There is no need to carry a research to prove that people lie – and no matter how, consciousnessly or on the sub-conscious level – they do it every single day. Your boss promises that a promotion is coming every next day, the supplier assures that your order is his top priority, but still nothing of these comes out to be true? Maybe it’s the right time to learn to detect a lie and prevent yourself from being fooled?!
#1 – Encourage Reciprocity
It is a simple human nature – when someone shares sensitive information with us, our instinct is to match their transparency. In order to encourage your counterpart to be more honest with you, reveal a little secret about yourself. This will make him/her think that you intend to have open negotiations, which can drift you closer. And again, it is a matter of human psychology that one cannot lie to a person he/she considers a close one, so it is less likely that you’ll be fooled by your counterpart.
#2 – Ask The Right Questions
Imagine that you are buying a business where some vital equipment needs urgent replacement. But you don’t know about that. Of course, the seller is not intending to reveal all the information about the existing problems trying to sell his business at the highest price. So if you don’t give the direct questions, he will simply not bring this issue up. Take a note that people are less likely to lie if they are given pessimistic assumptions, rather than optimistic ones. So for example, say “This business will need some new equipment soon, right?” – this will push your counterpart to say the truth, rather than if you say “The equipment is in good order, right?” relying on your counterpart’s conscience.
#3 – Watch For Dodging
Savvy counterparts often get around direct questions by answering not what they were asked but what they wish they’d been asked. And, unfortunately, not all of us are gifted at detecting this sort of evasiveness. The reason is that people tend to be more impressed by eloquent sidestepping than by answers that are relevant but inarticulate. Improve your dodge detection by simply remembering your own question. Take your time to consider whether your counterpart has actually provided you with the answer you sought, and if the answer is “yes”, then you can move to the next issue.
#4 – Don’t Dwell On Confidentiality
It has been backed up by the scientists already that the greater the promises of protection are, the less people are willing to respond. So if you work to assure others that you’ll maintain their privacy and confidentiality, you may actually raise their suspicions. It is also worth noticing that a question posed in a casual tone is more likely to divulge sensitive information, than the ones given in a formal tone. For example, if you are recruiting a potential employee and you want to know whether he/she has any competitive offers, just nonchalantly broach the topic asking “We all know there are lots of great companies out there. Is there any chance you might be considering other places?”
#5 – Cultivate Leaks
Even if you deal with an astute negotiator who is determined to withhold the information, you can still encourage leakage. In negotiation, for example, you might use indirect tactics to glean information. For this, give your counterpart a choice of two different offer packages both of which would be acceptable for you. If he expresses a preference for one over the other, he is leaking information about his priorities and giving you insight into his relative valuation of the issues up for negotiation.