Chad makes two key mistakes when trying to persuade Troy to stop doing musical theatre so that he can focus on basketball: not identifying what it means to Troy and not creating any silence.
Whilst he starts well by contrasting the girl who got Troy interested in musical theatre as an “elevated IQ temptress girl” with himself as his “loyal best friend”, Chad then offers the two best alternatives to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) as he sees them (Pinkley, Neale, & Bennett, 1994). Either Troy will end up on a cereal box like a famous basketball player (desirable) or IN his mother’s fridge as part of her diet like Michael Crawford, a famous musical theatre performer (undesirable). However by not asking Troy questions to find out what he values in the situation Chad doesn't understand that he doesn't care about the long term outcomes. Instead he just wants to impress this girl.
In addition, Chad embarks on a huge monologue which makes him feel in control temporarily but in fact leaves no space to negotiate the deal he’s trying to make. By not leaving any silence he is losing out on the chance to pressurise Troy into offering concessions purely by remaining silent (Chu, Strong, Ma & Greene, 2005).
However Chad’s negotiation strategy does have a surge of brilliance at the end where he appeals to Troy’s feeling of belonging and responsibility to the basketball team. This activates feelings of commitment as he has been the star player on the team for years and people like to be consistent with their previous decisions and priorities (Davis & Jones, 1960).
If you’ve seen the film you will see that Chad loses this argument but Troy carries on to achieve in both musical theatre AND basketball making this a win-win situation. But who knows, if Chad had won by using better negotiation techniques maybe the whole of East High School would have been buzzing with different gossip…
Lydia Dyckhoff - blog 5
Lydia Dyckhoff - blog 5
Chu, Y., Strong, W. F., Ma, J., & Greene, W. E. (2005). Silent messages in negotiations: The role of nonverbal communication in cross-cultural business negotiations. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 9(2).
Davis, K. & Jones, E. (1960). Changes in interpersonal perception as a means of reducing cognitive dissonance. Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology, 61, 402-410.