The Negotiator Magazine

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On the other hand, it is acceptable to tell only the truth, but not all of it! Hiding parts of the truth is a practical and almost unanimously accepted practice in business. It is alright to tell what we want, but not how badly we want it or how much we are willing to pay for what we want.

Everybody in a negotiation is responsible for their level of knowledge. It is not our duty to inform others about what they should be aware. And still, if we realize that they are doing a mistake which will be in our advantage, do we ring the bell for them? In business we do this only when we realize that later, if they became aware about the mistake, they will try to threaten the deal. Otherwise, it is their problem. And if we want, we can always prepare a compensating deal for later.

For a successful negotiation process, neither one of the three tools - rightness, lies and truth - are determinant. If we concentrate on them, we lose the focus on the essence of negotiation: satisfying the parties' interests - especially our own - by problem solving, finding solutions and trading.

Radu Ionescu is a negotiation consultant and negotiation trainer for Resources, Development & Ideas. Based in Romania, Mr. Ionescu works for Romanian and East European Companies. He assists and advises clients in contract negotiation, conflict solving and mediation and is also a columnist for several Romanian business magazines. To learn more about Radu Ionescu, please visit his site at www.negociere.ro or contact him at radu.ionescu@negociere.ro

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January 2005