“Secrets are cloaked in darkness until they’re exposed by light. When suspension falls on hidden secrets, let the light shine brightly.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Don’t let what you know cause you to miss what you don’t know!” Those were the words of one negotiation partner to another, after they’d concluded a negotiation that appeared to be clouded by the doubt that there may have been hidden secrets burrowed in the words of their negotiation counterpart.
Upon reflection, the speaker of those words realized that there had been signals that he’d misperceived. He wondered about those signals as he pondered to what degree they might have covered hidden secrets.
In your negotiations, how much do you miss, due to what you think you already know? There are encoded messages within the words we use to communicate. Some contain hidden messages that carry hidden thoughts.
Note the following to gain more insight into the hidden secrets in the messages sent and received in your negotiations.
1. Take note when the real meaning of a word doesn’t carry the intent of the meaning you think it’s attempting to convey. That’s to say, note when you suspect that there may be an unspoken meaning of the word(s). You’ll experience a sensation of intuition when that occurs; take heed of this phenomenon when it happens. It will be your alert signal beckoning your attention.
- They’ll be times when you sense there’s an implied meaning that’s not conveyed in the delivery of the words spoken. When you have such a sensation, be attentive to what you sensed that drew your attention to the feeling of suspect that you have. Uncovering that hidden meaning will allow you to uncover hidden secrets that the other negotiator may be attempting to conceal.
2. When people speak of themselves in the third person, become more attentive. They’re distancing themselves from their words.
- When negotiating, you should always be attentive to everything that’s occurring in your environment. When it comes to someone speaking in the third person, you should become more attentive. Psychologically, he’s placing distance between himself and his words. He may be doing so due to his nervousness, his desire to protect something that you’ve gotten close to uncovering, or from sensing that he may have disclosed something about his statement that’s untrue. Regardless, his action was more than likely brought on by some action the two of you were engaged in. If you sense such is the case, pursue the line of interaction that put him in his third person state of mind. There’ll be something of interest there that may benefit you in the negotiation.
3. Compare your assumptions of what you thought would occur prior to the negotiation, to what actually occurred in the negotiation.
- Engaging in a mental reflection process at the conclusion of a negotiation will allow you greater insights, per the way you were thinking prior to the negotiation. Your post insights will allow you to sharpen your perception about the perspective occurrences of future negotiations. That, in turn, will allow you to uncover hidden thoughts about the way you think. Knowing that, should allow you to become more circumspective as you engage in future negotiation.
There will always be some form of secrecy in any negotiation. If you possess a heightened sense of awareness when perceiving suspected hidden meanings, your reward will be in the uncovering of those secrets. That will be an insight that you can use to benefit your negotiation position … 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
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