Silence can be a very effective tactic indeed. We discussed silence in the section on gathering information, but there is more to using and defending against silence during the course of a negotiation.
Dealing with silence can be tough. In our society, we are not really comfortable with silence, so you need to evaluate your own reaction to it. If the other person is silent, will you rush in to fill the gap? Even perhaps making concessions just to make sure that there is some noise in the room?
Silence comes in three forms: silence contests, noisy silence, and pauses.
Silence Contests: The tricky thing about a silence contest is that nobody announces, “OK, I’m going to start a silence contest.” It’s ...