Dealing with Unethical Acts in Negotiations
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What are the consequences of acting unethically?
A negotiator who employs an unethical tactic will experience either or both positive or negative consequences. Once the tactic is employed, the negotiator will assess consequences on three standards:
- Effectiveness - Did the tactic work. That is, did the negotiator got what he or she wanted as a result of using tactics, and what were the resultant consequences?
- Reactions of others - How does the negotiator feel about herself after using the tactic. A separate set of consequences may come from the judgments and evaluations of the counterparty, constituencies, or audiences that can observe the tactic.
- Reactions of self - the negotiator will experience consequences depending upon whether using the tactic creates any discomfort, personal stress, or even guilt. Conversely, the actor sees no problem in using the tactic again and even begin to consider how to use it more effectively.
Unethical acts may effect or cause a negotiator to adjust her: Positions, Interests, Priorities and preferences, BATNAs, Reservation prices, or Key facts.
Back to: NEGOTIATIONS
Responding to Deceptive Practices in a Negotiation
If you think the other party is using deceptive tactics, in general you can do the following:
- Question - Ask probing questions and phrase the questions in different ways.
- Draw a Line - Force the other party to lie or back off.
- Confront - Test the other party or call them on the deceptive tactic. This can be done conflictive or non conflictive manner. A conflictive approach will close the negotiation, while a non-conflictive manner amy not. An example would be to discuss what you see and offer to help the other party change to more honest behaviors.
- Ignore - Ignore the unethical tactic and proceed to negotiate with a focus on the interests at stake.
- Reciprocate - Respond in kind.