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Russian Front

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Russian Front

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Offer them something that they will never choose. Dress it up so that it seems more reasonable (at least that it is reasonable that you might offer it to them).

Make it seem inevitable. Show how it is going to happen. Paint the picture of pain.

Then offer them the alternative that you really want them to choose.

Example

Well, I do hear they need people with your talents down in Sewage Maintenance, and there are openings there -- the last guy ended up in hospital. Though I've also got contacts in reception -- would you like me to ask them?

You can go to bed now ... or you can clean up this mess.

Uh oh. You've done it now. Michael will not like that. And he's coming down in ten minutes. Tell you what: there is something I can do...

Discussion

One of the things that many German soldiers feared in the second world war was being sent to the Russian front, where you were as likely to die from the cold as from a Russian bullet (and the Russians were pretty mad at being invaded, just as they were when Napoleon tried the same trick).

Offering something that is clearly undesirable creates panic and discomfort. This causes people anxious to get away from this -- to the point where they are looking more at what they are avoiding than what they are getting instead.

This is an application of the Hurt and Rescue principle and also the Contrast principle. The Russian front provides the pain, against which any alternative sounds wonderful.

See also

Hurt and Rescue principle

 

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