Breaking Down Suits S01’s Negotiation and Communication Scenes

Episode 01: Pilot

00:00:55

Louis going to Jessica

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, this initial scene is supposed to make Harvey look good and build anticipation. But we can already draw some conclusions here. First, we see tension by Jessica. When Louis says, “I can handle Gerard Tate”, she simply looks at him with a sharp look, and he folds immediately. Also, notice how he seems lower value, by constantly smiling and requesting and changing his mind;
    • Also, in a way, this is creating exclusivity and specialisation for Harvey. That is, he is the only one who is equipped to deal with a tough or high-status client;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Tension + value (by Jessica);
    • Exclusivity + specialisation (by Harvey, being the only one who can deal with the tough clients);

00:01:50

Tate and Harvey negotiating

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, interesting techniques here;
    • First, Tate immediately starts with pressure. “If you are the best closer, where the hell have you been for the last 3 hours?”. We can see this guy is a hardcore Dominant from the get-go;
    • We see a great reply by Harvey, diagnosing. He throws a bit of shade, saying, “This deal was OK before I left”, but he says, “I’m just trying to figure out what went wrong”. Flips the burden of responding on Tate. And then, as Tate replies more and more, Harvey asks more and more. Great diagnosing technique;
    • We also see intent labeling by Harvey, forcing him to confirm. “Let me see if I get this right – we gave you a great deal and you ruined it by forcing additional demands?” and the guy even confesses to this and says, “Yes, so what are you going to do?”;
    • It’s also unexpected rigidity by Tate. That is, he had a good deal, but tried to force one last demand, which ruined it;
    • Then, we see more threats and intimidation “Do what I want or I will pay someone else to do it”;
    • So, although Tate’s attitude is realistic here, it’s important to deal with him with caution. That is, hardcore Dominants react very poorly to being challenged, and it’s better to use empathy and tell them what they win. Harvey just subjugated the guy. This could have blown up easily, and was the wrong approach in my view. But good demonstration;
    • One comment also about later, when Harvey and Jessica are having dinner, and she asks, “How do you know he wouldn’t look at the memo?”, when Harvey was bluffing, and he pretty much uses a metaphor to say that a Dominant only focuses on the person, and not on the details. True. But it’s also realistic that Tate could simply threaten to talk trash about them or similar. So this isn’t as efficient and clean a technique as it seems;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Pressure/intimidation (By Tate);
    • Diagnosing (By Harvey, asking more and more about Tate’s situation);
    • Intent labeling (By Harvey, getting Tate to confirm the situation);
    • Unexpected rigidity (Tate demanding something last-minute in his deal);

00:09:25

Harvey seducing the waitress Lisa

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, interesting situation here. We see Harvey deflecting her test, when she says, “You only care about money”, showing grace under fire and status. She seems to not be impressed, saying “I’m never going out with you”, but this can be a test as well… which we confirm in the scene afterwards;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Grace under fire + status (Harvey not reacting to Lisa’s tests);

00:12:25

Jessica with Louis and Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • A couple of thoughts here. I agree Louis couldn’t handle Tate, but to be honest, Harvey did what Louis would do anyway. He subjugated him and overpowered him. He’s accusing Louis of doing something which… he did;
    • Then, they talk about only recruiting from Harvard. Naturally, this is exclusivity and specialisation. It makes them both be sought by all Harvard graduates, but also seem to be more exclusive themselves;
    • Then, we see standard manipulation by Jessica, and an ugly move in my view. As Louis says, he should make senior partner before Harvey, as he has more billables and spends more time there. And Jessica just says, “This is how it is”. She’s hiding the criteria for a promotion in order to promote whoever she wants. This is disturbingly realistic;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Influence archetypes (How a Dominant must be handled);
    • Exclusivity and specialisation (Only hiring from Harvard);
    • Standard manipulation (Jessica hiding the criteria);

00:17:30

Harvey and Donna in the hotel

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Harvey uses a great technique here. He’s pretty much telling Donna to put obstacles and tests in front of all of them and only consider the ones that pass the test. It’s a heuristic to save time. As fair as any other one;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Obstacles + tests (Harvey telling Donna to test the candidates);

00:17:55

Jessica going to her past partner

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, we see some interesting flipping/diagnosing here, or just implementation intention in general. When Jessica says Harvey is not ready, her past partner says, “And what are you going to do?”, and then she flips/diagnoses, saying, “What would you do?”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Flipping/diagnosing + implementation intention (Jessica and the past partner each asking each other about the details – what would you do about it?);

00:23:25

Harvey with Mike

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmmm;
  • Description:
    • So, we see some bonding here, which is already creating the relationship. Despite Mike being literally a drug dealer at this stage, this already persuades Harvey. The relationship is there;
    • Then, it’s fun that Mike sells himself using his skills. And Harvey’s reply is to try and outsmart him. To be fair, if he said he had a photographic memory, I think Harvey’s fascination would waver very quickly;
    • I also find Mike’s answer funny. Harvey tests him, saying, “I am inclined to give this a shot, but what will you do if I go another way?”, and Mike simply says, “That’s fair”, and then illustrates loss. “Sure, I also like to surround myself with people who are not that bright”;
    • Also, when Harvey decides to hire him and demands all of these changes, such as dropping pot, buying new suits, etc, it’s appearance. He has to look the part;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Exposure and familiarity (Initial conversation);
    • Contrast (Mike illustrating how dumb the other candidates are);
    • Image/appearance (Harvey telling Mike to make changes to look the part);

00:31:10

Mike meeting Rachel

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • When she tells Mike, “Good, you’ve hit on me, we can get it out of the way”, it’s permission manipulation. He’s “checked the box”, and they can move on from that topic. Kills the tension, in a way. Or is supposed to;
    • It’s also funny how Mike uses intent labeling. That is, he asks Rachel what she thinks about Harvey, and she states it, and he asks what she thinks about Louis, and she changes the topic. In many cases, what people don’t say tell you equally as much;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Permission manipulation (Rachel telling Mike to move on);
    • Intent labeling (Mike asking Rachel what she thinks about Harvey and Louis);

00:34:00

Jessica with Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • I like how Jessica uses contrast here. Harvey says, “You took my promotion away”, and Jessica says he could be disbarred for this, to make it seem smaller;
    • Also, what Harvey says is accurate, though. When Jessica thought it worked, she didn’t care about the lie;
    • Also, when she says that Tate could have forgiven the lying if he hadn’t humiliated him, she is 100% correct. The Dominant feels that more than anything else. But again, she told Louis he shouldn’t handle Tate because he would do something similar and… Harvey exactly what he would do;
    • Then, when Harvey comes back and uses retaliatory blackmail to get his promotion, inspired by what Mike just said, Jessica uses a great move. Unexpected rigidity. Since she can’t prevent giving him the promotion now, at least she gets one additional demand out of it before doing so, the pro bono case. We also see giving with a sacrifice and a personal touch – Harvey has to do the case himself;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contrast (Jessica minimising Harvey losing his promotion);
    • Influence archetype (Tate’s reaction as a Dominant);
    • Unexpected rigidity (Jessica demanding Harvey take the pro bono case);
    • Giving with a sacrifice + personal touch (Jessica demanding Harvey do it himself);

00:37:50

Mike with the client

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmmm;
  • Description:
    • So, she starts by discrediting him, in a way, calling him a kid and saying he’s skinny. Maybe intentional or not. Despite being sympathetic, Mike shouldn’t have tolerated this, as it compromises him as a lawyer. Seems like a very weird way to start the conversation;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Image/appearance (The client discrediting Mike’s image);

00:40:00

Harvey and Mike entering the building

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • When Harvey tells Mike they didn’t send the files as a courtesy, but a distraction, this is 100% correct. It’s permission manipulation, and something I call the “first satisfaction effect”. Someone does something the first time, and people won’t look for it a second or third one;
      • A doctor identifies one disease, and doesn’t think it may be a second one. A prosecutor gets a confession, and doesn’t consider someone else may be guilty. And so on;
      • Same with the documents here. Make the person look in one place, and they may not look somewhere else;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Permission manipulation (Harvey telling Mike they didn’t send the documents for courtesy);

00:46:55

Mike asking Rachel a favor

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, we see flattery here, coupled with displayed authority. He’s not even saying that she’s the best researcher, he’s saying that Donna said it, which creates a kind of “objective” flattery that comes from someone else. Great technique, if he wasn’t too honest afterwards and revealed it was a lie;
    • When Mike says, “Oh, I didn’t have time, I just made it up”, we could consider this a bad use of adverse transparency. It’s good to admit minor flaws, but here he admits a huge one, and one which is also insulting to Rachel;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Flattery + displayed authority (Mike flattering Rachel through Donna);
    • Adverse transparency (Used in a bad way, by Mike admitting a huge flaw);

00:48:30

Harvey and investigator at the bar

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • The part where she says, “I’m going to get this, because if you do, you may think I’ll change my mind later”. Great example of permission manipulation + reciprocity. That is, the fact that Harvey would pay for the drinks could give him permission, in his mind, to feel entitled to something from her later;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Permission manipulation (Paying for the drinks as permission to want something later);
    • Reciprocity (If Harvey paid for drinks, he could try demanding something in return);

00:51:30

Harvey in court

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmm;
  • Description:
    • So, as usual, not a legal expert, but what Harvey is doing is saying that there is inherent pressure and intimidation due to someone working under the CEO, and that due to that, their behavior is changed. He also uses a funny metaphor to illustrate it;
    • Naturally, the whole back and forth with the judge is Hollywood persuasion, and doesn’t seem realistic – it’s borderline ridiculous – but the point seems fair. I don’t think it seems a great point, but a good one;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Pressure/intimidation (The core of Harvey’s argument of duress);

00:56:35

Harvey convincing the shareholder

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, we see some salience here. The way Harvey tries to convince him is pretty extreme and unique (he didn’t need to take the picture);
    • Then, what he suggests that he do with the shares could be considered a protection against future lock-in. That is, his wife has voting shares, and doesn’t know about the affair now. That is, it’s good in the present, but will be bad in the future. He’s telling him to force his wife to change preferred to common shares, with no voting rights but costing more. That is, it will be bad in the present, but good in the future;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Future lock-in (The shareholder’s current situation);

00:57:55

Harvey and Mike debriefing

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Harvey calls the other lawyer to threat him with sanctions, and what he tells Mike is 100% spot on. The threat of sanctions is better than filing for sanctions. I would say this is true for anything in persuasion. The threat of something is all you have in terms of power, because once you’ve done it, you have nothing left to threaten with anymore;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Threats/ultimatums (The threat of sanctions being better than sanctions);

00:59:35

Mike trying to convince the victim

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • First, we see effort manipulation. “It will just take a minute”. We also see Mike using it constantly. “You just have to show up”, “You just have to give a deposition”, as if these are simple things;
    • Then, we see a justification. Saying, “this man is a predator”, “nobody else can stop him”, and so on;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Effort manipulation (Mike minimising the effort);
    • Justification (Mike justifying why he needs her testimony);

01:10:05

Harvey and Mike leaving

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • When Harvey mentions that Mike’s briefcase is his safeguard, in case being a lawyer doesn’t work, this is permission manipulation. That is, by holding on to this part of your past, you give yourself permission to go back to it. What Mike needs to do is “burn the boats”, not giving himself permission to go back, regardless of what happens;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Permission manipulation (Mike with his suitcase);

01:12:20

Harvey and Louis in the bathroom

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see that Louis planted the fired employee. I was already expecting this. Despite being morally gray (or darker gray, to be honest), faking an ally is a great way to persuade. The person assumes that something coming from a third party is objective (displayed authority), so planting an ally works very well;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Displayed authority (A third party persuades objectively – whether false or real);

01:14:30

Harvey going to the victim

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (REasonably);
  • Description:
    • We see adverse transparency here. Harvey says, “I could tell you I have the smoking gun, but I don’t. I’m still going to find it, though”. This makes him seem more authentic. He didn’t need to admit it, but he did;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (Harvey admitting he didn’t have the smoking gun);

01:17:35

Mike and Harvey coming to a deal with the opposite side

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Notice the unexpected rigidity here. Twice. First Mike says that, after everything else, they’re also going to give Nancy a raise, and after that, he even makes a second demand, and demands her son’s tuition be paid, too;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Unexpected rigidity (By Mike, twice);

Episode 02: Errors and Omissions

00:03:20

Rachel meeting Mike

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, we see playful rigidity and reciprocity here. And the home advantage at play. That is, when Mike came to Rachel, she made him wait. So he’s doing precisely the same here, to her, when she comes to him;
    • The exchange that Mike made is also pretty funny, and a good example of standard manipulation. That is, his colleague agreed to file the patent in return for Mike proofing “the briefs”, but he didn’t say what the briefs were. So technically, thousands of pages of the briefs are still “the briefs”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity + reciprocity + home advantage (Rachel and Mike making each other wait when coming to each other);
    • Standard manipulation (Mike proofing “the briefs” without knowing what they are);

00:06:00

Louis meeting Mike

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see that Louis was the one who made Mike proof the briefs, as a test, and he passed. A good example of obstacles and tests, and in specific, of priming by characteristics – trying to “filter” Mike for not being loyal, but Mike passing the filter;
    • We also see giving in the end, as Louis filed the patent, but I don’t think this is genuine. This is definitely a way for him to get back at Harvey, either by trying to steal Mike, or he did something to the patent itself. Louis has clearly established he’s not trustworthy;
    • Later, Louis calls Mike to his office to congratulate him, which seems good, but it’s a technique. He’s escalating Mike’s commitment, asking him to lunch later, and trying to get him to prove himself to be “the pony” that Louis “picks out of the herd”. And congratulating Mike on his action is a persuasion technique to make him more likely to take the next action;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Obstacles/tests + characteristics (Louis testing Mike);
    • Giving (By Louis, although I don’t think it’s sincere);
    • Escalation of commitment (By Louis);

00:11:30

Judge attacking Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, it’s interesting that a lot of the things the judge does here can be considered standard manipulation. For example, I’m sure everyone breaks the cell phone rule, but he only enforces it here. Or, I’m sure that a lot of lawyers present documents with a speedy nature without forewarning, but he only enforces it here. He’s playing within the rules, but he’s probably not applying them to other lawyers, because he has something against Harvey;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (The judge applying the right rules, but only enforcing them against Harvey);

00:28:50

Mike and Rachel walking

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, Rachel makes some pretty good arguments here. First, we see spinning. As Rachel says, if Harvey knows what Louis is capable of, and doesn’t let Mike speak, then it’s his fault for not wanting to hear the nasty things, not Mike’s fault for not saying them. I would argue it’s the fault of the both of them, but fair point;
    • Then, she says that Harvey is the first person to say you shouldn’t take “no” for an answer, not even from him, which is intellectual honesty – hearing everything, even the worst things – and he didn’t let Mike say those things this time, so he’s going against his own intellectual honesty. Also a fair point. Also an identity contradiction – Harvey is not acting according to his personality and the reputation he espouses;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning (Rachel framing this as a communication failure by Harvey, not Mike);
    • Intellectual honesty + identity contradiction (Rachel saying Harvey is not acting according to his personality of demanding others to not take “no” for an answer);

00:30:00

Harvey negotiating

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • Great technique by the other side. He’s using extreme anchoring. He starts with a much smaller number than his target one, and slowly raises it. It makes it seem fought for, earned, and there’s also the chance that Harvey would take the lower number anyway. Just because the technique didn’t work in this case, doesn’t mean it’s not a great one;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Extreme anchoring (Starting with a much lower number and slowly going up to the desired one);

00:36:00

Harvey and his client Wyatt negotiating with the other side

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, the technique here is a threat. Scorched earth. If they can’t have the prototype, nobody can. Or, in this case, everyone can, I guess. But naturally, it neutralises the value for both. So he’s illustrating the loss they can both have if he does that. Good technique, but the usual dynamics of a threat and intimidation apply here. If he does do this and they don’t pay up, they have no moves left. It’s a risky move;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Threats/ultimatums (By Harvey and his client);
    • Progress/loss (Harvey illustrating what they will lose if they release the specs for everyone);

Episode 03: Inside Track

00:00:25

Harvey fighting for the Tesla

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • As Harvey says, and very well, after he beats the hedge fund manager, he gives him the keys, but only after that. Because there was initiative and effort involved in it. If it were easy, it wouldn’t feel like a win. Especially if the fund manager has a Dominant personality type, but still in general for everyone;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Initiative + effort (Harvey making the fund manager work for the Tesla);

00:03:25

Dominic arriving

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • As Harvey tells Dominic, he was against him in the negotiations, but he had the courtesy to tell him upfront, and he didn’t stab him in the back. Adverse transparency. He admitted something negative to his detriment, to build more trust. In this case, Dominic is still not happy, but I’m guessing he would otherwise be even unhappier;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (By Harvey, being upfront about the bad news at the time);

00:09:40

Louis going to Mike

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, when Louis tells Mike, “When I ask you a question, I just expect an answer”, it’s a very interesting case of rigidity and personal boundaries. That is, Mike is trying to give a justification to why he was not available. The justification strengthens his argument, and forces Louis to understand him and be lenient. So Louis is precisely cutting that off. He’s saying, in a way, “I don’t care what your justification is, I don’t want to hear it”. He’s cutting off compassion. Great execution of boundaries. Despite the fact Mike was not using heavy emotional manipulation, this is how you would you protect yourself, by the way;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Justifications (By Mike, failed);
    • Rigidity + boundaries (By Louis, to prevent Mike’s justifications);

00:11:50

Mike with Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • In the end, we see a fun example of spinning. Harvey is framing the mistake as something from his past, that doesn’t matter anymore, and that actually helps them. While Mike just says, “mistake”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning/reframing (Both Harvey and Mike having different perspectives on his mistake);

00:13:40

Harvey coming to Mike

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • What Harvey says about first impressions is spot-on. Pure anchoring. If the initial impression others have of you is that you are a hard worker, even if you change that later on, the anchor persists. But if you start below others, that lasts as well. First impressions are not impossible to change, but they’re very hard to;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Anchoring/first impressions (Harvey telling Mike that first impressions last);

00:18:35

Mike with his grandma

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • As she says, and very well, Trevor is an anchor, keeping Mike attached to his old life. He needs to get rid of him. It’s both the anchoring effect itself, and permission manipulation. It’s anchoring because, as long as your initial reference is you being a drug dealer and test forger, you’ll never be honest. It’s permission manipulation because Mike needs to give himself permission to break free, and he hasn’t due to Trevor. Grandma is an excellent persuader, as we are finding out;
    • As a complement to this, and out of curiosity, people tend to see the side of ourselves that is the most useful to them. That is why, even if Mike is rehabilitated, Trevor won’t see it, because the most useful version of Mike, to Trevor, is the test forger/drug pusher Mike;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Anchoring (Trevor is anchoring Mike to his old life);
    • Permission manipulation (Mike needs to break with Trevor to give himself permission to leave that life behind);

00:19:35

Harvey with Jessica

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, again, we see an example of protection against future lock-in. That is, Harvey assumes the company is screwed with the current CEO. Stability in the present, but wrecked in the future. So he wants to flip it around and fire the CEO. That is, the company will go through pain now, but have its future be safe, as the new CEO won’t change their strategy to overseas production;
    • We also see a fun identity contradiction by Jessica, when she says that he is not a gunslinger, but a senior partner. In other words, “that’s not what you are anymore”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Future lock-in (The company having a good CEO now, but will suffer in the future);
    • Identity contradiction (Jessica telling Harvey this is not who he is anymore);

00:21:50

Harvey with Dominic

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, Harvey uses adverse transparency, saying Dominic is not his prime candidate, and he has been to 7 other people first. But he does a good spin afterwards, with perceived contrast, saying, “They are better at board politics, but you are better at your job”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (Harvey confessing he spoke with other people first);
    • Spinning/reframing + perceived contrast (Harvey emphasizing Dominic’s advantages versus the others’);

00:23:35

Harvey and Mike with Dominic

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, Harvey and Mike are playing “good cop, bad cop”, as they later say. And that, naturally, works due to contrast. Since he hates Harvey, and Mike is disagreeing with Harvey, he likes Mike;
    • But, more than that, notice Mike’s pattern. He’s doing an NLP pace and lead. That is, since Dominic is in a depressed state, he starts with that state as well. And now that he has bonded with him, now he can change the state to a more motivated one, and Dominic follows. So he starts by saying he agrees he will never get it, but then gets him to talk about the engines and says that is the speech he should give. Great technique;
    • We can also consider this a case of paradox intention. As Harvey later says, “Someone doesn’t like you, you use it”. That is, they took the flaw, which was Dominic not liking Harvey, and found a way to present it as a benefit, adding to Mike’s credibility;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Perceived contrast (Good cop, bad cop);
    • Empathy (Mike doing a pace and lead);
    • Paradox intention (Harvey transforming the flaw into a benefit);

00:32:55

Harvey, Louis and Jessica meeting

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • First, we see Jessica saying the problem isn’t Harvey fighting the client, it’s him doing it without her validation. It compromises the firm’s image, and creates the impression of lack of unity. It’s also permission manipulation – he didn’t “check the box” that was necessary before doing this, which made it a rogue move;
    • And, as Harvey says, Jessica’s move is also great here. Which is, she is pitting Louis against Harvey, and distancing herself, and seeing who wins. Either way, she wins;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Image/appearance + permission manipulation (Harvey compromising the firm’s image by going behind the CEO’s back without Jessica’s permission);

00:36:35

Harvey presenting the offer to the board

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmm;
  • Description:
    • So, Harvey gets the fund manager to offer to buy the company for more than the other buyer. In financial terms, this is a very weird and Hollywood-type situation. In the real world, the fund manager would need to perform due diligence, and the investment would need to fit their strategy. And, considering he’s not even PE fund manager, but a hedge fund manager, this would be very, very rare. Not impossible, but very rare, and on that timeframe. Oh, well;
    • In terms of persuasion, this was straightforward. He got an offer with a better price and better future. No downside whatsoever, anyone could sell this offer;
    • We also see a bit of standard manipulation. The current CEO tries to ban Dominic as he has been fired, but Harvey states that, considering he didn’t get the 3-day notice, he isn’t, technically, “fired”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (Dominic being “fired” or not);

Episode 04: Dirty Little Secrets

00:00:05

Trivia game

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, we start off, immediately, with an example of standard manipulation. Mike replying, “The Bible”, and Louis saying, the answer is wrong, because it must be “The Gutenberg Bible”, because it needs to be precise. Great example of an answer being right or wrong, depending on the rules;
    • And then, as Mike says, Louis decides to double the points of a given round, just because he wants the other associate to beat Mike and make back his points. Another great example of standard manipulation;
    • Then, another example in the end. The other associate gives the answer of how many Supreme Court justices graduated from Harvard, but in reality, the question was, “How many are from Harvard?”, which is a different reply;
    • This scene is a beautiful example of the constant manipulation of rules, in this case in this game;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (By both Louis and Mike, gaming the rules and answers of the game);

00:05:10

Jessica persuading Harvey to take the case

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a great example of intellectual honesty here. That is, Harvey is recusing himself, because he believes he cannot be objective if the client is Jessica’s ex-husband. He will pressure her, and she will pressure him;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Intellectual honesty + trustworthiness (By Harvey);

00:07:50

Mike trying to get an expedited inspection

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmmm;
  • Description:
    • So, we see a funny example of salience here. She does something. good, which is preempt his threat, saying she knows what he’s going to do, and then Mike goes another route, a more threatening and violent one. Seems out of character, to be honest. I find it hilarious he gives Harvey’s name to not deal with the consequences;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Threats + intimidation + pressure manipulation (Mike threatening the receptionist);
    • Salience (Mike standing out by threatening her in a different way);

00:08:55

Harvey with the client

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • We see a demonstration of Harvey’s intellectual honesty here. As the client says, he cuts through the BS. Which is needed, in order to defend them. He establishes credibility and trustworthiness, by not being nice just to please the client, and just focusing on the facts;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Intellectual honesty (Harvey challenging the client);

00:12:15

Harvey negotiating

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, we see spinning here. The other side says “negotiation”, Harvey says “shakedown”;
    • Then, Harvey throws out an offer. I’m guessing this is extreme anchoring, not the real number but a much lower one, so the person has to fight to get it up and come to the number Harvey wanted anyway, but believing they earned it;
    • Then, we see a very interesting “potential fight”. A possibility shuffle in action. Harvey says, “It could be much lower”, and the opposite lawyer says, “It could be much higher”;
    • We also see an interesting use of contrast here. When they are putting a number on someone’s life, Mike argues that his calculations are wrong, because these people have a shorter life expectancy, and therefore they are worth less, but the opposite lawyer says that, precisely because they have so little time left, this time is worth a lot more. Honestly, I can see both sides;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning/reframing (Negotiation versus shakedown);
    • Potential + possibility shuffle (The settlement could be a lot higher, but also lower);
    • Perceived contrast (Short lives being worth a lot more versus a lot less);

00:15:15

Jessica arriving at Harvey’s office

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • We see more spinning here. Jessica says that Harvey will look like an a**hole by putting dying people in the stand, Harvey says that he will do whatever he needs to in order to win;
    • Then, we see intellectual honesty again. That is, Harvey wants to do things his way, without micromanaging, and Jessica wants him to not follow this strategy in specific;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning (The way Harvey will look, by putting dying people on the stand);
    • Intellectual honesty (Harvey insisting on his strategy without being affected by Jessica);

00:16:50

Mike in housing court

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmm;
  • Description:
    • So, a very awkward scene. Legalities aside, notice Mike’s awkwardness here. What a disaster. You can see that he walks in a weird way, doesn’t know when to speak (or when to shut up), and is physically uncomfortable. This is an example of lack of harmony, and all due to him. Despite it being his first time, he could be confident, but didn’t give himself permission to, and therefore was awkward. And this also compromised his image;
    • This is a bit of Hollywood persuasion, with the sassy judge and sassy opposing counsel, so I’ll stick to just reviewing the body language part;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Harmony + image + appearance (All 3 compromised in Mike);
    • Permission manipulation (Mike didn’t give himself permission to be confident, and therefore wasn’t);

00:21:00

Harvey and opposing counsel with judge

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, what Harvey and Mike are doing is suggesting corruption by the other side. When they say this is what the lawyer does, he’s recycling plaintiffs, and so on. Think about it logically. Even if he accused multiple companies of fraud and took them to court, with the same plaintiffs, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s dishonest. But they made sure to frame it in such a way. It creates that impression. Suggestion is very powerful;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Suggestion (Harvey and Mike suggesting the other side is corrupt due to recycling plaintiffs and types of cases);

00:27:35

Jessica confronting her ex-husband

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a great example of the opposite of adverse transparency. That is, Jessica’s ex-husband could have admitted to the cheating, which would be very negative at the time, but things could subside, and instead he didn’t tell her, and she found out much later, and now she is much angrier. We can also consider it’s a type of future lock-in. That is, he got pleasure in the present by avoiding the hard conversation, but screwed himself up in the future with Jessica. Very realistic, because people unfortunately do this all the time;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (The opposite of what Jessica’s ex-husband did);
    • Future lock-in (What Jessica’s ex-husband did, in a way);

00:30:20

Lisa’s deposition

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, Jessica is taking the worst things they can say against Lisa, and saying them herself, to prepare her. Playing devil’s advocate. The logic is that it’s better to be destroyed by your lawyer first, to build defenses, rather than let the opposition destroy you. It’s contrast. That is, after being destroyed once, the second time it’s not so new or different, and you’re prepared;
    • Also, we see standard manipulation here. And fact manipulation. Lisa took the person out of the test so that the negative result wouldn’t show up in the total results;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contrast + salience (Destroying the person during the trial run prevents it from happening again);
    • Standard manipulation + fact manipulation (Lisa taking the person out of the study to manipulate the results);

Episode 05: Bail Out

00:00:35

Harvey and Louis teasing each other

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Good example of spinning here. Louis is celebrating because he got a verdict overturned, and Harvey says that he wouldn’t need to overturn it, because he would never lose in the first place. Great example of two perspectives on the same topic;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning/reframing (Two points of view of the same events);

00:14:15

Harvey asking Louis a favor

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • I love how Harvey starts with flattery, telling Louis he’s an exquisite soprano;
    • Then, Harvey uses implementation intention. “What’s it going to take?”;
    • Simple, yet effective combination;
    • It’s funny how Louis later asks for Donna, and Harvey makes an exception. He says it’s the one thing he can’t give him in return. Then Louis illustrates rolling back the favor (illustrating loss) and Harvey concedes;
    • Then, we see Donna using a bit of emotional manipulation when Louis tries to go to her directly. She cries to get Louis to back off, pretends to be hurt, and it works beautifully;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Flattery (Harvey flattering Louis);
    • Implementation intention (Harvey asking Louis what it would take);
    • Standard manipulation (Harvey saying Donna is an exception to the favors);
    • Progress and loss (Louis illustrating Harvey’s loss if he rolls back the favor);
    • Emotional manipulation (Donna pretending to be hurt, later, with Louis);

00:25:05

Jessica entering Harvey’s office

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • As she says very well, Harvey looks bad due to the contrast. It seems like a wealthy lawyer is bullying a small-time folk. Just like pro bono and giving enhance someone’s image, due to the effort and giving, the person’s reputation is also affected if it seems they are doing the least possible, or even taking value from others, such as smaller folks;
    • Then, we have Harvey again mentioning Trevor is Mike’s anchor. He’s dragging him back to his old life;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contrast (Harvey looking back due to looking he’s taking, not giving, from smaller folks);
    • Anchoring (Trevor anchoring Mike to his old life);

00:28:40

Harvey and Mike arriving at the house

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • When Harvey tells the story about Ray finding the $3,000, it’s adverse transparency. Ray could have stolen the money, but he returned it, every single cent, and earned Harvey’s loyalty due to this. This is a perfect example of the technique. You take a hit to show loyalty, and you earn loyalty due to it;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (By Ray, in the story);

00:39:10

Jessica approaching Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, Jessica forcing Harvey to pay himself to represent himself is a type of standard manipulation, and also intellectual honesty. First, she’s laying down the rule that any client of the firm must pay the firm. Even if the client is the firm itself. No exceptions. Then, it’s intellectual honesty – not making exceptions due to knowing Harvey or being friends;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (Jessica forcing the rule of clients paying the firm);
    • Intellectual honesty (Harvey being forced to pay regardless of his status);

Episode 06: Tricks of the Trade

00:07:30

Mike interrogating Rieger

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • We see a very funny example of intent labeling here. He asks Mike, “Are you with the department of Justice?”, and Mike dodges the question, saying, “I have several questions for you”;
    • I also love that, when Harvey asks him later if he impersonated someone from the DOJ, he replies, “Not explicitly”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Intent labeling (By Rieger, failed);

00:12:40

Louis harassing Harold

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, Louis is defining the company culture here, and a pretty abusive one here, it seems. Establishing he must be available at all times and so on;
    • He’s positioning the company as being one where you have to do those, and priming him based on the characteristics (Either you’re what we’re looking for, or you’re gone);
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity and characteristics (Louis priming Harold based on it);

00:13:10

Louis with Jessica and Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a great example of escalation of commitment here. Jessica decides to give Louis something, and to give him something exclusive, to thank him for his work. But he assumes she’s going with him. So he just go one favor, and is escalating it to another one (to be fair, in his mind he thought they were the same). Then Harvey eggs him on in a funny way. Extremely realistic – this is how people ask more and more favors from friends or colleagues;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving with a sacrifice (By Jessica);
    • Escalation of commitment (Jessica doing a second favor after doing the first);

00:16:10

Harvey with the trader

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see typical macho behavior here. The trader denies Harvey’s request, then threatens him if he goes to his boss, then Harvey threatens him back by saying he knows his boss well. Nothing sophisticated here, but notice Harvey’s grace under fire. He was just threatened with violence, and calmly says, “I’m sorry you feel this way” and threatens him back;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Threats and intimidation (By both the trader and Harvey);
    • Grace under fire (By Harvey);

00:21:50

Executive Burt delivering the trades

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • We see an example of personal touch here. Burt, who I assume is a high-level executive, is coming in person to deliver them. May also be a misdirect… and it’s confirmed it is one. He’s hiding something;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Personal touch (The representative bringing the documents in person);

00:33:45

Harvey going to the executive

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • We see abundance here by Harvey, which is demonstrated here as being carefree. The executive threatens to call security, and Harvey says, “Sure, go ahead”. He doesn’t care, because he knows he has the upper hand. It can also be considered grace under fire, because he doesn’t react regardless of what the other executive threatens him with;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Abundance and cost (Harvey’s attitude);
    • Grace under fire (Harvey not being affected);

00:38:10

Jessica with Louis

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see adverse transparency here. Jessica admits Harvey is more important right now, which she didn’t need to, but saying it makes her come across as honest. Intellectual honesty;
    • She also spins Louis’s low self-esteem. Louis wants validation, and thinks he’s inferior, and wants Harvey’s validation, and Jessica says he doesn’t need that validation, because his value will be shown;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency + intellectual honesty (By Jessica, admitting Harvey right now is more important);
    • Spinning/reframing (By Jessica, reframing Louis being appreciated later);

Episode 07: Play the Man

00:03:35

Mike and Donna on the case

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • We see a very interesting example of labeling manipulation, when Donna says, “I don’t play roles, I embody”. She’s saying that she does that same exact thing, but in a more sophisticated manner. It’s an example of using labels that make something seem more scientific or sophisticated, despite it being exactly the same;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Labeling manipulation (By Donna);

00:06:25

Mike coming to Kyle

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a good example of how to persuade a Dominant. We see that Mike’s opponent Kyle has this Influence Archetype. He wants to dominate, crush, subjugate. So, when Mike is convincing him to settle, he uses the argument of winning – if they expedite things quickly, they spend the rest of the week doing work that is important. And he also stated that they would both stand out from the others by doing that. Perfect example of convincing a Dominant. PERFECT. Showing him what he wins, plus being exclusive and having what others don’t. He also came to him, which shows respect. Flawless execution;
    • Notice that even when the Dominant agrees, he still thinks he’s superior and that he would win anyway. The opponent says, “I’m going against my better judgment and trusting you”. This is also 100% realistic;
    • Mike does end up failing to make this happen, and Kyle uses this to catch him off-guard (which is priming with a distraction). So, the technique failed, but it was an extremely good technique;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Influence archetypes (Persuading a Dominant);
    • Physiological priming (Mike’s oponnent rejecting the deal but not telling Mike, catching him off-guard);

00:17:30

Mike and Donna

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, it’s decided that Donna will play Mike’s witness, and then his opponent Kyle comes to taunt him, saying, “Oh, is Mommy going to help you, Ross?”, and then Donna flips it on him, asking, “Am I the mommy in this scenario?”. So, Kyle is trying to make Ross prove himself, and Donna flips it on him, making him prove himself. Great example;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Flipping (Donna flipping the burden of proving himself on Mike’s opponent);

00:20:15

Mike rehearsing with Jenny

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see an interesting identity contradiction here. Mike is trying to be powerful, while Jenny is saying, “That’s not who you are”, and saying his strengths are being charming and funny, and trustworthy, but not powerful;
    • I do see her point. It’s literally transparency versus perfectionism. You’re either the person who looks invincible, plastic, artificial, or the person who is open, trusted, even if imperfect. Both persuade in their own way;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity contradiction (By Jenny, about who Mike is);

00:24:10

Mike and Harvey discussing strategy

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • What Harvey says is a good strategy. If the other side plays hard to get, the effort of getting something is so high that we don’t even focus on everything else. So they played hard to get with the books, so that Harvey’s side would be so focused on getting their information, that they didn’t even hesitate on sharing their own information. I don’t have a good category for this technique – maybe a distraction, or maybe a side effect of having something with high effort – but it’s a powerful effect;
  • Techniques Present:
    • None in specific;

00:27:55

Donna playing Lena

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, what Donna is saying, as Lena, is accurate. People label many successful women. It’s discrimination. Labels are one of the most powerful tools used for discrimination, and they simplify or reduce something to key characteristics. So, if someone wants to discriminate a successful woman, they can label her a “failure”, a “hack”, or any other term. 100% accurate. Unfortunate, but accurate;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Labeling manipulation (Donna describing how successful women are labeled for discrimination);

00:35:05

Jessica dressing down Mike

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Jessica is saying that buying soft and naive are characteristics they’re not looking for in the firm. She’s (dis)qualifying him with her desired characteristics – and he will either pass the test or not;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity and characteristics (Using characteristics to prime someone);

Episode 08: Identity Crisis

00:04:20

Louis deposing Perkins

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmm;
  • Description:
    • We see Louis using a lot of pressure here. I don’t know if it’s legal for him to say things like “You stole money”, and so on, but he see that he is rattling the person being deposed. I find it hilarious when the other lawyer says “Is this a deposition or an inquisition?”, when it’s common for lawyers to try and rattle the person being deposed to get them to make mistakes on the record. He does end up sending the guy to the hospital (and killing him), but to be fair, there are a lot of intense situations in a legal matter like this;
    • It does seem they had their wires crossed, because Harvey was trying a strategy, and Louis had his own strategy, but I do think Louis’s pressure could have been effective here;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Threats and intimidation (Louis pressuring Perkins);

00:09:35

Louis in Harvey’s office

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, Louis is trying to open up the channel with Harvey, and he rebukes him, by being rigid and saying “Don’t touch this”, “Don’t touch that”, and so on. Rigidity can work if it’s from both sides, but Harvey is not doing that – he’s just forcing his demands on Louis. So it doesn’t come across as good, because it’s not reciprocal. But Harvey has more power, so Louis just obeys;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity (Used by Harvey);

00:13:20

Louis meeting Harvey at Rachel’s office

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, as Harvey says, if Mazlo is actively going to them, it’s because he wants to press the advantage. Very true. When someone thinks the other side is weak, they will press harder to make them break. By that same token, showing up announced is being used as a distraction, to catch them off-guard and further Mazlo’s advantage;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Distractions, by Mazlo, by showing up unannounced);

00:15:35

Harvey and Jessica with the client

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • I like how they use giving to persuade her. They forgo their legal fees up to this point. Notice how she wasn’t convinced in the beginning, but was convinced after they do the giving. In other words, they didn’t change anything about the plan, just gave her money, in a way, and now she’s on board with the plan. It’s also literally using money to persuade. It works;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving + money (By Harvey and Jessica, the legal fees);

00:27:45

Louis with Harvey and Jessica

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmm;
  • Description:
    • Naturally, bribing the witness is a serious thing. But I love that Louis reframes the bribe as an incentive, and says he did nothing wrong. Hilarious example of changing the label and seeing the things from another side. But, considering how strict Louis is as a lawyer, would he even have done this? Seems like Hollywood drama, to be honest, not very in character;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning/reframing (Louis reframing his bribe as not a bribe);
    • Labeling manipulation (By Louis, changing the label);

00:33:20

Harvey meeting Louis

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, a hilarious example of intent labeling here. Louis says he needs his help, and Harvey says, “I wouldn’t phrase it exactly like that”, to what Louis replies, “Well, if you want my help, you better phrase it exactly like that”, and Harvey says, “OK, Louis, I’m under the gun and I need your help”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Intent labeling (Louis forcing Harvey to say he needs help);

Episode 09: Undefeated

00:02:45

Tanner ambushing Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, he catches Harvey off-guard by going to his office, which is a good strating technique;
    • Then, we see that he directed the questions in the deposition to make the plaintiff look bad. In this case, since he got lung cancer from the intoxication, he’s distracting with questions about smoking and so on;
    • Two great uses of distractions and misdirects in one scene;
    • He also baits Harvey into going to court against him, by rattling him with a line about him missing his state championship due to an injury when younger, and asking if he wasn’t afraid. Harvey lost his cool here, though. I would still let Jessica do it – less machismo involved would make it a more logical trial. But oh well. The TV show needs drama;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Physiological priming (Tanner distracting Harvey, and distracting the plaintiff too);
    • Grace under fire (Lack of it, by Harvey, when Tanner baits him);

00:13:30

Harvey and Tanner negotiating

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, I love the example of context manipulation here. Extremely well done. Naturally, they are both spinning and reframing things their way. But, while Harvey makes the point that it’s going to be about the specific victims, Tanner makes the point that the school was not the only contaminated thing. Paint factory nearby, grass treated with pesticides, and so on. So he’s using a change of the option set. It’s not 1 out of 10 things contaminated, it’s 10 out of 10 instead, which makes it seem much more normal;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning/reframing (Harvey and Tanner both reframing things their way);
    • Option set change (Tanner changing the number of things that are contaminated that are considered);

00:22:30

Mike meeting Ben

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, an interesting example of labeling manipulation here. Mike calls Benjamin Ben, and he says “It’s Benjamin”. The shorter version creates intimacy, which Mike is trying to do, while the full version of the name creates distance, which Benjaming is more comfortable with;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Labeling manipulation (Benjamin not allowing the shorter version of the name);

00:30:50

Mike with Donna

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • I like how Mike gives Donna the latte/coffee drink. Leading by giving first. He then proceeds to ask for her opinion. Great example of favor dynamics. Give to then ask a favor in return immediately;
    • Then, we see identity, both to reinforce and contradict Louis. Mike is trying to brand Louis as a traitor, due to using his code to set Rachel up, and Donna says the opposite, that from what she knows of him, he is loyal until the end and would never do that. Excellent use of both identity and an identity contradiction;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving + favor dynamics (Mike giving Donna the coffee, and then asking for a favor in return);

00:36:15

Harvey and Tanner

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • So, we see Harvey bluffing. No sophisticated technique here – but the interesting thing is the focus on identity. That is, since Harvey knows Tanner would perjure himself to win, he pretended to be willing to do the same, and that worked as a threat. Effective use;
    • Then, notice the fun identity contradiction in the end. Harvey has been saying he has no emotions, but he put up $1M of his money to help the plaintiffs, and Mike says, “If that’s not having emotion, I don’t know what is”. So, Harvey wants to seem tough, but Mike is saying he’s warm inside;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity (Both Harvey using Tanner’s identity against him, and Mike using Harvey’s identity against him);

00:40.10

Louis with Rachel

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Notice Rachel’s rigidity in the negotiation. Rachel just says the number she wants, 10%, and Louis tries to negotiate against himself, giving multiple numbers up to it, but she remains inflexible. Then she uses unexpected rigidity, demanding her possible future law school fees to be picked up, and he agrees;
    • She then forces him to apologise (intent labeling), and uses a threat to accomplish it. I disagree with this approach, because Louis is a Dominant and he will become vengeful if forced to do something. But this may be behavioral conditioning, so that he knows not to screw with her. Either way, technique’s shaky, and the wrong one to use;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity (By Rachel, both in the negotiation and later in an unexpected manner);
    • Intent labeling (Forcing Louis to apologise);

Episode 10: The Shelf Life

00:11:10

Stan being let go by Harvey

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Harvey is using an empathetic rampdown here. Stan lashes out when he realises he’s being fired, and Harvey is being calm and logical, slowly repeating the facts and giving him his severance numbers. He’s not even using good empathy, he’s just remaining calm and stating the facts. And it still works;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Manipulating emotion (Ramping down emotions, by Harvey and Mike);

00:17:35

Harvey goin to Stan

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, Harvey does a great contrast pattern here, with the carrot and the stick. Either you take the settlement, or we’ll sue the hell out of you. He also almost does a mini-Dickens Pattern, saying “If you pick the lawsuit, you’ll need a retainer, etc etc”. Either way, the contrast is very good;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Context manipulation (Harvey using the contrast for Stan);

00:27:20

Harvey being extorted by the security guard

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Harvey completely flips the situation in his favor. So, he threatens the guard first. But, instead of leaving without anybody winning, which is lose-lose, he pays off the guard as he wanted, but instead of being for helping Mike, he pays him off in return for a future favor he will do him;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving + reciprocity (Harvey turning the guard payoff into a future favor);

Episode 11: Rules of the Game

00:07:05

Harvey and Louis with the sisters

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • It’s interesting, because we see a fun example of identification here. Each of the sisters, in their situation, draws a parallel with Harvey and Louis’s situation (one being the golden child, and the other being the second best, and struggling for attention), so we already know that Louis and Harvey are going to go at each other as if it were personal;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identification (Harvey and Louis identifying with the sisters);

00:09:40

Louis setting the ground rules

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, Louis is setting the ground rules so things don’t turn ugly, and I like some of the techniques he uses here. They are pretty much all targeted at making them equals in one way or another. Independent valuations means they act on objective facts on both sides. Not calling Jessica is neutralising an advantage that Harvey could have had, putting them on the same level. And not having access to each others’ internal documents means no foul play. He’s forcing them to play fair and, more than that, as equals. Excellent contextual power neutralisation;
    • We also see a hilarious example of costly signaling here. That is, Harvey is so confident he will win, that he bets Mike in case he loses, and gets nothing in case he wins. And he does this just to show how superior he is;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contextual power (Louis neutralising Harvey’s power and making them equals);
    • Costly signaling (Harvey betting Mike with nothing in return);

00:16:35

Mike coming to Louis

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Mike tries to negotiate with Louis, and gives him 3 alternative scenarios, all of which where he wins, but it doesn’t matter, because what Louis’s client wants is for Harvey’s client to not get the tabloid. A great example of how giving fails if you’re not giving the person what they actuallyw ant. You can try and make up for it, but no guarantee of success, as we see here;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving (Failed, because it’s not the right thing);

00:18:35

Jessica and Harvey on Dennis

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, see Harvey’s loyalty and intellectual honesty here. He’s not willing to give up his mentor, even when he’s guilty. Although Jessica wants him to turn him in, Harvey’s attitude should actually be comforting. Because the way people do one thing is the way they do everything. Harvey turning on Dennis could mean he could turn on her one day. And not turning in one mentor means he would probably not turn her in, either;
    • In a way, this is the opposite of intellectual honesty. Instead of Harvey sticking to the facts and turning Dennis in, ignoring loyalty, he’s going the opposite way and protecting him completely, regardless of facts. But that brings its own type of trustworthiness, not due to the people, but due to relationships;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Trustworthiness (By Harvey);
    • Intellectual honesty (Opposite of it, by Harvey, which brings its own type of trustworthiness);

00:35:05

Harvey blowing up at Louis

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a good example of displacement here. Obviously Harvey is dumping his emotions on Louis, shouting, but he’s actually angry at his old mentor DA Dennis. It’s a good example of grace under fire, which Harvey usually has. It’s also transparency, because he’s showing his emotions, even if in a negative way. It shows more about him as a person, and how he’s affected by all of this. Could also be considered a personal boundary;
    • We can also consider this a type of standard manipulation here. That is, Harvey’s client got the paper, technically. She overpaid for it, and it’s full of financial problems, but technically, he is obeying the rules, and technically, he did achieve the goal;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Transparency (By Harvey, too much, but showing his emotions);
    • Standard manipulation (Harvey’s client getting what she wants, even though it’s a poisoned gift);

Episode 12: Dog Fight

00:03:20

Harvey meeting Danner

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Harvey going back to Danner is a gigantic caase of adverse transparency. That is, Harvey could sit back, avoid him, and never tell him he found out he was wrong. Still, he’s going to someone that hates him, with a low chance of repairing the relationship, and enduring the lashing out in order to help him. Great case of adverse transparency;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (Harvey going back to Danner, who hates him, and admitting he was wrong);

00:25:50

Donna asking Louis a favor

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • I love how Donna already has a gift prepared before asking for the favor, which is being his secretary, and a second gift, just in case, which is the set of ballet tickets. And, when Louis doesn’t flinch, she simply decides to get Jessica to do it instead. To her credit, she tried the carrot first, and then used the stick;
    • I would consider this to not be realistic, but considering how petty Louis is, I actually think it was a pretty credible set of techniques;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving + favor dynamics (Donna trying 2 different gifts to then ask Louis for the favor);
    • Threats and intimidation (Donna, when failing with the gifts, getting Jessica to threaten him);

00:39:45

Harvey with the prosecutor

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • Here we see a good example of reciprocity, and also standard manipulation. That is, the prosecutor previously told Harvey it doesn’t matter whether he knows someone is guilty or not, it only matters what he can prove. So when he complains to Harvey about the way he got the confession, Harvey says, “Doesn’t matter, according to your logic, it only matters what you can prove”. So he’s treating him in the same manner, and he’s using his own rules against him;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Reciprocity (In a negative way, by Harvey);
    • Standard manipulation (Harvey using the prosecutor’s own standards against him);

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