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Falling off of the throne of tricks

The effects of COVID are even perceptible when it comes to the field of manipulation. During a serious crisis, “manoeuvring” cannot prevail the way it usually does. That’s not a surprise because when businesspeople are in their hour of need, correctness and honesty come to the forefront. This is the only way to define real solutions.


For businesspeople, the ability to negotiate and assert one’s interests is a very valuable trait. However, asserting one’s interests has different levels, and we should not exceed acceptability. When we use a discussion to our advantage and the other side’s disadvantage, no coveted win-win situation emerges. If it does not occur, we can talk only about short-term cooperation in which a substitution will be made as soon as practicable. It is interesting, however, that in non-crisis market situations, business decision-makers are more lenient. What is more, for quite a long time, they acknowledged if somebody could grant advantages for their own company or the company they worked for with the help of manoeuvres. Nevertheless, business life has changed significantly in that respect, and the “we will try to push every little thing through with the supplier partner” attitude is disappearing. The main reason is the appearance of the younger generations in the market, who reject “old school” tricks. And it’s not because they do not like to assert their interests. The opposite is true; indeed, they put their own interests at the forefront. They simply cannot stand “skirting” solutions. Of course, there are local differences in this field, as well. The more developed and modern an economy is, the more correctness is integrated into the business culture. What do we call “manoeuvring”? Not big things or criminal acts. Two business partners negotiate with each other, and one of them thinks — fairly or not — that they are in a position of power, so they completely try to exploit the other partner. It can surface as an inappropriate price or forcing too many deliverables for the given price. The former can be objectively assessed; it is typical of multinational companies and is primarily connected to products. The latter characterises the service sector, mainly those fields where consulting is present in any form. Services are difficult to measure concretely; they can only be explained subjectively. It is hard to stop a “manoeuvring” partner from wanting more than they deserve. They believe that stretching the boundaries is worth it because it seldom hurts anyone.

When they no longer smile

Business culture is constantly developing, and exploiting partners is becoming less acceptable in Western thinking. Everybody is striving to build a stable business, and losing clients does not comport with stability. That is why service providers are more selective when it comes to clients who have an obviously incorrect attitude. Of course, manoeuvring customers always think that they are superior because they have the money. They believe that they can dictate under all circumstances, and they get offended if they are called on to come to their senses from time to time. The manoeuvring era was about to disappear anyway, but the events of 2020 did away with “manoeuvring companies” for good. On the one hand, one would think that every order is needed in a crisis. On the other hand, there are not many companies providing real, quality services. That is why unquestionably professional firms finished last year with outstanding results. Even in sectors that were significantly hit by COVID. Understandably, manoeuvring customers are not sought after. If somebody is not completely correct, they will not be considered even if ten years ago they were praised for their skills and for always “getting the best terms”. Unfortunately, these businesspeople cannot change because falling off of the throne back to mere mortals, and becoming an outcast among them, is exceptionally difficult.