BLUFFING

When confronted by a bear, stand your ground, don’t run or reveal your fear. 

If you don’t have a power base in a negotiation, find some or just fake it. 

‘No!’ is a very powerful word in that it bestows power on everyone who has the ability not to settle. In a negotiation almost anyone can get up and say ‘thank you’ and walk away. If the other person wanted to settle the matter, he or she has just lost their edge. If they were making a power play, by exercising your right to say no just deflated their position if they need you to resolve the matter. Now they need to get you back to the table.

Bluffing, too, can yield unexpected results when facing a person presumed to be holding absolute power over a situation. While facts are often what they are, no one knows everything. A sincere bluff often uncovers unexpected fragility in the other person’s presumed power base. Or the person may just be bluffing. Besides, if you are facing insurmountable odds and have nothing to lose, a good, well played bluff is always worth the gamble. 

Skilled poker players know that for a bluff to be effective you must first establish yourself as an able, knowledgeable player with a record of holding the winning cards. They also never reveal their hands when they win by a bluff to keep their tactics hidden. 

In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the power of the word ‘no’.

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