Lesson 006: Highlighting benefits to opponents
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 6/12 ('Ship in a Bottle')


A Hologram image of the fictional character of Moriarty, arch enemy of Sherlock Holmes, gains self-awareness within a Holodeck program, and seemingly exits the Holodeck and enters Capt. Picard's reality. No one is able to explain how Moriarty managed this feat, including Moriarty.

Moriarty takes control of the Enterprise next and demands Capt. Picard not only figure out immediately how Moriarty managed to leave the Holodeck, but also use the information to bring Moriarty's lady love, another fictional character in the Holodeck program, into Capt. Picard's real-world.

Capt. Picard expresses how dangerous the process of transferring an image out of the Holodeck might be and asks Moriarty if they shouldn't first wait until tests are completed before putting the Lady's life at risk. Moriarty agrees and complies to wait.


In the face of a conflict situation, rather than aggravate matters by forcefully opposing, Capt. Picard employs a much more successful tacit method of negotiation.

In any negotiation, by highlighting to the opponent, the items of benefit and risk that directly impact them, we move the attention away from the 'how', to perhaps the more important 'why.'

While there can always be disagreement in the methods deployed to accomplish certain tasks, there should always be agreement on the purpose or goal of the assignment.

To parallel Capt. Picard's dilemma here, of what use is a quick delivery of a solution if the end result destroys the goal of what we are trying to achieve?

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