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Cornering Them

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation Mistakes > Cornering Them

Description | Avoiding it | Taking advantage | See also

 

Description

Cornering the other party in a negotiation puts them in a position where they see no way out, where there is no acceptable solution for them.

When people feel there is no alternative, they will fight to the death. This is one reason why wars start -- at least one party feels that there is no acceptable alternative.

Avoiding it

When you feel you are being cornered, show that you will not concede on all points, which is often what the other person is seeking. Show your teeth early and your ability to bite, and they will be less ready to corner you. If cornering a person leads only to destruction, then this is seldom a desirable outcome.

Taking advantage

Whilst you can push the other person into a corner, always leave a way out for them. This should seem logical to them and they should ideally feel that they have chosen it by themselves (so be subtle in your moves).

Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese general who wrote 'The Art of War' said 'Build your enemies a golden bridge', meaning that the way out for them should be obvious and desirable.

They should be able to take the way out whilst preserving as much dignity as possible (so don't chase them over the bridge).

Beware of thinking that you have left them a way out, but them actually finding this unacceptable. Keep testing for what they really want and what they will accept.

See also

Warfare

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