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Plant

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Plant

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Have another person upset the applecart by saying something controversial or otherwise putting the other person off their stride. For example:

  • Criticizing the other person's argument.
  • Introducing a new consideration that changes the whole situation.
  • Asking irrelevant questions.
  • Talking for a long time.
  • Using contradictory or negative body language.

This person can be someone on your side who acts like a 'loose cannon' or may be an apparently neutral bystander.

Be careful that the plant is not so annoying that they completely dissuade the other person from wanting to negotiate with you. Also, of course, make sure that the other person does not guess that the plant is acting deliberately. For this reason, the plant is often played by someone who is naturally a bit geeky or otherwise has less gentile social skills.

Example

When telling my son to go to bed, my daughter makes a comment about it being childish to argue against this request (which I asked her to say beforehand, knowing how the argument would proceed).

In a team negotiation, a person on one side brought in as a subject expert keeps talking about things that are not relevant, wandering off-topic when they are talking. They do this particularly when the other side is getting into awkward territory.

A primed bystander looks shocked at the other side's position. They shake their head and frown at many of the things that people on the other side say.

Discussion

A 'plant' is a person who is deliberately 'planted' into a situation for a particular purpose.

A Plant is also a Belbin's team role, where the person is creative and comes up with good ideas, but may well not be focused achieving closure on the best answer (and thus, in teams, needs to be controlled).

See also

Belbin's Team Roles

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