“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.
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.
- 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?
- 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?
- What new paradigms is this information attempting to create and who benefits from it?
- To what degree are others attempting to alter my perception for the benefit of who they’re serving?
- 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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