Reflections on collective bargaining: Talk tough, not dirty (Guest commentary)

Preparation, perseverance, patience, plain speech, politeness can trump profanity
By Jamie Knight
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2005

It is said that you shouldn’t mud wrestle with pigs, because you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

In negotiations, it is best not to fight dirty unless you absolutely have to. If you fight dirty you may just end up with more dirt on yourself. Besides, you may find that your opponents are in their element and like it much better than you do.

It is important to recognize the character of the other side. Do not get drawn into the type of negotiation that actually plays to their strength. After all, why play in their pigpen when you should be trying to sweet-talk them into your kitchen.