Imagination

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Identification

Letting others’ imagination run wild is a powerful tactic that people direct against themselves. Tension in a negotiation is generally created by one’s mind. The “monkey brain” discussed by Buddhists deals with how a negotiation can be stressful, frustrating, ambiguous, complex, and confusing all at once. When the other side gives us a pause, it gives our minds the chance to run wild. In adversarial proceedings, less information is more.

Example

Negotiator 1: “You owe me money. Pay up now. You infringed on my rights.” Negotiator 2. “Really? You will be hearing from us in a letter.” Negotiator 1: “What does that mean?” [Thinking of counterclaims.] Negotiator 2: “You will be hearing from us in a letter.” Negotiator 1: [I wonder if…]

Solution

The timing of this tactic is important. It comes down to how much paranoia is at work, and who has more stamina and mindfulness. The tension may be broken by a comparatively easy offer. Knowing yourself and the other side will help gauge the effectiveness of this tactic.

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