“All forms of bullying are not bad. A good bully that defeats a bad bully is good.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“The Best Way To Be A Good Bully Negotiator”
When you think of bullying in a negotiation, what comes to mind? Do you think of one person using abusive language spewing contempt, or an abundant display of irreverent condescension on behalf of both parties towards the other? In either case or if you didn’t think of either case, you’re right. Bullying in life and in negotiations is open to interpretation. That being the case, there’s a scenario for the role of a good bully in every negotiation. If projected right, the role of a good bully may be laced in the disguise of a savior.
Here’s how you can combat a bad bully by portraying the part of a good bully.
- The first thing you need to appraise is to what degree the opposing negotiator will display belligerence or other forms of bullying. That’s essential because that will determine how you’ll position yourself.
- Assess the possible bullying tactics the other negotiator might attempt to use on you (i.e. intimidation, humiliation, other). The better you can accurately assess the bullying tactics he’ll use the better you can prepare to combat them.
- Determine which ploy, or set of tactics you’ll employ to contest the bully’s bullying efforts against you. They can be any combination of the following ruses.
- Passive aggressiveness – I recall a time when I was on a plane and asked the flight attendant for another snack. She looked menacingly at me with a smile on her face, leaned closer, and said, no. She quickly turned and walked away. I was left befuddled, wondering what had just occurred.
When dealing with a bully, you can be passively aggressive by portraying the part of a hard-nosed negotiator while presenting a pleasant demeanor. That will most likely cause the other negotiator to wonder what he’s dealing with. In that time, you can further assess the value this subterfuge is having on him. Continue using it and/or mixing it with the following as long as it has value.
- Display defiance and compassion – Bullies test your resolve to discover exactly what you’ll allow them to do to you. If during such travails you display defiance and compassion you’ll cause them consternation. They’ll be miffed about how to deal with you. That should make them revert to their prominent form of domination. Once they’ve shown you that, border your actions between an affray and serenity. Let such match his demeanor.
- Be manic (i.e. I must be off my meds) – Have you ever noticed how most sane people will tend to veer away from someone that acts in a non-rational manner? That’s because someone that’s manic is unpredictable. Unpredictability leads to unsureness and that leads to confusion. If a bad bully doesn’t know what to do in a negotiation, he’ll begin to drop his bullying ways and start to acquiesce to your demands. In part, he may do so because he just wants to conclude the negotiation as quickly as possible and get away from you.
- Switch positions and character constantly – To protract and enhance the manic ploy, switch your negotiation position and character throughout the negotiation. Abide by one thing and then change it when such suits you. It will add to the allure of the perception that “you’re not all there”, which will further serve to confound your opponent.
The role of a good bully truly has a part in any negotiation. While some may call it by another name, know that it’s a role you can partake in to win more negotiations … 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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