FlashMBA.com: The Evolution of Professional Skills Training

Tactical Tuesday:  The Flinch (Aka:  You Gotta Be Kiddin' Me!)

Posted by Andrew Hupert on Oct 3, 2017 12:02:33 PM


Flinch is a negotiaitng tactic that makes him feel insecureAKA: You’re Joking, You Can’t Be Serious

Description: You pretend to be surprised and dumbstruck by their proposal.   You are shocked – SHOCKED – at their outrageous nerve! Try not to ham it up too much.  (It doesn’t seem like it would be effective – but it works.)

Sample Usage (Alvin and Bob):   Alvin had barely gotten the words out of his mouth when Bob’s face twisted in horror and he grabbed his chest.

            “40%? Did I hear that right? Are you serious? Is that what you really said? That can’t be right! Are we talking about the same thing?”   Bob’s face was beet red, and Alvin was worried that the older man was having a heart attack.

            “Well, I’m sure it’s something we can work out. Let’s just come back to that point?”

Intent: Undermine a proposal by acting as though it is insane, irrational, and personally offensive.

Join the Managing Millennials Newletter

Style: Any (except Collaborative). Works for Accommodators.

Category: Emotional Trigger

Counter: Breathe, Silence. Smile. Wait. Pretend not to see. Why? Appeal to Reason.  

Combination/Related: Flinch opens the door to a range of counters, such as Silence and Why?. Often used with a re-Anchor. Flinch is particularly powerful with Appeal to Reason.

 Note: Flinch is a bit theatrical, but highly effective. That’s makes it unfortunate that relatively few sophisticated negotiators are willing to do this (on purpose).   Some businessmen feel that a cardinal rule of negotiation is to never display any emotion.

When confronted with a Flinch, your first hard-wired impulse may be to make a concession. Don’t do it. Breathe. Silence. Why?

New Call-to-action

Check out www.ellwandmedia.com for  answers to your digital marketing questions. 

Topics: negotiating tactics, countertactics, counter-tactic, flinch

Written by Andrew Hupert

Got Tactics?

Tactics Determine Relationships

Let FlashMBA show you how to up your business game.

  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Cross-Cultural Management

Subscribe to Email Updates


Professional skills training delivered in a fast, flash-card format.

Online classes, slideshows, videos and articles focusing on soft-skills.

  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving

Manage your skills training like you manage your career.

FlashMBA presents: Introduction to Negotiation - Prep & Planning: FlashMBA GOBLINS Guide to Negotiation

Subscribe to Email Updates

FlashMBA's Negotiators Toolkit

Recent Posts

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all
Join the Managing Millennials Newletter

ChinaSolved: Business Solutions for International Negotiators

Share FlashMBA Articles


Follow Flash