“To beat a bully, defeat his sources of power.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
Dealing with a bully can be daunting, exhausting, and frustrating. It can leave you in a state of anxiety and devoured by stress. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Observe the following 5 crazy ways to prevent being burned by a bully when negotiating.
Three bully types:
This bully type is someone who likely had psychological challenges as a child. He wants the respect and acknowledgment that he’s someone to reckon with.
This individual is someone whose bullying is based on circumstances. While all bullies seek to maximize their efforts based on situational opportunities, this bully type will seek to escalate his situations if giving the chance to do so to become a hard core bully.
A soft core bully is one that’s classified as a bully in training. He’s usually someone that’s enticed into doing things to prove himself to those from whom he seeks approval. He’s what’s known as a useful idiot in intelligence parlance.
It’s to your advantage to know the bully type that you’re dealing with.
Do a good deed:
Most bullies wear their emotions on their sleeves. They want others to like and appreciate them. Studies have indicated, when people are in a positive frame of mind, they’re more receptive to your thoughts and ideas.
If you commit a good deed for a bully before the negotiation, that could endear you to him, which may lead to him having a more positive perspective of you. If so, he may be lax when it comes to emploring bullying tactics against you during the negotiation. As in all cases when dealing with a bully, you should be mindful of how he might react as the result of you doing good deeds for him. Some bullies will interpret such actions as a green light to push you harder.
A group threat can be an assembly of others you amass to threaten the bully or his supporters. In either case, the group you assemble should be perceived as a formidable force that the bully or his followers will have to contend with if he attempts to bully you. It should also be a force that the bully perceives as being threatening to his standing and wellbeing.
Don’t play on the bully’s field. That means, when negotiating with a bully, do so on your own terms. Don’t allow him to dictate where and when the negotiation will occur. If he says, ‘x’, you say, ‘y’. Bullies like tough guys. Show him that’s who you are by the actions you engage in.
There will be times when you must stand up to a bully to show him how tough you are. Sometimes, you’ll have to take that to the extreme.
A scorched earth approach to negotiation is one way to display that extreme. It entails positioning yourself as someone that will ‘burn down everything’ if you don’t get your way. After positioning yourself as such, make him fight for every concession you grant him. You want him to feel like he’s really been in a battle during the negotiation. In times of perceived peace, make him wish he’d prepared for war.
Some of the above strategies will work with some bullies and some won’t. By knowing the type of bully you’re dealing with, you’ll have a better idea of how you can prevent him from burning you. Thus, by implementing the strategies above, you’ll enhance your negotiation position. You’ll also be better prepared to thwart the efforts of a bully … 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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