All warfare is based on deception. The Art of War Sun Tzu
The marketplace is a battlefield Business is like war
therefore: Expect deception in business negotiations
Background of “36 strategies” Methods of deception Used in all daily encounters Common Chinese expression – even Chinese children are aware of its meaning Describes someone’s actions as deceitful Chinese claim to study these strategies not to deceive, but to prevent these strategies from being used against them
History of “36 strategies” A collection of 36 stories of strategy from ancient Chinese history Stories are derived from military tactics applied during the Warring States Period (403-221 BC) or during the Three Kingdom Period (220-300 AD)
Strategy 1: Cross the Sea by Deceiving the Sky The king of Qin, wanted Baili Xi, a brilliant strategist as an advisor, but Baili Xi lived in the State of Chu. So, how to get him out of Chu without the king of Chu realizing that Qun was gaining an advantage. The trick - to accuse Baili Xi of being a fugitive from Qin. Naturally, King of Chu did not want fugitives from Qin in his kingdom, so he agreed that Qin soldiers could come and get their fugitive. Qin soldiers then entered Chu, shackled Baili Xi and dragged him out of Chu to Qin. The king of Chu was relieved to remove a fugitive from his kingdom. When Baili Xi reached the kingdom of Qin, the king received him, put him in fine silken robes, and made him a top advisor
Strategy 2: Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao 围魏救赵 Attack their Achilles heel (weakest point)
Strategy 2: Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao When the kingdom of Zhao was attacked by the kingdom of Wei, Wei was left undefended. The king of Qi then attacked undefended Wei, which meant that Wei’s troops had to leave Zhao and return home to protect their own territory.
Strategy 3: Kill with a Borrowed Knife 借刀杀人 Attack using the strength of another person.
Strategy 4: Relax and Wait for the Adversary to Tire Himself Out 以逸待劳 Exercise patience and wear them down
Strategy 5: Loot a Burning House 趁火打劫 Hit them when they are down
Strategy 6: Make a Feint to the East While Attacking the West 声东击西 Fake to the right; attack to the left (Confuse and mislead)
Strategy 7: Create Something Out of Nothing 无中生有 Make the empty full Create diamonds from sand
Strategy 8: Pretend to Advance Down One Path While Taking Another Hidden Path 暗渡陈仓 Pretend to care about an issue and later give it up to get what you really want
Strategy 9: Watch the Fire Burning from Across the River 隔岸观火 Allow them to fight your other enemy while you rest and observe. Later, defeat the exhausted survivor
Strategy 10: Conceal a Dagger in a Smile 笑里藏刀 Befriend them to get their guard down, then attack their weakest point ( hide hostility under friendliness )
Strategy 11: Sacrifice the Plum for the Peach 李代桃僵 Trade up! Take a small loss for a large gain.
Strategy 12: Take Away a Goat in Passing 顺手牵羊 Take advantage of every small opportunity “The nibble”
Strategy 13: Beat the Grass to Startle the Snake 打草惊蛇 Stir things up before beginning to negotiate for your true interests
Strategy 14: Raise a Corpse from the Dead 借尸还魂 Revive a dead proposal by presenting it again or in a new way
Strategy 15: Lure the Tiger out of the Mountain 调虎离山 Seek a neutral location - Negotiate after leading them away from a position of strength
Strategy 16: Let the Adversary off in order to Snare Him 欲擒故纵 Pretend to give up – then make your move when they are not defending against you
Strategy 17—Toss out a Brick to Attract a piece of Jade 抛砖引玉 Trade something of minor value for something of major value.
Strategy 18: To Catch Bandits, Nab Their Ringleader First 擒贼擒王 Convince the leader and the rest will follow.
Strategy 19: Remove the Fire from under the Cauldron 釜底抽薪 Eliminate the source of their strength
Strategy 20: Catching Fishes from Troubled Waters 混水摸鱼 Do something surprising or unexpected to unnerve them, and then take advantage of that situation (chaos – panic)
Strategy 21: The Cicada Sheds Its Shells 金蝉脱壳 When you are in trouble, secretly escape
Strategy 22: Fasten the Door to Catch a Thief 关门捉贼 Completely destroy them by leaving no way for escape
Strategy 23: Befriend a Distant State While Attacking a Neighboring State 远交近攻 Distant adversaries can be a temporary allies. Do not attempt to take on too many challenges at once. The immediate danger needs to be taken care of first. Build strategic alliances with others that will give you the upper hand
Strategy 24: Borrow a Safe Passage to Conquer the Kingdom of Guo 假道伐虢 When the weak are not threatening, help them and win over support Temporarily join forces with a friend against a common enemy.
Strategy 25: Steal the Beams and Pillars and Replace Them with Rotten Timber 偷梁换柱 Remove their key support
Strategy 26: Point at the Mulberry but Curse the Locust 指桑骂槐 Convey your intentions and opinions indirectly
Strategy 27: Play Dumb 假痴不癫 Columbo strategy. Catch them off-guard. Make them underestimate you.
Strategy 28: Remove the Ladder after Your Ascent 上屋抽梯 Lead them into a trap, then cut off their escape.
Strategy 29: Decorate the Tree with Fake Blossoms 树上开花 Reframe deceitfully. Exaggerate to mislead Expand the pie with objects of little value.
Strategy 30: Turn Yourself into a Host from Being a Guest 反客为主 Reverse the situation Switch from defense to offense
Strategy 31: Use a Beauty to Ensnare a Man 美人计 Provide alluring distractions
Strategy 32: Open the Gate of an Undefended City 空城计 Present something that is really simple; let the adversary overestimate your capabilities Display your weakness to conceal your vulnerability
Strategy 34: Inflict Pain on Oneself in order to Infiltrate Adversary’s Camp and Win the Confidence of the Enemy 苦肉计 Appear to take some hits to build their confidence Inflict an injury on yourself Feign weakness while arming yourself
Strategy 35: Lead Your Adversary to Chain Together Their Warships 连环计 To turn your adversary’s strength into weakness Use interlocking stratagems to defeat them
Strategy 36: Retreat is the Best Option 走为上 Use your BATNA “He who runs away today, lives to do business another day.”