“In order to deal with a bully, you must know what one looks like.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“He will lie to your face, and not give a damn if you know he’s lying!” Those were the exasperated words of one member on the same negotiation team to another.
Do you know anyone that possesses the following 7 characteristics? If so, they just might be a bully.
When involved in #negotiations with someone that’s overly aggressive or someone that’s an outright bully, you should take note of the following characteristics to identify who he is.
1. Bullies tend to be egocentric. They have to be the center of attention in order to satisfy their need to appear superior to others. Thus, they will belittle, demean, and put others down to maintain the appearance of their superiority.
2. Observe a bully’s associates. Bullies tend to bring like-minded people that are weaker and like himself into his fold; he uses the former as foils in the plots he perpetrates against others. The caveat being, the bully needs to be the leader and will only allow those in his immediate sphere that will subjugate themselves to him. Therefore, be mindful of the fact that unknowingly you’re also negotiating with his minions when you’re negotiating with him.
3. Bullies alter facts to make them fit the situation. Doing so is his attempt to psychologically arrest the logical thought process of others, in an attempt to bend their outlook to his will and perspective. When negotiating with him, be selective about the points you choose to address and be mindful of the retorts you offer to refute him. Facts may be viewed as demonic objects that cause you to lose sway with him.
4. Loyalty between a bully and his associates is good as long as there are no threats in his camp. Once threats occur, loyalty loses its two-way appeal; the appeal is revealed as nothing more then a tool he employs to trick others into following him. He will throw supporters under the bus and find blame with them to account for his short-comings!
5. A bully seeks constant praise from others because that feeds his ego and his need for self-aggrandizement. It serves as validation that he’s superior to others. Therefore, seek ways to praise a bully in a negotiation. That will endear you to him. Just make sure not to fall into his attempts to pull you closer to his views than is necessary.
6. Bullies lie incessantly because their view has to be the predominant one. Thus, they attempt to alter the outlook of others to make others conform to their perspective. This action of the bully is very dangerous because one never really knows what to believe when a bully speaks.
7. The only way a bully can rise to his perch is to do so by keeping others under the spell that he casts. Once he loses any appeal that makes others bow to him, he can become more aggressive in his attempts to reacquire the power he’s lost. That’s when he’s most dangerous. During such times, he may engage in activities that are very far outside the realm of rationality.
Dealing with bullies is always a dicey proposition. Being oblivious to his characteristics can lead to a stressful negotiation, one in which you may lose before you realize what has occurred. If you use the 7 traits above to identify with whom you’re dealing, you’ll have an idea of what you’re up against. From there, you can be on guard as to how you engage him in the negotiation … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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