Corporate trolling. Part two

    Today we will analyze the types of counteraction that occur in face-to-face events - at presentations and negotiations. Of course, it is difficult to capture in one fell swoop the vast sphere of black rhetoric, black PR and other black abomination that accompanies any of our even the best undertakings. But the people are experienced people, seek the information trained. As they say, a good engineer does not have to know everything, but he must be able to quickly acquire the necessary knowledge. I myself am not a guru either in negotiations or in rhetoric, but I have had experience communicating with real masters who will never write to Habr, even if they know about the existence of this resource. It seems to me that this experience, generalized and purified from emotions, will be of interest to many.


    Let's imagine that you are entrusted with presenting a certain system that is planned to be implemented in a certain organization. Before you are sitting future users, the leaders of these users, and maybe Himself (Who Gives Money) will wander around. Sellers usually spud themselves, but they can lead him to show the goods face. That is, an authoritative person in a tie in front of a screen with funny pictures.
    Let's say you managed to excite the audience with the inevitability of future changes. This is usually achieved by illustrative examples close to the life of Comanches.users. When people begin to try on the future personally, they begin to think. They have an unpleasant feeling. And some may want you and your company to disappear from the horizon and never appear again. And then the opposition begins.

    “We will never have it”

    The most common phrase. Variations: “For 30 years they worked without your system and nothing”, “We have unique methods (pearing around).” There is no absolute recipe here and cannot be, because the formulation itself is absurd. In fact, this is a technique of sophistry. In the same way, we can say that "I have lived 30 years, and I will live another 300." From the first the second does not follow at all. The main thing is not to flinch when they say this to you. And remember the one who said this first. Here is the Troll-victim (see previous post ). Most likely, this is the middle manager who sits tightly on the support of the replaced system. Or the one whose frames will be pulled out to accompany your system. Or just a respected employee who decided once again to raise his authority.

    Get to know someone who claims to. You are very friendliness and sincerely want to know the reasons for such a categorical statement. As soon as they tell you the reasons, you will immediately apologize, pick up a laptop under your armpit and leave the most respectable meeting. As a rule, the client begins to wag and you smoothly proceed to the following items on the agenda. But sometimes a “historical excursion” begins. Fear it like fire! Because it mesmerizes other "old-timers" and as soon as you pull them out of their sweet dreams, they will hate you. And your products at the same time.

    Historical excursion

    Very dangerous artifact. It begins as a harmless life story. “30 years ago we started to implement a similar system ...” And then comes the sad story of implementation. Which with a light stroke puts an end to all your arguments in favor of the implemented system. Who are you and who is this respected person? The problem is that you cannot tell the customer’s representative that the matter is not in the “bad” system, but in his crooked hands (or that 30 years is an eternity in IT). One way or another, the historical parallels at the presentation are very dangerous. Especially if you are young and can not tell how you wrote control algorithms for some rover in 1986. At the same time, during the interview, such stories, on the contrary, are of great value. But this is a completely different conversation.

    The rules will save you. Ask to transfer the story to after the presentation, say that you still have 180 extremely interesting slides and a demonstration of the prototype for dessert.

    Attention, a question!

    Questions without questions are also aimed at switching the attention of the audience from the topic of your presentation to anything else (usually the personality of the “questioner”). The man raises his hand: "May I ask a question?" After your permission, the speech begins in the style of a “historical excursion”.

    It’s best if you say right away that the Q & A session will be at the end of the presentation. But sometimes (and most often) you should welcome audience questions during the presentation. If you started a “speech” under the guise of a question, do not hesitate to inquire as soon as possible what the question is. You can even interrupt the performance in a minute. Bring the context back. They ask you a question, you are ready to answer and wait for the question.

    Black rhetoric

    A million receptions of varying degrees of cruelty. If you are unlucky, and you come across an opponent experienced in black rhetoric, urgently call for reinforcements! If there is a senior comrade nearby - sale, project manager, etc., address questions to him. If you are alone in front of the troll, God help you. Or download the appropriate skill. Google literature and start training. As a rule, 99% of self-taught trolls have enough basic countermeasures. And if you suddenly come across the same 1%, then this is most likely an order. That is, they released the troll-killer, and the solution to the problem lies in the political field.

    For example, here are tricks from personal practice:
    - “Your data is incorrect, company X studies confirm this” (about graphs or figures). While you will make excuses, proving that your sources are reliable, everyone will remember only that you persecute get along.
    - “Have you personally participated in projects to introduce your system in such (unique) enterprises like ours?” How can you even tell us how to do our work without knowing our (unique) specificity? ” The same joke as in the previous paragraph.
    - “Do you know that ...” The following are some internal agreements that you most likely have never heard of. This is an example of the use of reference, or reference influence. Favorite trick of all the bosses. “Yes, you don’t know what’s going on up there!” “You don’t have all the information to say that!” Etc.

    The topic is truly inexhaustible, and the experience and skill of counteraction can be acquired only in battle.

    Conversation. Artistic spin

    I will give only two simple tricks that work and often work in negotiations with specialists . What is happening between the sale and the customer is a great mystery and, probably, this is the subject of another blog.

    Evil expert and good boss

    The purpose of the event is to unbalance you by exerting pressure. To do this, a troll-killer is invited to start digging into every word, to every document, cursing, resenting and often losing all relevance. Your loss is when in response to another attack you lose peace and begin to react accordingly.

    Any educated person is looking for a way out of a conflict situation. And the way out will be offered to you in the form of a "kind and wise boss." Who will pacify the dispersed employee, offer you coffee with cognac and some conditions for overcoming the crisis. Which before this seemed unacceptable to you, and now seems almost the only salvation.

    What to do? But nothing! Do not lose your temper, keep the party line. This is a trade, and you should have some backlash. If you are not supplied with instructions on where you can prosest and where not - your boss Loh layman. How many of such battles the specialists in the hem brought months of unnecessary free work - not to count. Please force your bosses to give you cards in their hands. This is their job, after all.

    There is even a variation of the Stockholm syndrome, when a specialist comes from negotiations and begins to spread rot on his own, extolling the personal qualities of the customer, to whom he still has not had any warm feelings. This suggests that the real master is working on the other side. These are often found among government officials. They hone their skills for years, doing nothing but spin and trolling.

    Telegram from the Center

    A variant of the method described above in the absence of an evil specialist. It is practiced by middle functionaries and managers who are not allowed to have a personal chauffeur and a manual killer troll.

    In the first part of the scheme, the pressure is exerted personally by the representative of the customer. The entire available arsenal is used, including methods of reference or reference influence. The abundance of references to "higher powers", "corporate standards", "the CEO" or "Kremlin" speaks of the approach of Phase Two.

    When you have fully realized your insignificance and sit with your head bowed, the Big Boss will ring. With a changed face, the customer representative runs out of the office, and after a few minutes enlightened returns. Saying, “I explained to myself our deplorable situation, took care of the cause, protected you as best I could, and he decided to give mercy, but under the following conditions ...”.

    Unlike the first option, you can in Phase One repent of all sins, unfasten yourself with whips, but without making any promises. You can also have a miserable shabby look (see films with Woody Allen). But you should meet Phase Two vigorously and independently and not make any concessions other than those planned. Moreover, a well-torn template will allow you, on the contrary, to overcome some conditions, since a customer representative cannot leave his own game.


    In this topic, it remains to make out the tricks that were observed during the delivery of the results of the work (display of the system or delivery of documentation). So there is a reserve for the third part.

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