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Movie Scenes That Exemplify Negotiation

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Michael_Albany

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Feb 7, 2020
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We all know that being a skilled negotiator pays dividends in business. Learning about the intricacies of negotiation, including the nuances of human psychology, how to shape your environment, and understanding how you are being impacted is a complex art.

Question: What are some movie scenes that in your mind exemplify skilled negotiation? Post a youtube video of the scene here, and articulate some of the key aspects of negotiation that you think the scene demonstrates.

SCENE: DEALING WITH COMMANDER ZERO
MOVIE: BLOOD DIAMOND
LENGTH: 3:24



00:00 - 00:25 : ENTERING THE ADVERSARIAL ENVIRONMENT. THE PLANE LANDS AT THE REBEL ENCAMPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE AND WE SEE THE ARMED RUF SOLIDERS APPROACH THE PLANE.

00:29: ARCHER SAYS "DON'T WORRY, THEY WANT THESE GUNS TOO MUCH TO DO ANYTHING STUPID."
KEY POINT: KNOW WHAT YOUR CLIENT WANTS AND HOW MUCH THEY WANT IT
This statement shows Archer understands his client's motivation and how much they want what he has (weapons). This puts Archer in a position of power and control.

00:49: "Where is Commander Zero?"

KEY POINT: TAKE CONTROL OF THE INTERACTION BY STATING WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
Archer is telling Captain Rambo and the lower ranked rebel troops what he wants, not being told what he should do.

CAPTAIN RAMBO: "I am Captain Rambo"

KEY POINT: DON'T BE INTIMIDATED. MAINTAIN A SENSE OF DETACHMENT AND HUMOR.
At this, Archer makes a joke "I've seen your films" (attempting to diffuse the tension of the situation). Joking also shows he isn't intimidated.

ARCHER: "I'm looking for Commander Zero." (Returning to his original intent. Not getting distracted by Rambo.)

Rambo: "You are here to help us in our struggle against the government."

Archer: "I am here to do business with Commander Zero."

KEY POINT: UNDERSTAND YOUR FRAMING AND DON'T LET THE ADVERSARY REFRAME. Very important exchange. Rambo is attempting to frame the interaction as Archer "helping the RUF in their struggle", a vague and undefined emotional framing that has nothing to do with business. If Archer buys into this framing, he will lose all standing and won't see a dime. It's crucial that Archer reframes this as a neutral business interaction. He isn't there to "help them", he's there to "do business".

Archer reframes: "I am here to do business with Commander Zero."

This angers Rambo, who approaches menacingly with this weapon. Rambo takes Archer's cigarette. This is an obvious attempt at dominance. Rambo wants to show that he is in control of the interaction. At this point Rambo's ego is on full display in front of his men.

KEY POINT: BYPASS EGO DRIVEN MIDDLE MEN WHO AREN'T KEY DECISION MAKERS
Archer at this point has a decision. He can either A.) Keep arguing with Rambo - which would be pointless and get him nowhere or B.) Bypass Rambo and find Commander Zero. Since Rambo is not a Key Decision Maker (only Commander Zero can authorize the purchase) it is pointless to deal with him any longer, he must be bypassed.

Archer diffuses the tension by handing his sidearm to Rambo and saying "You are the man." Since he is not no longer a physical threat to Rambo and the others, he can bypass them, which he does, walking away and shouting for Commander Zero. Rambo tries to stop him, but Archer casually dismisses him, saying "It's fine, it's fine." Rambo is diffused at this point.

Archer finally locates Commander Zero.

Zero says "Mr. Archer, come here." At this point Rambo can do nothing, he has been officially overruled by Zero.

Commander Zero: "You got something for me?" (Trying to frame the interaction as Archer being his servant. Archer doesn't work for Zero, he again has to reframe to make them equals."

Archer: "And you got something for me?"

Commander Zero: "You bring them in the plane first."

KEY POINT: DON'T ACCEPT ADVERSARY FRAMING THAT YOU ARE IN A SUBSERVIENT POSITION

Archer: "Are you crazy? You pay me first for them."

Archer knows if he brings the planes first, he'll just be killed or stiffed and will receive nothing. He has to maintain leverage: payment first.

KEY POINT: BE REALISTIC ABOUT THE TRANSACTION AND HOW LIKELY IT IS THE CLIENT WILL PAY OR NOT


KEY POINT: SPEAK TO YOUR CLIENT IN THEIR LANGUAGE

At this point Archer is speaking to Zero in his local dialect. (Speaking the language of his client to make himself more familiar to them)

Zero hands Archer the worthless diamonds. (Attempting to BS Archer). Archer inspects the payment, but knows the diamonds are not worth anything.

Zero: "That's all you're going to get!" Attempting to coerce Archer.

Archer at this point demonstrates the most important thing in a negotiation: WALK AWAY POWER. Instead of cow towing to Zero's demands, he now threatens Zero that he will walk away.

Archer: "You troops can fight the government with those old AKs, against the government's new weapons."

Zero is still shouting: "Or maybe I can just kill you, and take what you have" More threats of force / violence.

Archer: "Ok, then you get one more dead body, instead of a plane, way full"

KEY POINT: DON'T BE EMOTIONALLY INTIMIDATED. USE LOGIC AND REASON ALWAYS TO NEUTRALIZE EMOTIONAL ATTACKS.

ARCHER: So I think I'll go to the government. At least they'll pay me, huh?

Archer is threatening to not only walk away, but to sell to the competition. This has the most leverage over Zero, and Zero relents and finally pays Archer the valuable diamonds.

KEY POINT: DON'T JUST NEUTRALIZE ADVERSARY PRESSURE, APPLY PRESSURE OF YOUR OWN

Zero is happy again. He gives Archer a handful of high value diamonds and tells him he has more than he knows what to do with. He also asks Archer to bring a Satellite TV, so he can see Baywatch.

Archer is happy again too, after receiving payment. Both know it was all a negotiation, and there are no hard feelings.

KEY POINT: NEGOTIATION IS JUST A GAME. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Awesome idea, thanks for doing this. Although I can't think of any scenes as I don't watch a lot of movies.
 

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MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 974422" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
Although I can't think of any scenes as I don't watch a lot of movies

You mentioned you were an aspiring screenwriter a while back. I think it was in TMF ? I would have guessed you watch tons of movies.
 

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Suits TV series - The Lawyer Harvey Spector is a master negotiator in closing and winning the cases. Losses are just part of our life.
 

MJ DeMarco

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You mentioned you were an aspiring screenwriter a while back. I think it was in TMF ? I would have guessed you watch tons of movies.

Not in the last 6 or 7 years. Too much superhero junk, political/agenda driven hi-jinx, low IQ car chases and gunfights, blah blah. I have to watch foreign films to really find anything realistically enjoyable.

This is also why I wanted to be a screenwriter -- I'm tired of the same old cliches, formulas, and impractical scenes. (Like the big shoot out in a residential home and the cops only show up after 2 hours of gunfire AND after the protaganist has his sentimental scene...)
 

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MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 974429" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
Not in the last 6 or 7 years. Too much superhero junk, political/agenda driven hi-jinx, low IQ car chases and gunfights, blah blah. I have to watch foreign films to really find anything realistically enjoyable.

This is also why I wanted to be a screenwriter -- I'm tired of the same old cliches, formulas, and impractical scenes. (Like the big shoot out in a residential home and the cops only show up after 2 hours of gunfire AND after the protaganist has his sentimental scene...)
Have you thought about creating a movie version out of 'the Great Rat Race Escape '?
 

CaptainAmerica

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I've been wanting to do a Walter White's Marketing Guide, because honestly, that's my big takeaway from Breaking Bad....

Parts of Snatch are pretty awesome for pure negotiation.
 
Last edited:

Agoleglo

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There was an old documentary I watched and a phrase stuck. It wasn't negotiating but she asked "how do you always do that. You walk into the room and control everything" and his response was "the secret to control is to let the others believe they have all the control"
 

Kevin88660

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We all know that being a skilled negotiator pays dividends in business. Learning about the intricacies of negotiation, including the nuances of human psychology, how to shape your environment, and understanding how you are being impacted is a complex art.

Question: What are some movie scenes that in your mind exemplify skilled negotiation? Post a youtube video of the scene here, and articulate some of the key aspects of negotiation that you think the scene demonstrates.

SCENE: DEALING WITH COMMANDER ZERO
MOVIE: BLOOD DIAMOND
LENGTH: 3:24



00:00 - 00:25 : ENTERING THE ADVERSARIAL ENVIRONMENT. THE PLANE LANDS AT THE REBEL ENCAMPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE AND WE SEE THE ARMED RUF SOLIDERS APPROACH THE PLANE.

00:29: ARCHER SAYS "DON'T WORRY, THEY WANT THESE GUNS TOO MUCH TO DO ANYTHING STUPID."
KEY POINT: KNOW WHAT YOUR CLIENT WANTS AND HOW MUCH THEY WANT IT
This statement shows Archer understands his client's motivation and how much they want what he has (weapons). This puts Archer in a position of power and control.

00:49: "Where is Commander Zero?"

KEY POINT: TAKE CONTROL OF THE INTERACTION BY STATING WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
Archer is telling Captain Rambo and the lower ranked rebel troops what he wants, not being told what he should do.

CAPTAIN RAMBO: "I am Captain Rambo"

KEY POINT: DON'T BE INTIMIDATED. MAINTAIN A SENSE OF DETACHMENT AND HUMOR.
At this, Archer makes a joke "I've seen your films" (attempting to diffuse the tension of the situation). Joking also shows he isn't intimidated.

ARCHER: "I'm looking for Commander Zero." (Returning to his original intent. Not getting distracted by Rambo.)

Rambo: "You are here to help us in our struggle against the government."

Archer: "I am here to do business with Commander Zero."

KEY POINT: UNDERSTAND YOUR FRAMING AND DON'T LET THE ADVERSARY REFRAME. Very important exchange. Rambo is attempting to frame the interaction as Archer "helping the RUF in their struggle", a vague and undefined emotional framing that has nothing to do with business. If Archer buys into this framing, he will lose all standing and won't see a dime. It's crucial that Archer reframes this as a neutral business interaction. He isn't there to "help them", he's there to "do business".

Archer reframes: "I am here to do business with Commander Zero."

This angers Rambo, who approaches menacingly with this weapon. Rambo takes Archer's cigarette. This is an obvious attempt at dominance. Rambo wants to show that he is in control of the interaction. At this point Rambo's ego is on full display in front of his men.

KEY POINT: BYPASS EGO DRIVEN MIDDLE MEN WHO AREN'T KEY DECISION MAKERS
Archer at this point has a decision. He can either A.) Keep arguing with Rambo - which would be pointless and get him nowhere or B.) Bypass Rambo and find Commander Zero. Since Rambo is not a Key Decision Maker (only Commander Zero can authorize the purchase) it is pointless to deal with him any longer, he must be bypassed.

Archer diffuses the tension by handing his sidearm to Rambo and saying "You are the man." Since he is not no longer a physical threat to Rambo and the others, he can bypass them, which he does, walking away and shouting for Commander Zero. Rambo tries to stop him, but Archer casually dismisses him, saying "It's fine, it's fine." Rambo is diffused at this point.

Archer finally locates Commander Zero.

Zero says "Mr. Archer, come here." At this point Rambo can do nothing, he has been officially overruled by Zero.

Commander Zero: "You got something for me?" (Trying to frame the interaction as Archer being his servant. Archer doesn't work for Zero, he again has to reframe to make them equals."

Archer: "And you got something for me?"

Commander Zero: "You bring them in the plane first."

KEY POINT: DON'T ACCEPT ADVERSARY FRAMING THAT YOU ARE IN A SUBSERVIENT POSITION

Archer: "Are you crazy? You pay me first for them."

Archer knows if he brings the planes first, he'll just be killed or stiffed and will receive nothing. He has to maintain leverage: payment first.

KEY POINT: BE REALISTIC ABOUT THE TRANSACTION AND HOW LIKELY IT IS THE CLIENT WILL PAY OR NOT


KEY POINT: SPEAK TO YOUR CLIENT IN THEIR LANGUAGE

At this point Archer is speaking to Zero in his local dialect. (Speaking the language of his client to make himself more familiar to them)

Zero hands Archer the worthless diamonds. (Attempting to BS Archer). Archer inspects the payment, but knows the diamonds are not worth anything.

Zero: "That's all you're going to get!" Attempting to coerce Archer.

Archer at this point demonstrates the most important thing in a negotiation: WALK AWAY POWER. Instead of cow towing to Zero's demands, he now threatens Zero that he will walk away.

Archer: "You troops can fight the government with those old AKs, against the government's new weapons."

Zero is still shouting: "Or maybe I can just kill you, and take what you have" More threats of force / violence.

Archer: "Ok, then you get one more dead body, instead of a plane, way full"

KEY POINT: DON'T BE EMOTIONALLY INTIMIDATED. USE LOGIC AND REASON ALWAYS TO NEUTRALIZE EMOTIONAL ATTACKS.

ARCHER: So I think I'll go to the government. At least they'll pay me, huh?

Archer is threatening to not only walk away, but to sell to the competition. This has the most leverage over Zero, and Zero relents and finally pays Archer the valuable diamonds.

KEY POINT: DON'T JUST NEUTRALIZE ADVERSARY PRESSURE, APPLY PRESSURE OF YOUR OWN

Zero is happy again. He gives Archer a handful of high value diamonds and tells him he has more than he knows what to do with. He also asks Archer to bring a Satellite TV, so he can see Baywatch.

Archer is happy again too, after receiving payment. Both know it was all a negotiation, and there are no hard feelings.

KEY POINT: NEGOTIATION IS JUST A GAME. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.
Good movie on the business, social and politics of the region.

Take a pinch a salt on the dramatized script on the negotiation.

Many good lines in the movie about how things work.

“In America it’s bling bling. Here it is Bling Bang.”

“Child soldiers here kill each other for diamonds because a man in U.S. saves up six months of his salary to buy this to propose to his love.”
 

realtalk

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Jun 17, 2019
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MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 974429" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
Not in the last 6 or 7 years. Too much superhero junk, political/agenda driven hi-jinx, low IQ car chases and gunfights, blah blah. I have to watch foreign films to really find anything realistically enjoyable.

I feel you on this. I probably haven't watched any movie made in last decade. The effort required to figure out what's worth watching just isn't worth it anymore since it's virtually all garbage.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Here's one...


Know what your opponent wants and how bad they want it. Then you can call bluffs.

I feel you on this. I probably haven't watched any movie made in last decade. The effort required to figure out what's worth watching just isn't worth it anymore since it's virtually all garbage.

Hollywood has gone way of fake news... the best content is now put out by independents and small operators, just like the best news doesn't come from the mainstream, it comes from independent sources, podcasters, and citizen journalists.
 

Kevin88660

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Movie is becoming a thing of the past. Traditional movie are high cost production that tried to satisfy a wide range of audience..combing actions with love and put in a few big names that have different fan bases.

People have much more options to watch things that they want to see without getting bombarded with other kind of content that is catered for others..Instant gratification at the finest..
 

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