How To Improve Negotiation Skills by Uncovering Tactics – Part 1 in a 3 Part Series

There are lots of areas of importance in a negotiation. This article will focus on uncovering tactics and redirecting the negotiations back to a mutuality-based, win-win process.

A Tactic, by definition here, differs from a strategy. A tactic is intentional and, it is meant to get you to give up a concession without the other party giving anything in return.

This article is not written to encourage you to use tactics but instead to know when tactics are used against you. We want you to be able to neutralize tactics to preserve a win-win negotiating relationship.

There are three  areas to consider for uncovering and neutralizing tactics – This series will explore the topic of uncovering tactics in three short articles. 


Is it a Tactic?

 A “strategy” used by the other party may be a tactic or it may simply be the way they do business. Let’s use “Higher Authority” as the tactic example. You move through a negotiations process with someone, thinking that person will make the deal with you. Then, when you have wrapped up the trading, they tell you that they do not have the authority to make the deal; they need to pass the information up through channels. Is this a tactic? It may be an attempt to put pressure on you and get you to change your offer.

But, it may not be a tactic. I know of a large energy company who runs negotiations this way; they have a two-step process by design. The negotiators who initially go out tell the company they are negotiating with about the process. They are the first line but do not have budgetary authority to make the size deals done at this level. They then bring all of the information to the next level of management for approval. Not a tactic; just the way they do business.


To Learn More

To learn more about uncovering tactics please visit us at   where you can download a free report with more tips on how to Improve Your Negotiations.  Or if you have an interest in organizing an onsite negotiation skills training course please contact us at


About The Author

Jim Hornickel is Director of Training at Negotiations Training Institute and the co-founder of Bold New Directions, ,  a transformational learning organization that offers corporate  learning programs including Leadership Training, Communications Training, and Resilience Training Solutions.  Bold New Directions faculty work with Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized firms and educational institutions to grow people and performance. Find out more about Jim Hornickel and Bold New Directions at or visit our specialized negotiations training site  via