Throw a dog a bone?

Published: Mar 21 , 2016
Author: Ben Byth

While I’m no Dr. Chris Brown, my dog is usually well behaved; that is until we are at home. While we are out he ‘comes’ and ‘sits’ on command and thankfully does everything required to give the illusion that I’m in total control. Of course why wouldn’t he while we are out walking or playing in the park? It is at home that that he makes me look bad.

When called at home he casually raises his head and looks at me, and if I’m not holding a treat he goes back to what ever he was doing previously (usually sleeping on the couch or sunning himself on the lawn). The ultimate insult! He is now quite comfortable ignoring me until I bring treats to the table. It has gotten to the point that if we are leaving the house and I need him inside I will either have to produce a treat or carry him inside.

Last time, while cuddling him goodbye as he ate his treat it dawned on me - the dog is negotiating and getting good deals. He is valuing his concessions in my terms and trading with me. He has given me an ‘either or proposal’: Either produce a treat or carry me inside, which would you prefer?’

Even more interesting is how the power balance is equalised. He knows that ultimately I hold enough power to I impose my will (and I sometimes do carry him in), however he still pushes for the treat and more often than not he gets it. 

So next time you are faced with the prospect of conceding in the face of a power imbalance, I encourage you to ask yourself, ‘Can I give it to them and if so what can I get in return?’

Ben Byth

See this post on LinkedIn.


SHARE

rsz_ben_2018.jpg

About the author:

Ben Byth
Ben’s background is in commercial business to business sales. Leveraging studies in organisational psychology, Ben’s previous role was responsible for growing Profiling Online’s bespoke leadership assessment business locally and abroad across industries such as Banking and Finance, Insurance, Travel, Engineering and Professional Services.

Read more about Ben Byth

More posts by Ben Byth

Latest Blog:

Negotiating Lessons from the Banking Royal Commission

The Australian Banking Royal Commission has been quite embarrassing with cover-ups, poor conduct and unethical treatment of customers. But it does bring to light key lessons for negotiators. These lessons are particularly true for those who are perceived to hold the balance of power. In other words, if you are negotiating with someone who is seen to have very little power - there is a high chance your actions will come under public scrutiny at some point. It is highly unlikely the banking industry will be the only one to come under scrutiny. All you need to do to come to this conclusion is read the paper to see similar accusations in industries like retail/grocery buying, leasing, franchising, etc.

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork Australia
210/410 Elizabeth Street
Surry Hills
2010
Australia
02 9211 3999
info.au@scotwork.com
Follow us
cpd.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png