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Accepting Statements as Facts

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation Mistakes > Accepting Statements as Facts

Description | Avoiding it | Taking advantage | See also

 

Description

Blindly accepting statements, assertions and general opinions as facts weakens your negotiation potential, particularly if the other person finds out that this is what you do and is prepared to take advantage.

The rules of everyday social situations in most cultures are that you must be polite and truthful in your interactions with others. And also that you should assume that others are telling the truth. In negotiations and competitive situations, this may vary and weaken, with rules that permit deception.

A problem occurs when the values of the two negotiators differ, with one believing that deception is permitted in negotiation whilst the other sticks to the rules of normal conversation. This happens in particular when negotiating across cultures.

Avoiding it

First recognize when you are in a negotiating situation, even with friends and family, and then change your expectations of the other person in terms of whether they may not be wholly truthful or factual. Even those who tell the truth may withhold important information. Whilst you do not want to distrust someone who is being trustworthy, you also do not want to trust someone who is being deceptive.

The best stance is thus to 'trust, but verify'. Gently probe assertions for evidence. Ask further 'interested' questions to gain better information to help you determine the real facts.

Taking advantage

Make bold statements about those things you want the other person to believe and then move on quickly before they have time to question you. Look shocked if they seem not to accept what you say and ask if they think you are not telling the truth.

See also

Accepting positions, Social Norms, Values

 

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