Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

Share this Page URL

3 Developing Strategy and Tactics > Offense and Defense - Pg. 23

DEVELOPING STRATEGY AND TACTICS 23 2. Employ moderation and avoid initial confrontation. 3. Keep a line of retreat open. Not only is this a face-saving tactic, it also provides necessary flexibility for dealing with shifts by the opposition. 4. Always leave a line of retreat open for your opponents. This will provide them with an incentive to agree if your tactics shake their conviction about the reasonableness of their position. A concession is much easier to attain than a surrender. 5. Avoid a frontal attack unless your bargaining position is definitely stronger than your opponent's. Tactics employed by a negotiator who has methodical habits and attitudes probably should involve generous use of supporting data presented in a planned and sequential manner. There should be a logical progression from a known factor at the beginning, such as selling price, to the conclusion. Specifically, a bargainer of this temperament might make extensive use of direct statements. Arguments would be presented in such a way that an opponent would appear unreasonable in declining to concede the correctness of each point made. After the negotiator has gotten agreement on the first issue, he or she will take the opponent a step closer to the ultimate objective by the same logical means. This advantage will be followed up by moving the discussion a step closer still until, finally, the opponent either must agree on every point or retrace the entire line of tactical succession. This can tend to force the opponent to make such statements as, That's not what I meant, or You're putting words in my mouth, which indicate a defensive and weakened position highly exploitable by the negotiator. When an opponent employs this approach, the most effective parry is to use simple questions to avoid agreement. Questions break the opponent's chain of logic and require a pause to respond. The interruption provides the negotiator with an opportunity to inject a new topic of his or her choosing. O FFENSE AND D EFENSE Tactics for the negotiator who has an active, quick mind involve using a rapid-fire series of facts presented in such a way as to allow an opponent little time to think before responding. The idea is to overwhelm the opponent with lightning thrusts. A successful parry to this tactic is to slow the opponent by requesting clarification. Statements such as, I don't understand your point, or, I'm sorry, would you repeat that, please, interrupt the barrage. Here again, the negotiator can take the offensive by using the interruption to initiate a new line of approach. In formulating tactics, note that the one who initiates the negotiation always takes the offensive simply by starting off. For example: Case No. 1 Boss, I've been here a year and you have indicated that my work has been satisfactory. Now I think it's time we talk about raising my salary.