Bosses taught to deal dirty

A

Alan Cotterell

#1
The following article appeared in the Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia) on Saturday, February 19, 2000. I suggest it epitomises the manifest hypocrisy of most middle managers. I cannot believe the stupidity and arrogance it reveals. :

BOSSES TAUGHT TO DEAL DIRTY

Senior public service managers are being told to make false demands, appear irrational and act ignorant when hammering out workplace agreements with their employees.

The advice, in a negotiating manual published by the Department of Employment Workplace Relations and Small Business has outraged the federal Opposition.

Opposition public administration spokesman John Faulkner has called for the manual’s immediate withdrawal, labelling it disgraceful.

The manual outlines a series of negotiating tactics, including “making false demands”. “When you have a demand, introduce a few false issues” it advises. “This disguises your serious interests and allows you to make concessions, thus giving the other party a sense of gain.”

Other tactics include “bluffing” and “Brer Rabbit” (getting the other party to do something by pretending you do not want it done).

Pleading ignorance to delay proceedings is recommended. “Either deliberately misinterpret the other party and behave as though the misinterpretation was fact, or pretend you don’t understand”, it says. “At the appropriate moment, discover your misunderstanding.”

Minister David Kemp was unavailable but his department head, Peter Shergold, defended the manual by claiming the advice could be found in any book on negotiating tactics. “I have to tell you everything you have read out there (regarding the tactics) is quite unexceptional.” “Not only are these tactics that people may think they can employ in negotiations, but equally this is a guide to the tactics that can be employed against them”

Other headings include “make negative comments”, “give a biased example” and “feign anger”.

Under “discredit associations” the manual advises parties to “associate the other parties case with some unsavory connection”.

The manual explains that the tactics have been used effectively in negotiations but are not necessarily ethical. “The listing is not an exhaustive one, nor is it meant to be an endorsement of all the tactics included,” it said. “Some may be regarded as ethically dubious.

“However it is important to recognise a particular tactic (ethical or otherwise) when it is being used, to counter successfully.”

Senator Faulkner said instructions contained in the manual were outrageous and completely contrary to the values and codes of conduct in the new Public Services Act.
 
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Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
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#2
Alan,

That is almost unbelievable! I am sitting here shaking my head in disbelief. What could be next from that author? Tatics on making a marriage better perhaps by beating your spouse to show them how attentive you will be when nursing them back to health? Yuck!

Regards,

Kevin
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#3
I guess I'm more of a realist. In fact, to some degree I have an insight into negotiations which dates back to the 1970's. I had a cousin who was an AFL-CIO union negotiator and organizer. The tactics they used were every bit this low both in negotiations and in organizing a company. Not only stuff like this, but people infiltrating the company (send in the spies) who would go to company meetings wearing a wire and such. I mean, it was (and I am sure is) still dog eat dog. A good negotiator uses 'tricks'. Moral or not, it's every day stuff.

And management was/is no better...

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 24 February 2000).]
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#5
It's the same crap. In dealing with people there is reality and there is 'the dream'. Many phrases (eg.: There's a sucker born every minute...) highlight reality. Billy Gates didn't get where he is by being a nice guy. [quote...Other headings include “make negative comments”, “give a biased example” and “feign anger”.
Under “discredit associations” the manual advises parties to “associate the other parties case with some unsavory connection”...[/quote]Sounds like a politician to me! Politicians lie to us every day not only in their words but in their practiced body language as well.

Cops interrogating a suspect don't 'play fair'. Have you ever gone thru an interrogation? Back in 1988 I underwent 2 days of interrogation by the DIA (Defence Intelligence Agency) in response to problems 'found' at a former employer (actually it was a joke - some REDACTED 'turned them in' for 'misrepresenting' product as QPL when the tests were in but the actual approval paperwork was not received from DESC). I went thru the 'good cop - bad cop' routine (there were two agents). They were on a 'mission' of idiocy - reminded me of what you hear about the IRS abuses. Anyway, my reaction to "...Senior public service managers are being told to make false demands, appear irrational and act ignorant when hammering out workplace agreements with their employees..." is - that's life. I bet you use these tactics in your marriage and in most of your life.

Have you ever bought a used car? I sure don't go in and believe the sales person - a lesson I again learned last year (I trusted the salesman because a friend recommended him and - boy - first the car was taken in trade a week earlier - I later found it had been on their lot in another city for 3 months!!!). Nor do I go in and say "...I have plenty of money and great credit so price isn't a factor.." I go in an plead poverty. I typically leave and wait for the sales person to call me with a "...better offer, now that I've spoken with our sales manager..."

Yes - my reaction is: This stuff is not new, it is part of every day life and simply does not at all surprise me. No offense meant, Kevin, but I bet it really doesn't surprise you all that much.

"...Other tactics include “bluffing” and “Brer Rabbit” (getting the other party to do something by pretending you do not want it done)... Tell me who you know (including yourself) who has never used these tactics. You won't do well at poker if you are bad at bluffing.

"...his department head, Peter Shergold, defended the manual by claiming the advice could be found in any book on negotiating tactics..."For years. I was exposed to negotiation tactics back in the early 1970's. Very true.

No, folks, I consider this stuff to be every day life. We are not yet living in a utopia of honesty where 'dirty dealing' is not necessary. Idealism is one thing - reality is what we have to live with.

EOR (End of Rant)
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
In memory of Alan Cotterell. Sometimes I wonder what ever happened to him. Anyone know?
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
Marc said:
In memory of Alan Cotterell. Sometimes I wonder what ever happened to him. Anyone know?
It was an interesting thread. I'm sorry I never got to know Alan.

The topic of the thread seems to deliver this message
Learn ALL the dirty negotiation tactics, not so much for you to use them, but for you to recognize and defend yourself against them when the other guy tries to use them on you.

(kind of a restatement of "those who fail to study history are condemned to relive it.")

Anybody got any good tales of calling a phony's bluff in a negotiation over car, job, or anything?

One of the things that absolutely turns me off is a phony who tries to flatter me about my choice in clothes, shoes, where I live, where I work, how well I write, etc. All my antennae go up and I no longer believe ANYTHING the person says after the phony flattery.
 
V

vinodkumar

#8
orange

We need to accept reality before we can rectify the situations. If this was the intention then it is not so bad , is it?
 
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