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How to Use Disinformation to Negotiate Better

“Disinformation is meant to alter your perception of the truth. To combat it, dissolve it before it dissolves you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

You set the stage for any negotiation with information. That’s called positioning. The way you present that information, and it’s content, shape the persona the other negotiator has of your negotiation power, resources, and abilities. #Disinformation plays a vital role in shaping that persona – using it strategically can help you negotiate better.

Disinformation is used in planning wars, corporate espionage, and in the planning stages of negotiations. Think for a moment about the term #FakeNews. What comes to mind? That phrase has become a form of disinformation.

The following is how you can use disinformation to improve your negotiation efforts.

Creating a Disinformation Campaign:

To create disinformation campaigns, start by disseminating information in small cycles first – you want the target to become familiar with it. That’ll make him more susceptible to believing it and the information that follows. Over time, expand it, its believability to the truth, and its cycles. To have the greatest effect on the target, have information disseminated in places that they frequent (e.g. social media post, news outlets, radio, etc.). Doing so will impact their belief as to the validity of the information (i.e. I see/hear it everywhere – so it must be true).

Psychology of Disinformation:

For disinformation to be viable, tie it loosely to the beliefs of your target. People become swayed more easily if they have a preconceived belief about something they accept as already being truthful. So, if you associate your disinformation with their currently held beliefs, they’ll accept your information more readily. The trick is to make your information just within the outer realms of their beliefs. That’s the setup to having them stretch their beliefs as you later present insights further outside of it. Your efforts should become geared to having them expand their beliefs to the point of easily accepting the new insights you present as the truth.

Combating Disinformation:

As you know or may have discovered, disinformation is a powerful mental tool. Thus, while employing it, you must be mindful about its deployment against you.

To improve your plight when disinformation is used against you, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Consider the originating source of the information. Ask yourself, what belief is this information attempting to form in my mind or in the mind of my supporters?
  2. How was the information delivered? Did it arrive through a source that has proven to be believable in the past? Is that source being manipulated?
  3. What new paradigms is this information attempting to create and who benefits from it?
  4. To what degree are others attempting to alter my perception for the benefit of who they’re serving?
  5. What happens if I ignore the information?

Posing such questions to yourself and your confidants will help you evaluate the information and its potential validity. I’m not suggesting you become paranoid. What I’m suggesting is you not readily accept information at face value as the truth. There are too many ways to get disinformation into today’s environment. Guard the door that keeps it away from you.

Disinformation is used in all realms of negotiation. And, there is a multitude of ways that it’s used. Therefore, the better you become at utilizing it, and knowing how to thwart its use against you, the better you’ll become as a negotiator … 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 “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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How To Best Combat Misinformation and Disinformation in Negotiations

“Misinformation can be disinformation. Know the difference between the two to better address the inherent intent of its dispenser.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Someone once said, “All is fair in love, war, and #negotiations.” If that’s true #misinformation and #disinformation are armigers that some negotiators use as weapons of mass destruction.

In order to best combat misinformation and disinformation in negotiations, you must know the difference between the two before you can address either. The question is, to what degree are you prepared to deal with this type of ploy?

Misinformation can be daunting when deciphering the truth. Coupled with disinformation, the truth can become darn near undetectable. Observe the following to make the distinction less elusive.

1. Misinformation Versus Disinformation

Understand that there’s a difference between misinformation and disinformation. While the distinction between the two may have similar appearances, their usage is what really sets them apart.

Misinformation is erroneous information delivered to intentionally or unintentionally alter your thought process. It can also be used as a way to insulate one’s self (e.g. I didn’t mean to misquote that information). Later in the negotiation, that tactic can turn into a trap that detracts from the user’s credibility, if used too frequently.

Disinformation is the intentional attempt to spread false information for the purpose of deceiving you. That makes its usage more dangerous in a negotiation. It also speaks to the character of its user. If you know the user’s intent to persuade you, you’ll have insight into which of these modalities he may use to accomplish his objectives.

2. Know Character of Negotiator

When you know someone’s character, you can more accurately assess and determine their intent. Thus, knowing a negotiator would not venture into the territory of disinformation could lead you to be more understanding if he misquotes information. On the other hand, if you know you’re dealing with a devious individual, one that doesn’t have a relationship with the truth, you’d be wise not to grant him forgiveness when he misquotes information. In such a case, you may have just caught him in a lie that he’s aware of. Let him stew in this dilemma and assess what he does. Doing so will also give you great insight into the possibility of the information being disinformation or misinformation. You can further address the type of information that’s being passed to you by referring to a higher authority that refutes what’s been delivered. You can do this, even if the authority and/or information you cite is not real. It’s called bluffing.

3. Identify Timing and Intent

After addressing steps 1 and 2, assess the intent of the information that you’ve been given. Do so with the thought of what impact it’s intended to have on you, what actions are you to engage in as the result of the information. Also, consider the timing of its deliverance. If you assess that it’s intended to evoke a particular action or thought, assess what the overall intent might be and where such actions might lead. If you sense that something’s not right, don’t continue. Instead, question what you should be paying more attention to.

While misinformation and disinformation may offer challenges during a negotiation, being mindful of how to combat them can lessen their potency. Once you adopt a heightened mindset when dealing with them, your negotiation efforts won’t be fraught with the degree of dismay that otherwise might exist. Thus, by adopting these strategies when dealing with information, you’ll have a better perspective about the information you deal with … 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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