Divide and Conquer

Description:  Keep an eye on your techies and salesmen, becasue an ambitous counterparty may try to turn them to the “dark side”.

More and more negotiations are conducted project-management style, with large teams of  geographcially-distributed specialists speaking directly to one another.  While this may be more efficient, the risk arises that engineers will  pull a “common enemy”  to separate members of one team or another.  Be warned that, while this may work for you in the short term, it tends to undermine trust with the higher-ups in your partner organization.  Likewise, when your counterparty uses this technique on you once, you may want to take steps to prevent it from becoming a habit.

Application:  “The suits just don’t understand our job or what it takes to be successful in this marketplace…”

Intent:  Ostensibly a trust-builder, the real purpose of this tactic is to break down the other sides command and control strucutre to gain inside information.

Style:  Looks collaborative or even accomodating, but it’s really competitive.

Counter:  This one is about preparing you team in advance.  Have guidelines in place that don’t just prevent “d & c”,  but also report it to the team leader.

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