Do Negotiators Tilt?

Published: Sep 12 , 2013
Author: Keith Stacey

Sportsmen and women choke but apparently poker players "tilt". I came across this term in Nate Silver's excellent book the Signal and the Noise. Tilting is defined as over aggressive play brought on by a lack of perspective, or playing without discipline. A number of tilts are listed and could just as easily applies to negotiating.

Among them are:

  • Too loose
  • Too tight
  • playing too long
  • Playing too tired
  • Entitlement
  • Distracted
  • Scared
  • Too much money
  • Too little money
  • I gotta get even.

If we can apply this to negotiating then just as players grab their throat when an opponent appears to choke a skilled negotiator can just start leaning ever so slightly when their counter-party tilts.

Keith Stacey


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Keith Stacey
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Ever found yourself in that nightmare scenario when you are in front of another party in a negotiation and the partner you have taken with you to the meeting seems to have gone off track, starts revealing new information, giving in on things you had both agreed before the negotiation, being conciliatory when they should have been tough or tough when they should have been conciliatory. Even worse, the other side have...

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