“Bad Behavior – How To Deal With Outrage In A Negotiation” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Outrage and bad behavior can be what one suffers when dealing with the follies of fools. And never forget, some fools are wise.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert  (click to Tweet)

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“Bad Behavior – How To Deal With Outrage In A Negotiation”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Do you have no shame about your bad behavior in this negotiation, was the question raised by one of the negotiators? The opposing negotiator’s response was, shame died! Its death was due to your outrage and lack of self-control in this negotiation.

When was the last time you were outraged and possibly held hostage by it in a negotiation? Were you aware of the seething anger occurring as you and your counterpart’s emotional temperature notched upward from one level to the next? Were you or your opposition’s perspective mindful that the destructive behavior caused the situation to escalate? How did you and they address it?

Bad behavior can beget worse behavior. And that’s why you must recognize the signs leading to it. Doing so will allow you the opportunity to block its efforts to derail your negotiation and other aspects of your life.

The following are observations that you can employ to gauge the pending escalations of troubles ahead. And what you can do to protect yourself from being pulled into a negotiation cesspool of despair. 

Bad Behavior

What leads to bad behavior in a negotiation? And more precisely, what is bad behavior? The answer depends on the negotiators involved. And that’s something you might consider before you enter into a negotiation – your counterpart’s manner of negotiating.

Some people can quickly become provoked to engage in destructive behavior. Others think it pays to get angry in a negotiation to advance their position. Dealing with either type of negotiator means you’ll have to be more aware of their volatile temperature rise throughout your discussions. And it would be best if you set markers indicating where your opposition was emotionally to determine the degrees in which you might respond.

You can ignore behavior that might be unacceptable in some situations. But, if doing so leads to heightened aggression, it would behoove you to address the source of its concerns sooner than later. If you allow it to become emboldened, you may be forestalling a more significant challenge – a challenge fed by your lack of an earlier negotiation action.

Style Of Communication

Some individuals have a style of communicating that others may perceive as being harsh or brisk. Thus, when they speak, they may not intend their actions to be perceived in that manner. It’s who they are.

The point is, seek to understand the other negotiator’s communication style to understand better how he alters it. And that should be based on what’s occurring in the negotiation. The greater your insight about his communication style, the more significant will become your opportunity to understand his communication intent. That should lead to fewer misunderstandings, which will place you in a more influential position to control the negotiation.    

Divided Mind

In some situations, negotiators enter a negotiation with a confrontational mindset. That type of negotiator engages in battle from the moment they cite the outcome they seek. They may adopt that posture to test you – see what you’ll allow them to get away with – what you’ll let them do to you. If you accept their stance, more than likely, you’ll reassure that individual that it’s okay to become more belligerent. You’ll be encouraging him to display more outrage and bad behavior.

On the other hand, if you become belligerent, your actions may cause the negotiation to become mired in anger displayed by both sides. You may question yourself, does it pay to be good? So, what might your response be per the divided mind you may possess about how to retort to menacing behavior in a negotiation?   

1. Be aware of the stakes.

Since you’re always negotiating (what you do today impacts tomorrow’s opportunities), assess to what degree you might respond to your opposition. In some cases, it may behoove you to be bombastic to show your counterpart that they can’t push you around. At other times, it may be more strategic to give the impression that his naughty behavior can manipulate you. In that case, you’ll get a sense of how far he may attempt his actions.

2. Increase the stakes.

When someone engages in negative behavior, if they sense they have more to lose if they continue, that may be their incentive to alter it. Thus, in some negotiations, consider raising the stakes by making others aware of the ill-tempered display emitted by your counterpart. Inform them that you’ll exit the negotiation if the onerous behavior persists. In so doing, you’ll be using them as leverage to muzzle your opponent’s actions.

Reflection

When dealing in negotiation with negotiators displaying bad behavior, the question becomes, does it pay for you to be good? The answer is, as so often is the case, it depends. It depends on the degree your opponent displays increasing outrage that leads deeper into bad behavior. And to what degree you have a tolerance for it, based on the stakes of the negotiation.

As stated earlier, some negotiation situations will serve you better when you’re less tolerant of such behavior. And there’ll be times when it won’t. Use the prior insights offered and let them be your guide. They’ll serve as indicators as to when you might adopt one action versus another. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight,” click here https://themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/blog

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