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Forced Teaming

Forced Teaming is a common tactic to gain compliance over an Interviewee. What is it? It is simply making an implied connection between two parties when there, in reality, is none! Let's look at an example.

In Gavin de Becker's book, The Gift of Fear, he describes an example of Foirced Teaming where a predator is interviewing a potential victim and she is walking to her apartment. He picks up a can of cat food which she has dropped and walks toward her. Smiling, he makes a statement such as "we have a hungry cat in there." This is an attempt to make her feel a sort of connection with him whereby he wants to show his compassion for the cat, but more imporatantly, he wants he to see they working together toward a common goal.

If this is a new concept to you, you may think there is nothing wrong with such a statement. And you may or may not be right. It depends on the situation. The reality is that everyone uses tactics like this all the time to manipulate one another. Sales associates, managers, friends, etc., all use this principle.

So how do you know when it is a problem? When it manifests with other alarming principles. One by itself may not mean much, but three or four may signal things are going wrong for you. Recognizing that this is happening is the first step.

For this young lady, the first thought in her mind when he said this should have been "wedo not have a cat, I do!" She may even vocalize this. Would that be rude? Perhaps. But, it may also save her life! So what if she seems rude. Unless she plans to be friends with him, she should err on the side of caution. If he is really an ok guy, he will understand and they can joke about it later. If not, then it is in her best interest.

Statements that use words like "we" and "us" when "you" is more appropriate, should set off alarm bells in your mind! If this continues, and especially, if other alarms are present, it may be best to get out of there quick!

Remember that a team works together and is made up of two or more people who know one another and have trust. A stranger is not part of any team you want to be on!

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