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I’ve finally quit asking an interview question about situations in which prospective job candidates would make a conscious strategic decision to bluff. While based on a real-life situation where I had to bluff during a senior executive presentation, hardly anyone would identify when they’d do the same.

That’s too bad, because bluffing can be an effective strategy – just refer back to yesterday’s post about Joe DiMaggio. The key is to not overdo it and to be able to sustain the implications of having your bluff called.

I’ve bluffed several times recently with outside parties looking for assistance where there was little downside if they said no – which the first one did. In every other case though, the strategy resulted in a positive gain for both of us, interestingly enough.

So how about you?

What’s a situation where you’ve had to bluff either in business or personally? Have you seen someone else bluff and get called on it? Or someone bluffing and winning big as a result?

Share your stories in the comments section, and tomorrow we’ll cover successful bluffing tips from the world of poker (hey, ESPN thinks it’s a sport).

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2 Responses to “Sports Strategy Lessons Week – Are You Bluffing?”

  1. Jan says:

    I bluffed in a job interview at the University of Missouri. They asked if I was familiar with the Chronicle of Higher Education. I replied that I didn’t read it religiously, but I did glance at it now and then. Later, I circled back to the question, and said, “Ok, I have an admission to make. I’m in radio. I don’t read the Chronicle of Higher Education. I don’t even know if there is a Chronicle of Higher Ed.” (Why did I do this? I was consumed with guilt, and fear that there was no such publication.) Fortunately, they laughed and I still got the job.

  2. Mike Brown says:

    Jan – Nice try on bluffing! Maybe you should have shared your line with Sarah Palin. Or just told the interviewers that you read all the magazines put in front of you!

    Mike