Do Negotiators Tilt?

Published: Sep 12 , 2013
Author: Keith Stacey

Sportsmen and women choke but apparently poker players "tilt". I came across this term in Nate Silver's excellent book the Signal and the Noise. Tilting is defined as over aggressive play brought on by a lack of perspective, or playing without discipline. A number of tilts are listed and could just as easily apply to negotiating.

Among them are:

  • Too loose
  • Too tight
  • playing too long
  • Playing too tired
  • Entitlement
  • Distracted
  • Scared
  • Too much money
  • Too little money
  • I gotta get even.

If we can apply this to negotiating then just as players grab their throat when an opponent appears to choke a skilled negotiator can just start leaning ever so slightly when their counter-party tilts.

Keith Stacey

 


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About the author:

Keith Stacey
Keith is a Principal Consultant with Scotwork and has over 30 years experience as a business consultant, educator and trainer. He is a regular consultant to senior executives in professional practice and his principal interests in management are strategic planning, project management, client-relationship management and conflict resolution.

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Good Questions

More often than not, it is clear if a negotiation will be successful or not by the quality of questions being asked. Good negotiating questions will surface lots of new information about your counterparty’s worlds, their flexibilities and other interests. In contrast, poor questions will typically make it harder.

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