Monday, September 29, 2008

The One Bounce Executive

I once knew knew an executive who was great for one bounce but not for two.

By that I mean his arguments and points on behalf of a particular proposal sounded fine on the first bounce, but upon an additional moment of reflection, they began to ring hollow. He would say things such as:

"I've always supported that project." Sounds good, but then you'd realize he'd never done so and had in fact vigorously opposed all aspects of the project.

"We've had 16 witnesses testify that this took place." That's pretty impressive when there was a total of seven witnesses.

I wish I could say that he was unsuccessful with this technique, but he wasn't. He was so good at saying outrageous things with a straight face that many listeners began to question their own memories and information. Even more were unaware of any gaps between what the executive said and what he truly supported. If he were called on his "exaggerations" and mistakes, he'd flatly deny any discrepancy and would claim it was all a matter of interpretation.

The fact that he was extremely amiable helped. You wanted to believe what he'd said because he was such a nice fellow.

He later moved on to another organization. I assume he's charming them there, at least for one bounce.

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