Common Enemy

Description:  You are trying to build a relationship with the guy across the table — by attacking his relationship with his own organization.

Sometimes the best way to build a relationship (and justify unfavorable terms) is to claim that you and the counterparty have to work together to face down a common threat – usually your organization or their organization (or both).  Good for getting past gatekeepers – “What can we do to make this work?”  The problem is that while this may be effective at building a short-term dialogue, it tends to undermine trust in the long term.  Common Enemy works well for transactional negotiations, but if you want to forge a longer term relationship with the coutnerparty you are better off climbing the ladder with Big Guns.

Intent:  Build a relationship, establish a dialogue.

Style:  Accommodating or Collaborating in the short–term, but ultimately competitive.  Good for use with Avoiders.

Counter:  What do you mean “WE”?

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