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Stephen White
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Indignation is a common response in negotiations which go ‘wrong’.

I once acted as a mentor to an ingredients buyer for a packaged consumer goods manufacturer.

She was concerned that she wasn’t being tough enough as a negotiator and wanted some independent feedback. At one meeting I observed, negotiating with two salespeople of the ‘wide boy’ school who had come to negotiate a price increase, she held her own very well and the expectations of the salespeople were significantly curtailed. At the end of the meeting they left, apparently unhappy with the more modest outcome.

She and I stood at the window of her office, overlooking the car park and started to discuss the process of the meeting.

The two salespeople emerged from the building and walked across the carpark. Unaware of being watched one of them punched the air as a sign of victory. My mentoree was devasted and beyond indignant.

She immediately sent a note to the supplier they represented advising that she had reconsidered the agreement just provisionally made and would accept no price increase at all and if they didn’t agree to that, she would delist them.

She proved to be considerably more feisty than the majority of respondents in our survey.


The situation in our survey was:

Having settled down with your family at a quiet stretch of beach you are upset when a boisterous group of youngsters playing very loud music plonk themselves a few metres away.

You politely ask them to quieten down or move, but they are unresponsive.

What do you do?


Find out the answers to this question and six others in our new Book, which also includes advice and life experiences from our Chairman and Negotiation Expert, Stephen H. White.

Click here to download the 'Controversial Tales of the Unexpected' Book.

Stephen White
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