If you have done much negotiation, then perhaps you’ve come into this situation where you offer a gift of some type to those you are negotiating with at the time of the original handshake of your meeting. If you find your fellow negotiator on the other side of the table taking that gift with barely an audible thank you, and then move and take it away and then act like it never happened then you are probably negotiating with a very shrewd negotiator who is using a specific tactic.
This technique they’d be using is called; “closeting the negotiation gift,” and this should be a wake-up call to you that you are seen as an opponent, and this person is out to out negotiate you.
In other words, they don’t have your best interest in mind, only their own, and they are not going to be working for a Western-style win-win type negotiation. If you find yourself unprepared for this level of negotiation, it’s best to ask for the gift back, tell the other party that they have offended you and your culture, it’s fun to throw that in, and turn around and walk out, tell them the negotiation is over, and you might even consider not doing business with them at all ever.
This is what I had done many times in the past in my business, and each time in hindsight this proved to be the best strategy. If you cannot trust the other party to enter a win-win situation, then you can expect that they will try to weasel their way out of any agreement you sign later in a legal battle or court of law, or undermine your forward progress in the marketplace for their sole benefit. Also, if you give them a concession, and they “closet that concession” that means they plan on giving you no concessions at all, and hoping you will be naïve enough to give them another concession. Don’t fall for it, walk away.
Indeed, sometimes it is good to throw them off guard. If I was negotiating with the Iranian regime over their nuclear weapons program, I would ask them to take off their shirts and kindly give them to the other side of the negotiation and, our side as a gift, because they had failed to bring a gift and dishonored our cultural way of doing things, and until they did that, tell them there would be no negotiation.
And if they did, and once they did, you could tell them that you were kidding, and that they look like such fools as they handed over their clothing, and they were not smart enough to negotiate with you, and to go back home and get someone who was a competent negotiator. It’s time we play hardball, it’s time that we learned how to on balance the other side who thinks they are God’s gift to the world in high-stakes negotiation. And if we can’t come to any negotiated settlement over Iran’s nuclear weapon’s program we should strike.
That’s how I’d play it, and then I would blame the preceding war on their negotiators and their inability to come to terms. Please consider all this and think on it.