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LAYER 4: CORE STRATEGIES We have arrived at the core of our strategic managerial communication model (Figure 11-1). How a manager acts and looks, how she communicates the maximum supportable outcome, reacts to the adversary's style, uses time, establishes the environmental conditions, and asks and answers questions all contribute to the negotiation strategy. Managers combine these communication variables either by design or by accident to develop a core strategy for negotiating. Six general strategies reviewed in the following paragraphs can assist you in combining the different aspects of communication systematically. No particular approach is recommended over another; rather, these six approaches represent possibilities that may best fit a particular situation.24Surprise The surprise strategy involves unexpectedly introducing a goal or concession into a negotiation. For instance, a manager negotiating budget items with a vice president might suddenly request a new title. The total surprise may catch the other off guard so the additional request is approved, especially since it does not add additional expense. A quick concession on a nonessential item is another form of surprise. Once again, this concession may be on an item unrelated to the main focus of the negotiation in hopes that the concession will foster a reciprocal concession by the opponent. Surprise may be particularly valuable with an opponent who is under time pressure, because it may stimulate some quick concessions. Bluff When playing poker, you may bluff by placing a large bet even though you do not have a strong hand to back it up. By bluffing, you hope to scare your opponent. This tactic is also occasionally appropriate in managerial negotiation. Bluffing, the act of creating illusions without the use of lies or outright misrepresentations, is fair play in negotiations because each side is attempting to maximize its own benefit. A difference exists between withholding information and presenting wrong data. For instance, when a person is negotiating to buy an office desk, it is not the same thing to say "I would like to pay no more than $900" as it is to say "I have only $900 to spend." A person may want to spend no more than $900 but has additional funds if they are needed. Stacking
The stacking strategy is used when one idea is attached to another. For instance, a public relations manager might use this approach when negotiating a new strategy with her administrative vice president: "I was just reading in Fortune that ABC International has changed its approach for its stockholders' meeting. ABC used an approach similar to what I'm suggesting." This manager is stacking her approach on top of ABC's to build credibility. Legislators also use a form of stacking when presenting bills. They will attach a controversial item as a "rider" onto something that has wide support. Managers use this tactic in negotiations when they stack an undesirable characteristic onto a desirable