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Author Topic:   Bosses taught to deal dirty
Alan Cotterell
Forum Contributor

Posts: 120
From:Benalla, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Oct 1999

posted 19 February 2000 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Cotterell   Click Here to Email Alan Cotterell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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 demandsš. „When you have a demand, introduce a few false issuesš it advises. „This disguises your serious interests and allows you to make concessions, thus giving the other party a sense of gain.š

Other tactics include „bluffingš and „Brer Rabbitš (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 understandš, it says. „At the appropriate moment, discover your misunderstanding.š

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.š „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 themš

Other headings include „make negative commentsš, „give a biased exampleš and „feign angerš.

Under „discredit associationsš the manual advises parties to „associate the other parties case with some unsavory connectionš.

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,š 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.š

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
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Posts: 575
From:Seymour, CT USA
Registered: Nov 98

posted 24 February 2000 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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

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Marc Smith
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Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 24 February 2000 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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).]

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Randy
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Posts: 228
From:Barstow, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 1999

posted 24 February 2000 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Randy   Click Here to Email Randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know this sounds like the same stuff I learned at the FBI Hostage Negotiation course I took 20 years ago.

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Marc Smith
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Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 25 February 2000 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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 commentsš, „give a biased exampleš and „feign angerš.
Under „discredit associationsš the manual advises parties to „associate the other parties case with some unsavory connectionš...[/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 asshole '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 „bluffingš and „Brer Rabbitš (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)

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