AKA: Mystery Man, Revolving Door, Musical Chairs
Description: Another great group technique. You vary the line-up of your team during the negotiating process. New people join. Other people seem to change roles or attitudes. Can be cheesy and transparent, but it can also be very effective. Make sure this isn’t being done TO you.
Sample Usage (Alvin and Bob): "Uh, Hi. I was waiting to see Bob. Bob Clawson. I have a 2:30 appointment."
"Yes, Alvin, I'm afraid Mr. Clawson is detained by other business. He asked me to meet with you in his place. I'm Carl Stone, the head of operations at Clawson Tech. "
"Well, that's suprising."
"It's no problem at all. Mr. Clawson has briefed me in full. Now could I ask that we please discuss the situation regarding exclusivity of the designs you'll be doing for us? I'm not sure that we're all on the same page there."
Alvin sighed and prepared to explain - for the 4th or 5th time - his requirements about the use of his firm's intellectual property. "
Intent: Obscure the decision-making process and grab concessions by introducing a "stranger" who requires you to revisit points that were seemingly settled.
Style: Competitive / Avoiding
Category: Team Tactic
PIFH (Power/influence Fear or Hope): Not totally applicable here, but in a general sense this tactic is based on fear.
Counter: Appeal to Reason. Call the Bluff. Divide and Conquer. Walk Away. Big Guns, Why?
Related: Secret Boss, Policy, Nickels and Dimes
Note: This is another manipulative process controller. The main idea here is to confuse the other side to get information and wring small, unilateral concessions. It's an anti-relationship tactic. The other side is never supposed to get to know who is who -- they are constantly struggling to figure out who is the real decision-maker.
It's an OK tactic if you need information and aren't in a hurry, it looks disorganized at best - and possibly dishonest.