Lair Liar/Lie Limit Lose


The lair of an electric eel is designed too look like an innocent crevice. Approach such openigs with caution.

Be wary of the image created by another person's office. Such settings are stages set to impress, intimidate and obfuscate. By creating the image of power and success, a person can hide financial fragility. Try to get a tour of the offices or wander about while waiting for the meeting to start. A feigned trip to the restroom often allows you to glimpse less public areas. You may discover the truth behind the fa├žade helping you to adjust your strategies.

Get to know those you are dealing with before you have to have a serious meeting. A little information gathering about their capabilities and capacity to perform may save you from making a deal with the wrong person or firm. No matter how good the deal, if you invest your time, effort and possibly money only to have it fall apart later it is a bad deal. When you reach the point of agreeing you can save yourself this exposure by asking 'Before we agree, can you really meet these terms?'. There is no issue with doing this if everyone understands the terms and can perform. If not, you need to know it sooner rather than later.



Beasts in the wild have integrity and honor. They hunt to eat and kill to protect. Only man has developed the capacity to alter the truth for personal gain.

How you handle negotiations will determine how effective you will be in future dealings. If you are consistently honest and deliver on your promises, your reputation will become one of your most important personal assets. Failure to do so will result in delayed discussions as your opponents will be reluctant to share openly their needs, wants and expectations. They will be defensive in their posture and will want to extract costly assurances that you will perform if an accord is reached.

One should consider one's teammates. Get to know those you will be working. You do not need to overcome the reputation of someone on your side; it is hard enough to communicate when there aren't defensive barriers to be worn down.

You need to handle differently those who haves the reputation of not following through, changing their minds, or lacking integrity. Assuming you must deal with the person document any agreements in detail. Have the agreement signed not only by the parties but witnessed by other sin the room. Witnesses are helpful when trying to enforce a troubled agreement with someone who has a selective memory.

A proven tactic that helps to cement an accord with someone suspected of being a bit duplicitous is to look that person squarely in the eye, shake his or her hand, and say, 'Do we, you and I, have an agreement?' This makes the agreement personal, not just business as usual.



A cougar will discreetly track its prey until the gazelle drifts away from the herd. Knowing its capacity to handle one prey at a time gives the predator the advantage of knowing when and where to strike. The prey, also aware of its limitations, becomes another's dinner by being carelessness.

Everything has limits. This is especially the case when negotiating. There are limits to what you are prepared to do, what the other person is willing to do, what is actually possible to be done. Knowing these limits in advance enables a negotiator to set realistic goals and objectives and devise a strategic plan.

Limits delineate what one can expect to achieve. Before accepting limits, always test the assumptions that support the limits. Often misconception may masks the actual potential of the situation for you. Never accept a limit based on its face value whether set by you, by your boss or by the other side. Everyone is prone to making mistakes based on faulty assumptions. It is your role to test and validate the underlying assumptions before charging into battle.

Be aware that the other person may have set limits on what he can do without validating that his or her limits are real. Sometimes limits are established based on a person wants rather than their needs. Other times a company mandate or a boss set unrealistic limits to force stretch from a subordinate. This is not your problem. Let them train their people on someone else's time. You need to identify and dispatch such false limits quickly and efficiently.

The majority of limits are not fact based and, with proper motivation, can be changed. This is where the effective negotiator or mediator establishes his value. By challenging limits set by others they are able to forge agreements that were previously rejected. A mediator routinely validates each of the parties' limits and assumptions to open opportunities for an accord to be reached.

Tips on how to challenge limits set by another person whether that person is on your team, in your organization (your boss), on the other side, or an expert in the room:

-Ask why the limit is what it is. Look for hard facts supporting the limit; if there are none, keep asking why.

-Ask if there is anything that might change the limit. If there is, then the limit is not actually a firm limit.

-Ask if you meet that limit do you have an agreement. If not, this is not the limit you really need to be focused on until you uncover all of the issues.

-Ask who set the limit. If it is not the person with whom you are dealing perhaps you need to get to the real decision maker.

-Ask why again!



For a young bull walrus to lose a challenge to lead the pack means a life of solitude. The males unable to conquer their elder brethren are driven from the pod mate-less until they grow stronger, the elder grows weaker or they die. Only the reigning male enjoys consort with the females.

Losing is not fun! Everyone does it from time to time. That still does not make it fun. Losing is losing and we all hate to do it. We are programmed to win, or to want to win. Yet there are times we will lose. How we go about losing sets apart the real winners from the losers.

Rather than lose and walk away, always try to make the most of a loss. This will generate a return on the time and effort you invested in the negotiation.

Making the most from losses:

-Find out why you lost this argument. Learn from the mistake and sharpen your skills.

-Determine if you lost on facts or style. If facts, improve your detective or research abilities.

-Gather the facts that cost you the argument to see if they can be effectively attacked at a meeting. If so, schedule a meeting. If not, don't waste your time.

-Gather the facts that cost you the argument and find ways to use them to be better prepared in the future.

-If it was style, find a way to come back again and use a different approach. Or send in a surrogate to use a better approach. In similar situations, deploy different styles.

-Make a friend. Strengthen the relationship with the other person by acknowledging their victory and how they did it. Recognize how they did it as well as what they accomplished.


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