Donald Trump has enjoyed a love-hate releationship with the media for over 40 years. He admittedly loves the attention, free publicity, and credibility he derives every time they print his name, interview him, or show his properties. It’s been invaluable to his brand.
But Trump also hates the media. Despite his best efforts, he can’t control what they say, write or broadcast. And he hates media portraying him negatively.
Of course, he says any media attention helps. Still, his actions speak louder than his words. He has consistently used threats and litigation to attempt to bend reporters and publications to include favorable and exclude unfavorable information.
We’ve also seen Trump use his bully pulpit of the Presidency attempt to badger and discredit Mueller’s Russia Investigation. In fact, The New York Times cites that Trump has publicly attacked the Russia Investigation more than 1,100 times.
Why does he care so much? Because media reports disproportionately impact him and his brand.
Where does media get its power to impact our preceptions of him? From its preceived credibility, objectivity, and independence.
Why “Fair” Objective Criteria Matters
How many times have you heard or used the terms “fair” or “reasonable” or “unfair” or “unreasonable” in a negotiation. A ton. What do they mean? Virtually nothing. Each is a conclusion.
Effective negotiators need to ascertain why it’s “fair” or “reasonable.” Find out the objective criteria, or underlying independent standard, justifying that conclusion.
Many forms of powerful objective criteria exists in negotiations, including market-value, precedent, tradition, expert- and scientific-judgement, costs and profit margins, policy, reciprocity, status power, and professional or industry standards.
Why does it help to use objective criteria to support your position? Because we derive power and legitimacy from the preception that standards and criteria are based on objective, independent factors. Standards and criteria are based on objective, independent factors. Standards and criteria are usually not simply tied to what any individual wants. As a result, since our position appears to be based on objective, independent factors, our counterparts will more likely conclude our position is truly “fair and reasonable.”
Research: Credible, objective, and independent criteria – like the media – provide power and play a crucial role in almost all negotiations. It also underlies my Third Golden Rule of Negotiation: Employ “Fair Objective Criteria.
How Trump Uses Helpful Standards & Fights Those That Could Hurt Him
Donald Trump fully appreciates the roles objective criteria and independent standards play in negotiations. And he aggressively fights to use, shape, change, overcome, impact, and sometimes undermine the influence of these criteria and standards. How?
- He highlights helpful objective standards.
- He hides and ignores harmful objective standards.
- And if objective standards hurt him, especially publicly, he fights like the devil to undermine their perceived independence, crediblity, and legitimacy.
Why has Trump publically attacked Mueller’s Russia investigation more than 1,100 times? Because Mueller’s investigation is the embodiment of “fair” objective criteria against which Trump will be judged. Trump is attempting to discredit it.