8.3.1. When do tactics usually come into play?

Tactics, although not exclusively, tend to be used more when one party has more power than the other and tries to take advantage of it. Tactics are also more frequently used where the nature of the negotiation is based on value distribution and the focus is on taking as much value off the table as possible.

8.3.2. Dealing with tactics and when to use them

There are dozens of books written on negotiation which present tactics as the basis of negotiation. They are given names which serve to explain the approach: 'The Russian Front', 'The Trojan Horse' and so on. The most important thing about tactics is to recognise them for what they are.

  • They are neither clever nor sophisticated.

  • They are designed to apply pressure and usually by those who can because they have enough power to do so, or those who think they are clever enough to do so without any consequences.

However, they are used with such regularity that one has to recognise and understand them, adapt to them and, where necessary, even use them, where appropriate. To help with this I have categorised a range of tactics using a simple scale of 1-10 (1 is low and 10 is high) against two factors:

  • Power required: the amount of power you will need to have or be perceived to have relative to the other party for this tactic to work.

  • Relationship erosion: the degree to which your relationship or any trust that may exist within it will be eroded, if the tactic once ...

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