate with someone that uses such tactics, simply because you have no other recourse, meet what you are met with. Verbally reverse the mirroring process of your opponent’s actions while at the same time deepening the breaking of rapport with him (i.e. use your body language to project the image of a dissatisfied person – if he asks a question such as, ‘Do you see what I mean?’, respond by saying, ‘I’m not sure I feel the same way’. By responding in this manner, he’ll be speaking from a visual perspective and you’ll be speaking from a kinesthetic perspective, thus broadening the chasm between the two of you. Send non-congruent signals with your body language (ex. say yes while shaking your head no – ask questions in the form of statements, etc.).

Very seldom will I ever suggest negotiating from such a position, but all things being equal, your opponent is setting the stage for somewhat of a ‘scourged earth’ negotiation style and as the cliché goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. More importantly, if you can extract yourself from the negotiation in the beginning stages, you’ll be better off for doing so … and everything will be right with the world.


The Negotiation Lessons are …

· In order to be a good negotiator, you need to acquire the ability to identify tactics that are being deployed against you and learn how to combat those tactics. To the degree that you become very proficient at identifying tactics, you’ll have more successful negotiation outcomes.

· Learn the subtle nuances of detecting and using body language to manipulate an opponent for the purposes you seek from a negotiation. You’ll have an awesome tool in your negotiation arsenal that you can use to assist someone in moving in one direction as opposed to another, when you negotiate. While being able to read body language is a very powerful weapon to employ during negotiations, use it for the good of all parties involved. Don’t abuse the superiority you’ll achieve by having such a weapon to ‘beat up’ on your opponent, unless he deserves it.

· Be careful of the amount of time you invest in a negotiation, when you’re dealing with an opponent that does not want to ‘play fairly’. The more time you invest in the negotiation, the more you’ll become ingrained in the desire to see an outcome come from the negotiation. You’ll be more susceptible to agreeing to positions that are not as beneficial to your position as might otherwise be the case.

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