Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dirty Negotiating - Psychological Warfare

I just read Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, a quick intro to the world of negotiation. The book highlights one "dirty trick" which I found particularly interesting/entertaining/oddly comical:
They can deliberately refuse to make eye contact with you. (Simple experiments with students have confirmed the malaise many feel when this tactic is used; and they are unable to identify the cause of the problem).
P. 136 (parenthetical in original). So, it works... and nobody knows you're doing it? I'm not advocating use of this tactic (and neither does the book), but there's something really intriguing about that.

For the record, the book recommends that "recognizing the tactic will help nullify its effect; bringing it up explicitly will probably prevent a recurrence." So, keep an eye out... for people keeping their eyes out.

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor and employment law practice groups.