Greg Williams

By Greg Williams

What You Need to Know About Negotiation Fallacy Dilemmas

150 150 Greg Williams, MN, CSP

“Fallacy dilemmas are only dilemmas to the degree that you allow them life. Test them and you’ll determine to what degree they live.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

When negotiating, you should always be aware of fallacy dilemmas. In a negotiation, fallacy dilemmas are offers presented as either/or propositions, whose propositions are opposite one another. They’re presented in such a manner that they seem to be the only available options.

In discussing fallacy dilemmas with some negotiators, they’ve stated that identifying and using fallacies in a negotiation can be confusing. This article will give you insights into how you can engage successfully with them.

Here’s the challenge with fallacy dilemmas, when negotiating such propositions can be positioned to direct your thought process towards either of the options presented. In reality, there may be a number of other possible solutions that get excluded from your thought process simply because you’re being directed to consider only the proposition offered. Thus, other possible solutions are never considered. That’s why you should be mindful of when fallacies are presented.

Nevertheless, while being mindful of fallacy dilemmas being used against you, they can be an extremely useful tool to have. If you employ this tactic/strategy at the right time, you can enhance your negotiation efforts.

How to guard against fallacy dilemmas in your negotiations. 

Most know the premise, if you’ll lie you’ll cheat, and if you’ll cheat you’ll steal! If you accept that premise as a truism, you’re susceptible to the fallacy.

While it may be true that liars who cheat may also steal, or engage in any combination of nefarious activities, it doesn’t mean that every cheater steals, etc. That’s the dilemma of the fallacy.

Therefore, to guard against fallacy dilemmas during a negotiation, don’t accept any proposition as having only two alternatives.

Note: If you’re in the thick of a negotiation and you sense you’re being forced into thinking that there’s only to options, pause. Take time to reflect. Observe what the other negotiator does. If he attempts to push you into making one of the decisions offered, consider slowing the negotiation down by being more deliberate about your options.

How to use fallacy dilemmas in your negotiations.

You know how to guard against this dilemma, flip it to employ its usage against the other negotiator. To be most effective, consider presenting it in two ways.

  1. Quantitative – Use this type of offer when you want to limit the other negotiator’s perspective to a specified range (e.g. would you rather have zero or a thousand); this offer excludes the fact that through payment terms or other arrangements, he might be able to garner more than a thousand.
  2. Qualitative – Implement this method when attempting to alter the emotional mood of the other negotiator (e.g. would you rather walk away with nothing or something).

Body Language – Add value through intonation emphasis.

With body language, in this case nonverbal communication, the words you place greater or lesser emphasis on dictates the importance that those words convey. Such dictation will also convey a sense of importance when presenting your fallacies. As such, consider ahead of time what words you’ll use to convey a sense of needed urgency when making your offers and how that will be of benefit in your fallacy presentation.

Now that you have a greater awareness of fallacy dilemmas (did you catch what I just did about your awareness (i.e. if something is true, it can’t be false)), use them in your negotiations. Know that things get out of control to the degree that you don’t control them. Thus, when presented with an offer consider all of the options associated with the possible solution of that offer … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

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

 To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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