TOP 10 NEGOTIATION DIRTY TRICKS

 

1. Physical intimidation. 

Psychologically destabilise the other party by sitting close, leaning across the table, sitting in a bigger chair, positioning them with the sun in their eyes.

2. Sow a bad seed. 

Drop lots of hints about the strategic context or operational situation that isn't true, to structure expectations of the other party.

3. Deliberate misunderstanding.

Deliberately misinterpret a point to your advantage in the hope that the other party misses it or is too timid to correct them e.g. incorrect summary.

4. The vow of silence.

Refuse to give any information or explain any statement/proposal that you make.

5. Giggling school girl. 

Undermine the other party's confidence in their position/proposal by passing notes to each other look up and snigger.

6. Good cop bad cop. 

Apply psychological pressure with this old classic. The intended effect is that good cop gets incremental concessions as a result of bad cop's behaviour.

7. Chinese water torture. 

Continuous repetition of the same demand regardless of response (unless it's 'yes') in the hope that you will grind the other party down or at least squeeze extra concessions out of them.

8. Going nuclear. 

Dismiss relatively small demands with disproportionate sanctions.

9. The shudder. 

React incredulously to a proposal "you can't be serious, that's no where near realistic".

10. Pickpocket. 

Deliberately take a little extra post agreement e.g. pay late or change specification.

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Squashed

I find this rather difficult to write, as I am a person of some size myself, but I shall press ahead anyway in the fond hope that no one is offended. Recently, on a holiday in the USA, my wife and I found ourselves on an internal flight on a budget US airline. If I share with you at the outset that this airline made Ryanair look like the Savoy hotel of the airline industry, you’ll begin to get the picture. Anyhow, I was allocated seat 4B on a plane that the check-in steward told me was completely full – a middle seat; my wife was in seat 4E – a middle seat on the other side of the aisle. I had missed the bit about pre-booking your seat for $25 a seat; how full was the flight from Phoenix-Mesa to Rapid City going to be, for heaven’s sake? It turned out to be very full. Who knew? As we were waiting to board,...

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