This is when one negotiator in a team plays the heavy, demanding, or stressful side and the other plays the “nice,” softer, more reasonable side. This works on peoples’ discomfort or fear of conflict and is used as a threat.
The form is common: “You don’t want me to get Fred in here. The last time it got to his desk, something awful happened.”
Confront the fear and disregard it. Call them on it, “What happened?” or, “Maybe Fred will comprehend what I am saying. Bring him in.”