C-Suite Network™

Accounting Best Practices Economics Entrepreneurship Health and Wellness Human Resources Investing Management Marketing News and Politics Skills Taxes Technology Women In Business

How to Really Overcome a Bully Before Negotiating

“A bully is a misguided person with perceived power. Extinguish his sources of power and you extinguish the bully.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Do you know how to really overcome a bully before negotiating with him? There you are. You’re negotiating against a bully! He’s someone that’s willing to lie, cheat, and steal to come out ahead in the negotiation. You think to yourself, ‘what can I do? This son-of-a-gun is not playing fair and I don’t know how to overcome him!’ The answer to, ‘what can I do’ was hidden in what occurred before the negotiation began.

The following insights will allow you to position yourself better to overcome a bully’s ploys before you negotiate with him.


In every negotiation, positioning occurs. It’s shown in the way the negotiators perceive each other and themselves. Thus, positioning is important because it determines how negotiators will interact with one another.

If you know you’ll be negotiating against someone that has bullied others in the past, before entering into the negotiation, attempt to discover the demeanor of those individuals. In particular seek to define whether they were perceived to be weak by your opponent due to their short-comings, or if your opponent felt empowered due to some other factor(s) he had going for himself at the time of the negotiation(s). That information will allow you to best position yourself from a position of strength. A bully’s loathing for weakness is the reason he only picks on targets that he perceives to be weak.

Leverage: (ploys you can employ when negotiating with a bully)

  • Using Other people
    • All bullies look up to someone. If you can find a way to curry favor with the bully’s icon, you can supplant his bullying efforts against you. After all, the bully wants an easy target. If the bully’s icon has favored you, that makes you less of a target to the bully.
  • Bully’s weakness
    • All bullies have an Achilles heel. It may be how they wish to be perceived by others. It may also appear in the form of the bully being perceived in one light versus another. Whatever it is, discover it and be prepared to exploit it during the negotiation if such is called for.
  • Bully’s Persona (his vanity)
    • If you’re aware of the pride a bully takes in having himself perceived in a certain light, attempt to alter that light; have it shine on someone or somewhere else. You will have taken away his source of motivation. Hold it hostage until he dismantles his bullying ways. The point is, hit him where you’ll get the most attention and where it will hurt him the most. Remember, he despises weakness and applauds strength.

Be Stealthy:

Every good negotiator gathers information about the opposing negotiator. When you know you’ll be negotiating against a bully, drip misinformation into places that he seeks to gather information about you. The better you can use such information to misguide him, the more difficult it’ll be for him to assess the type of negotiator you are; always be willing to display a different negotiation demeanor based on the opposing negotiator.

When engaging a bully in a negotiation, there are all kinds of mind games that occur. Utilize the insights above and you’ll be in a better mental state than the bully. The better you play the game, the greater the chance that you’ll be able to overcome a bully when negotiating … and everything will be right with the world.

What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

#HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #Bully

Growth Management Operations Personal Development

Customers Matter… All of Them

I love jokes, and there’s one that is quite well-known, especially in the dental world. A client walks into the office and sits in the chair. As he is getting his teach cleaned, he asks his dentist, “Which teeth should I floss?” The dentist replies to him, “Only the ones you want to keep.”

You should look at your customers in the exact same way. 

There’s no such thing as a bad customer. They’re all good. Well, maybe not each and every customer is good. But for argument’s sake, and for this article, we are going to act as though every customer who wants to do business with you is a customer you would like to do business with. Let’s pretend this is a perfect world.

In this perfect world, all customers are good. However, there are still certain customers who are better than others. The reasons behind this vary, but it could be because they visit us more regularly, or because they spend more money each time they come in. Perhaps they are just more pleasant. Whatever the reason, some are simply a bit better than the average “good” customer.

When we use the teeth metaphor, it almost sounds ridiculous. Would you rather keep the front teeth, which are seen by everyone? Or would you like to keep the ones in the back that help you chew your food? Obviously, you want to keep them all. The same can be said of your customers. They are all valuable, they are all needed, and we should want to keep them all.

Your loyal customers are most likely the ones who are connected emotionally. Perhaps they feel like the employees treat them like friends. Maybe they feel comforted knowing they will receive a predictable and consistent experience, every single time. Many things beyond product and price connect customers to a company.

On the opposite end, we all have those customers we don’t see or hear form very often. Maybe when they do give us a sale, it’s a small one. But, they still come back from time to time. That makes them good customers, just as much as the ones who come more regularly and spend more money.

I once bought a dress shirt from a salesman at a men’s clothing store. It was on sale. Realizing my purchase was small, I commented, “Maybe next time I’ll see a sport coat or suit I like.” The salesperson smiled and said, “If I had 500 customers just like you, I’d be the happiest salesperson in the store.” He told me that he likes customers who walk out of the store happy, regardless of how much they spend, because he knows they will come back. He was right. I did go back, and I bought a suit. And, I’ve been buying clothes from him ever since.

The exact lesson that I am trying to teach, this guy had figured out and mastered. It didn’t matter how much money I had spent that first time. It was that I represented one of his customers. The point here is that you should be taking care of all of your customers. The small ones matter just as much as the big ones. Everyone, regardless of how much they spend, should feel happy, respected, and appreciated.

And, remember, be sure to floss your teeth. All of them!

Growth Management Skills Technology

Great Leaders Are Always Transitioning

As I moved from company to company throughout my career, I rarely had a gap in between roles.  So when I was recruiting a candidate that had recently been laid off, my internal recruiter had to explain the term “in transition” to me.    I was not a big fan of the term.  Couldn’t we just say that someone was between jobs?  Transitioning has much broader and open-ended connotations.

In my current role as a social media advisor and coach to C-Suite Executives, I work with a few Executives that are between jobs.  But most of my clients are fully employed Executives who are constantly looking ahead and thinking about their future.  Those in new roles hope to transition from new kid on the block to established rock star.   And almost every executive worth their salt is thinking about what’s next, both in their current role and beyond.

C-Suite tenures average around four years, so Executives have to think about their future, whether that be another C-Suite role, a Board position, philanthropic endeavors, etc.  Don’t wait until you are between jobs to set yourself up to be considered for desirable future roles.  You will have much less leverage and influence than you do now.

Do your own internal assessment.  If a merger or reorganization were to eliminate your current role in the next few months, are you ready for the transition to your next role?  Are you successful in your current role?  Are your skills up to date?  Are you perceived as having good executive presence? Are you well networked?  These are some of the questions forward thinking executives ask themselves. A good Executive Coach can help.  Having an outside perspective can identify blind spots and help you create and execute an action plan to build on strengths and address deficiencies.

Also, take an objective look at your social media presence; your Coach can provide objectivity.  A purposeful and active social media presence can help address many of the deficiencies Executives identify in their self-assessment.   While elements of executive presence have historically been in the physical world, increasingly elements must carry over into the digital and social space as well.  A powerful social presence is often viewed as a proxy for “getting digital.”  It also gives you a platform to show off your current success and demonstrate ongoing subject matter expertise and thought leadership.  Finally, it strengthens and extends your already strong network.

Supposedly, it is easier to find a job when you have a job.  Like job hunting, the time to prepare for your transition and build a strong social presence is now.  By virtue of your current C-Suite position, you command attention that translates into building a stronger presence much faster than when you are between jobs.

Now is the time to start thinking about your transition.