Roger Goodell made a huge mistake in his negotiation with the American public. On September 10, 2014 Goodell was interviewed by the CBS morning show Nora Odell, the basis of the interview was to answer question on the Ray Rice video tape that had been released by TMZ online. The result of the tape’s release was that Rice was fired from the Baltimore Ravens and banned from the NFL for an indefinite amount of time. What was Rogers goal in doing the interview? Based on his answers I feel that it was to convince the American public that the NFL never saw the tape and they took action as soon as its content was learned.
I look at this a negotiation with the press and the viewers. His mission and purpose was to convince his audience that he and the NFL took appropriate
action. One of the keys in any negotiation is be ready for any question that you expect to be asked, each and every time you go into a negotiation you should make a list of questions that you expect to be asked this way you will be focused on and be prepared to make an excellent response. Every person in the USA knew that one of the questions that Goodell was going to be asked was, did the NFL have this video before it hit the press. So when Nora asked Goodell “Did anyone at the NFL see the tape before it was released by TMZ,” Roger responded with one word “NO!” He then went on to clarify his answer when he added “at least not to my knowledge” It was to late the damage was done. The next day evidence was released that the NFL had a copy of the tape in its possession, and Goodell looks like an idiot with each and every sound bite having his one word answer of “NO”! He knew he was going to be asked that question and he should have never said no. He should have responded with “not to my knowledge”.
When we negotiate we will never be in the position of Mr. Goodell with the whole world watching, but we better take the time to prepare and you must make an effort to know what questions you are going to be asked. You will not get them all correct and there will be plenty that you did not think of, but you will hit on many. Your responses will be better thought out and you will answer with more confidence and authority thus displaying to your adversary that you are well prepared.
In this case everyone knew this question was coming and the response had no room for error.