Personal Favor

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Identification

This tactic is used when we cross the professional line into the personal. The person asks you to make a business decision as a personal favor to them. This is very effective if a close personal relationship already exists. You may be inclined to always fold when it comes to valued, healthy personal relationships. This tactic is even favored by some authors who focus on closing transactions. Unfortunately, this can be a stepping stone to corruption when the person eclipses the role in the job. It can also be a liability if it triggers a bias or harassment claim.

Example

Consider, “There are a lot of moving parts in my life. I could really use your help right now. Will you sign here?” Or, “after this deal, can you help me move some furniture in my house?”

Solution

The way to handle the professional and personal nexus is to keep them separated. Never give personal favors in business without a personal relationship that is legally fire-walled, as innocent intent can be misinterpreted. If you think you have a conflict, recuse yourself from the transaction and get a colleague to finalize it. Keep business-to-business relationships clean. If people must beg for commercial interaction with personal favors, they are in the wrong business.

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