1. Recognising what tactic the other side is using and raise the issue explicitly, and question the tactic’s legitimacy and desirability.
2. Separate the people from the problem, don’t attack the people personally for using a tactic you consider illegitimate. If they get defensive it may be more difficult for them to give up the tactic.
3. Focus on interests, not positions, invent options for mutual gain and insist on using objective criteria.
4. Most common dirty tricks will be misrepresentation about facts, authority or intentions. If you are buying a car for example they will say This car was driven only 5000 miles by a little old lady who never went over 35 miles per hour. Disentangle the people from the problem. Unless you have good reason to trust somebody. Do not let someone treat your doubt as personal attack, it is not. No seller is going to give you a watch or car simply in exchange of your statement that you have money in the bank. So a practice of verifying factual assertions reduces the incentive for deception, and your risk of being cheated.
5. Ambiguous authority, after settling a agreement, the person suddenly say he have to double check with someone else for approval, this technique is designed to give them a second bite at the apple. Do not assume the other side has full authority just because they are there negotiating with you. Before starting on any give and take, find out about the authority on the other side.
6. Psychological warfare, these tactics are designed to make you feel uncomfortable, so that you will have a subconscious desire to end the negotiation as soon as possible. Like Stressful situations. Physical circumstances, like too hot, too noisy, too cold, meeting at your place or theirs. If you find the surrounding prejudicial, do not hesitate to say so and suggest a change.
7. Personal attacks, someone might use verbal or nonverbal communication to make you feel uncomfortable, they can comment on your clothes or your appearance. Looks like you were up all night, things not going well at the office? They can attack your status by making you wait for them or by interrupting the negotiations to deal with other people. In each case, recognising the tactic and bringing it up will probably prevent a recurrence.
8. Good guy and a bad guy routine, they will appear to be fighting in front of you. The first policeman threatens the suspect with prosecution for numerous crimes, put him under a bright light, pushes him around, then finally takes a break and leaves. The good guy then turn off the light, offers the suspect a cigarette, and apologise for the tough policeman. He says he would like to control the tough guy, but he can’t unless the suspect cooperates. The result: the suspect tells all he knows. What we can do is always go back to the objective and ask back the question, why do you think this is a fair deal?
9. What can we do if the other side refuse to negotiate? Recognise the tactic as a possible negotiating ploy. Don’t attack their refusal but communicate either directly or through third parties. Find out why they are not interested in negotiating. Lastly insist on using principles, like will they want others to refuse to negotiate with them? What are the principles they think should apply to this situation?
10. It is important to decide what it means to negotiate in “good faith” Is this the way i will negotiate with a family member or good friend? If a full account of what i said and did appeared in the media will i be embarrassed? Will i be a hero or a villain?
Set it right before you start and negotiate with principle and cut off the villain, to me if the other party is really in for a fair deal you are on the right track. If not this person is just a bad guy not worth working with.
A book not to miss!