Dan Oblinger is an expert in negotiations. As a consulting business negotiator and real-estate professional, Oblinger specializes in helping individuals and organizations navigate difficult conversations. With a background in hostage discussion and a formal education in ancient philosophy and ethics, Oblinger has a unique perspective on deception – including how to gain it successfully in a variety of contexts.
Oblinger joins Discuss anything To discuss the basics of deception and practical strategies for successful negotiation outcomes – especially when you are doubly skeptical.
Danger of cheating
Most people find lying to be wrong or problematic – with consequences ranging from harmful to catastrophic. Although it is often recognized as a negative behavior, most people will ignore the deception because they do not know how to respond to it. This can be incredibly dangerous for businesses, especially when it comes to permanent contracts and relationships. Belief in a successful business plays an important role – making fraud a huge threat.
To successfully navigate fraud in negotiations, Oblinger devises a three-step solution:
- Be prepared for that you will face deception.
- Listen carefully (since it will help control emotions).
- Identify a reliable and repetitive approach to dealing with fraud.
According to Oblinger, homework is essential to the negotiation process.
“You have to know what you know. You have to know what you don’t know – and you have to know the difference, “he shared.
This means using all available means to find out about your competitors – direct contact with Google, social media, websites and even their acquaintances.
Oblinger explained, “The more information you have, the better pictures you can create, the faster you can detect fraud.” Inevitably, if you enter into a discussion with a broad overview of what your opponent looks like, any inconsistencies should be noticed.
According to Oblinger, the most important preparation technique is to accept that you will be lied to.
“Acknowledge that you are going to be deceived. Then you will be ready when it happens, ”he advised.
Practice strategic listening
Also known as “active listening” or “sympathetic understanding”, strategic listening is the second key to successfully navigating fraud in conversation. This approach involves a tactical listening-style that basically invites your opponent to share more information. The longer the story, the harder it is to maintain or control the deception.
The most important steps:
Let them talk 80% of the time, while you spend the remaining 20% reflecting and inviting them to say more.
While listening, Oblinger encouraged the negotiators to try to identify their opponents’ motives. This is a great opportunity to show empathy – which builds trust. People are less likely to deceive someone they trust.
Ask open-ended questions.
The question of yes or no makes cheating easier. Instead, ask specific, open-ended questions. For example, “Do you want to comply with the terms of this agreement?” Became “Can you describe the specific ways in which you plan to fulfill this part of our agreement?”
According to Oblinger, you have to draw the deception publicly before you face it. Active listening will help you identify the lies (s) – and asking guided questions will begin to clear up inconsistencies for everyone at the table.
Once the deception comes to the table, negotiators must be committed to tackling it. Strategy: Aim to make your opponent feel uncomfortable, not personal. The biggest challenge will be the emotional triggers that arise when someone feels they are being deceived.
“Instead of reacting emotionally – ask more questions,” Oblinger advised.
Once you’ve heard enough, offer to paragraph. From there, proceed with a statement like the following:
“Jim, we agreed with X but it didn’t happen so now I’m confused.”
After giving this direct speech, do not say anything. Give your opponent a chance to explain – which they must do. They should decide twice as much – keep asking questions and keep repeating the confusion.
“We hate confusion more than we like continuity.” Oblinger explained. “The emotion of confusion is good because it is a sincere emotion that will tell people right now what to do – explain.”
The rest of the process involves setting strong boundaries and making it clear that fraud is unacceptable. One way to do this is to stop being silent or leave the room to “clear your mind” and stop engaging. Even moving away for three minutes can completely change the attitude of your opponent.
Practice is the key to success
Whether you’re asking questions or dealing with deception, tone will be important. Similarly, it is important to know the ultimate purpose. If the target is a dramatic conflict and an apology – then none of these strategies are likely to apply.
“The productivity of the person you’re talking to influences and influences what is productive,” Oblinger reminds the audience.
Navigating deception and lies is not about conflict and shame, it is about being ready, confident and strategic, while allowing the possibility of a strong relationship through liberation.
This fact forms the basis of Oblinger’s belief in the power of negotiation, “When you are lied to – for a brief moment – there is a huge opportunity to move the discussion forward and make a real deal with people.”
Check out Dan Oblinger’s LinkedIn to learn more about his experience and advice. Listen to the full episode of Negotiate Anything here.