Monday, June 3, 2013

Israeli Negotiating Strategy

Every country has its ways of arranging matters.  These tactics receive names that may seem alien to non-resident even if the technique itself is familiar.  Israel is no different and has a plethora of terms.

If people use a מצליח [nazliya] tactic, they simply ask for what they want even if there is no basis in fact or status to attain it.  If the other side is so foolish as to agree, you  have succeeded, the meaning of the word in Hebrew.  If not, no harm is done.

Another tactic is חזק על חלשים  [Hazak al halishim], literally meaning strong to the weak.  When one party has a clear advantage over the other in terms of strength or position, it can force its position without any resistance and appear to be very strong.  Of course, the term implies that the same bully can become the victim if the tides are turned.

Another proven way of succeeding is Vitamin P.  The letter P refers to the Hebrew term פרוטקציה [protekziya] or connections.  In other words, personal connects work when personal skill is not enough.  It is not always appreciated by others, but is considered a major tool for getting jobs and promotions.

One of the most amusing tactics was personified in the movie Sallah Shabati, sometimes called the  הפוך על הפוך  [hafuch al hafuch], meaning the opposite of the opposite.  The theory is that if the other party insistד on opposing any offer no matter no reasonable it is, you can trick it by asking for what you don’t want, thereby attaining your original goal in a backwards manner.  In that movie, Sallah Shabati wants to receive an apartment.  When his requests and demonstrations don’t work, he changes his tactic to refusing any apartment.  The government then insists that he must accept an apartment.   Two negatives make a positive.

Finally, there are questions you are not supposed to ask.  These are שאלות קידבג  [she’elot kitbag] for some reason.  The term is relevant where actual policy is different than official policy.  So, if you ask if there is a certain fee for a service, for example, you will have to pay it while if you had said nothing, nobody would have charged you.

So, when in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or even Ashdod, it is helpful to understand the negotiating lingo.

I would be interested in hearing of your local terms.

No comments:

Post a Comment