“For Greater Success Women Need To Be Better Negotiators”
People that negotiate better than others tend to have greater success in life. That’s true to a point. Because, if a man and a woman have equal skills as a negotiator, in general, women tend to get the shorter outcome. For that reason, women need to be even better negotiators.
… I asked what challenges she has when negotiating. She said, “none – I never have anything to negotiate.” After I probed by saying, never? She, replied, “I took my brother once to help me negotiate the purchase of my car. I figured the dealer would take advantage of a woman alone. But my brother wasn’t any good. He just said yes to everything the dealer said. He didn’t know anything about negotiations. I might as well be alone.”
Most people don’t realize when they’re negotiating. Negotiation occurs when you’re attempting to achieve an outcome. Anytime you’re trying to get someone to embrace your beliefs – you’re negotiating. Some consider that influencing. But in reality, it’s a negotiation.
As you’re most likely aware, my motto is, “You’re always negotiating.” That means, even when you’re engaged in the influence process, you’ve most likely had prior interactions that shape how you address someone. Those previous interactions were negotiations. You exchanged in the give-and-take process that’s influencing how you currently interact with someone of like-mindedness or appearance.
That’s important for women to remember when they’re negotiating. If they possess a shackled mindset, they’ll be less efficient when negotiating. Instead, women must look at the situation and think, I’m free to be who I am. My past is not my present. And I will not allow old thoughts that hindered my progress from slowing me down. I will become stronger and move more boldly towards my future. Then, learn more about how to become a better negotiator.
Know Your Assets:
There were several factors about negotiations that the lady I was speaking with didn’t recognize.
She didn’t recognize that she’s continuously negotiating. That means being aware of where one action will lead and how it will impact the next step. Planning your steps will give you insights into what you’ll need as you engage them.
Since she thought she never negotiated, there were no contingency plans for situations she might encounter. Always plan how you’ll act and react before entering situations. Women should consider how their gender might cause others to treat them. The more important the outcome, the more one should plan.
Her brother was an asset. His presence gave her unforeseen leverage. But since she didn’t know how to use it, she forewent that advantage. Sometimes, having the right person with you in a negotiation adds value to your effort. As a woman, consider how you might employ seen and unseen leverage in your negotiations.
When negotiating in what might be an awkward situation, consider allies to enlist to strengthen your position. Look for those that have skills that will offset those of the other negotiator.
Know Your Negotiation Counterpart:
Negotiators have different styles of negotiating. And some have differing thoughts about negotiating against women. To understand the type of negotiator you’re dealing with understand their mind.
Women have built-in advantages in most societies. And that’s their gender. In general, most men don’t think women can negotiate effectively. A woman can make that ill-thought a man’s peril. And that’s the hidden advantage. Women can take advantage of men’s perception by luring male counterparts into negotiation traps. Then, she can spring it before he realizes he’s trapped.
Some women are relieved when they negotiate against another woman. Don’t fall prey to this thought. As a woman, it can be tougher negotiating with some women than some men. Some women believe they have to be tough to be respected. And they won’t cut you slack because you’re the same gender.
Before engaging in what might be a tough negotiation, practice. Do so in mock negotiations. Everyone can benefit from them. But women can gain more enormous benefits by practicing with male counterparts that might act like those that she’ll face at the negotiation table.
Never discount the value of practicing. And never neglect the importance of mock negotiations. They can simulate real-life reality before it becomes that.
The lady with whom I spoke had a commonality with other women about negotiations. Some either fail to even recognize when they’re negotiating, or they ratchet down their negotiation efforts out of fear. In either case, they shortchange themselves. They also forgo opportunities that could bring benefits for those that are dearest.
The question becomes, as a woman, is being a better negotiator worth the effort that it’ll take to become more successful? Others are depending on you! Commit today to enhance your negotiation skills … and everything will be right with the world.
“Danger: Are You Being Easily Stopped By Your Thoughts”
He looked around and had a sense of foreboding. He wasn’t sure why the feeling existed nor its source. But he felt the grip of danger – as he became paralyzed by immobility. Suddenly, the alarm clock sounded. It was then that he realized he was having a bad dream – or was he? He wondered what the thoughts of his dream meant.
Thoughts can move you to action – they can also stop you. How then might you know when to act and when to allow inactivity to be supreme? This article gives you insights about that. It highlights when to stop and when to move forward on your thoughts.
Perception of Thoughts:
Some thoughts are more profound than others – they secrete an inner sense of urgency. You may not be able to identify why you have a sensation, but don’t ignore it. More than likely, you’re sensing some form of motivation that’s beckoning your attention. Attempt to hone the source of those signals. Once identified, the hidden message may reveal itself. If you can’t identify it, let it rest – if it subsides and doesn’t return, it may lack importance – if it resurrects itself, there may be more substance to it. Once again, seek to understand its summoning trigger – this time give it more credence in your attempt to identify its meaning. There’s a reason it’s calling you – identify it.
“I knew that was going to happen. I had a sense of Déjà vu.” Have you had such sensations – whereby you felt like you were reliving an experience that you were encountering for the first time? If so, that was most likely your intuition motioning to you.
When you’re unaware of a sensational experience, it may reside at a subconscious level – it doesn’t register within your state of consciousness. Nevertheless, when such emotional signals reach for your attention, take note – like motion, your attention seeks to assess potential danger – your body wants to be in a state of comfort.
Once you make an assessment and determine that you’re in a safe space, resume your normal activities. Do so only if your actions are moving towards your goals. If they’re not, question why your thoughts were drawn to what you’re contemplating – was there a message that you overlooked? Before dismissing the thought, make sure you’re not dismissing a call to action. If you identify that call, you will have identified the intent of your intuition.
You can also gain insight from your past actions – they should be based on your prior emotional queues. Just remember that previous circumstances may not lead to the same outcomes in the future. In observing your past action history, note similarities in your previous thought process and how they might align with your present thoughts. The real purpose of assessing your action history is to have it assist in raising your dominant thought to prominence. They’ll be points as to which direction to take in your assessment.
In every aspect of your life, your thoughts are what leads you upon one path versus another. As you learn to control your thoughts, you’ll discover new ways to put yourself on a better path … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
In a negotiation, your thought process causes you to conflate past occurrences with present situations. Thus, based on the outcome sought in the current negotiation, your assessment will cause you to adopt one action versus another. Therefore, by quickly making an assessment about the danger or lack of in a situation, you become more adaptable in the negotiation. And that will give you an edge in every negotiation you’re in.
“Not Thinking Right Can Lead To The Wrong Outcome”
He was flying to Toronto from the U.S. He noticed a $250 difference in the airfare when flying into one airport versus another. He also noted that the two airports were only 13 miles apart. So, he thought, for a $250 savings, I’ll fly into the less expensive airport. That was the beginning of a bad decision! It was not the #right #outcome that he’d hoped for.
When you think about maximizing your outcomes, do you consider the order of your thoughts and how that influences your thinking? At what point do you consider you’ve received enough information before deciding to take action? Those are very important questions to ponder. Because, based on the order of your thoughts, you’ll adopt one action versus another. That, in turn, determines the degree of value you add or subtract to the outcome.
To improve your thought process, consider the following.
In the situation with the airports, the ground transportation from the less expensive airport was $250 roundtrip, to get to the hotel and back to the airport. That negated the savings of flying into the less expensive airport. Plus, more time was required to get from the less expensive airport to the hotel. Yuck!
Mistakes in Thinking:
Our friend made the following misjudgments in his thinking:
He figured, since the airports were only 13 miles apart, ground transportation wouldn’t be more than $60 roundtrip – he made that assessment based on travels he’d undertaken in the U.S. – he missed that guess by $190 – ouch!
Lesson to observe – everyplace is not like every other place. Unless you have factual data, don’t assume what was true in the past will be constant with the situation you’re considering.
Our friend did not consider calling the hotel and asking for information about its proximity to the airports and ground transportation.
Had he sought further information – our friend would have received feedback that led him to make a better decision. He would have recognized the value he thought was in the less expensive airport was a mirage.
Our friend was in a hurry to book the flight and move on to other activities.
Sometimes, you should let information simmer before acting on it. In that time, you may consider additional thoughts that alter the value of that information. Our friend’s hasty decision created more angst than he initially realized. Don’t let that happen to you.
The lesson offered from this information is, when making important decisions, take note of your thinking process. Pay special attention to outcomes that may leave you in a place that you’d rather not be.
Before committing to an action, consider thoughts you might engage, the order of those thoughts, thoughts that might serve you better, and why you weren’t thinking about those thoughts before the outcome you arrived at. Doing so will lead to more fruitful and happier outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
If you’re unprepared for a negotiation situation, your assessment, and the way you respond may later become deemed as being irrational. Thinking about situations you might encounter ahead of time and preparing for them will temper possible negative outcomes – it will also give you more opportunities to consider how to think differently and/or better about the situation.
Therefore, in a negotiation, the order of your thoughts will have a drastic effect on the actions you take per the offers and counteroffers you make – that will determine the outcome of the negotiation. Thus, you should consider what’s motivating your thinking, why you’re motivated to think that way and where those thoughts may lead. By doing that, your thought process and how you order your thoughts will become your greatest assets.
The more powerful you are, the more powerful you’ll be. To become more powerful quicker, unlock the powerful hidden secrets that reveal your power.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
The evening was turning ugly – It appeared an impasse was at hand. Then, Amie spoke – “since John said he was not trying to insult you and he apologized, how would you feel if what you perceived to be an insult hadn’t occurred? Would you feel better?” With that, Harry said, “I’d feel a lot better.” Then she said, “well, let’s continue from the point of you feeling a lot better.” Everyone smiled, became congenial, and continued with that demeanor for the rest of the evening. Amie’s friend turned to her and said, “I didn’t know you had hidden powers. Are there more powerful hidden secrets concealed in you?”
Tapping Into Your Powers:
Do you know what hidden secret abilities you have? Just because others can’t see your hidden powers doesn’t mean you have to keep them concealed from yourself. Do you know how to tap into them? Those questions were meant to make you think. Because, if you don’t know there are hidden secret abilities in you, you won’t know how to tap into them. To reveal them …
First, sense that there’s more power living inside of you. That’s the catalyst, the starting point, at which you’ll move it to a higher sense of self-awareness. To do that …
Note how you feel in different environments based on the people you’re with (e.g. their status, their skills, your relationship to them, how they perceive you, how you want them to perceive you).
Observe how you feel when others give you feedback through what they say, how they say it, and/or what they do when you’re in different environments. In some cases, you’ll become emboldened. At other times, you may shrink. Take note of why you experienced either. That will allow you to uncover more of your hidden powers.
Embracing Your Powers:
Everyone possesses hidden abilities. You have such secrets concealed in you too. Over time, you’ve accumulated coping strategies that have allowed you to become more powerful. In some cases, you’ve held some of that power back for fear of what might occur if you unleashed it. If you identify fear as a source that prevents you from being more powerful, ask yourself what are you fearful of. And what’s the worst possible outcome that could occur if you confronted that fear. Again, you’ll be tapping into the source of the hidden power within you. That’ll be the beginning process of releasing that power and giving it life.
As you get older, you become more emboldened – you castoff concerns about what others think of you. You state, take me for who and what I am. The point is, you don’t have to wait until you’re older. You can do that right now! Doing so will allow you to unleash more of the powerful hidden secrets concealed in you … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
Sometimes, when negotiators negotiate, they have a tendency to be overly adventuress or overwhelmed at the negotiation table. In either case, their power, or lack of, is the cause of that state. Therefore, you must be aware of what’s motivating you during your negotiations. Too much false bravado can sink you. Too little means you’re leaving too much on the table.
Negotiations occur in every aspect of your daily life. Thus, the better you negotiate in any environment, the greater the outcomes you’ll have. If you’d like to have those greater outcomes occur more frequently, learn to tap into more of the powerful secrets concealed in you.
“Negotiate More Effectively By Knowing How To Act Better”
Do you plan how you’ll #act when you #negotiate? What #role do you decide you’ll play? Knowing the right role to display will allow you to negotiate better. You can’t predict every circumstance you’ll encounter in a negotiation. But the better prepared you are, the better your act will be.
Everyone plays a role when negotiating. And, your role should align with how you wish the other negotiator to perceive you; that’s your act. You should not view it as bad or inauthentic; it’s an act. If it’s misaligned, you run the risk of weakening your position. As an example, you shouldn’t become a bully if you’ve been playing the role of someone that’s helpful. That would be a misalignment.
Consider the following and keep in mind that you can morph from one act to another. Just be sure there’s an easily perceived reason for doing so.
You can adopt this act to project a ‘no-care’ attitude (i.e. if it happens, fine – if it doesn’t, fine). You might employ this demeanor when you wish to confuse the other negotiator about your real interest in what he’s offering. Make sure not to become unmasked by being too deep into the role. Because a fleeting offer may disappear before you can shift acts.
“I won’t accept that offer under any circumstances!” Be cautious when adopting this act. It can leave you in a position that’s difficult to retreat from. While this can be a good tactic, if it’s overused and you must concede, you’ll be weaker throughout the rest of the negotiation.
To combat the perception of being in a weaker position, consider feigning momentary hopelessness. It’ll lend credence to your act. But you must attempt to regain your defiant act, be it from a less entrenched position, to regain your position. You’ll only be able to use the hopelessness ploy once, twice if you’re overly convincing. So, be mindful of how and when you employ it. If you do so too early in the negotiation, you’ll lessen its effect later. If you do it too late, you’ll bring additional scrutiny upon your act.
Most people like helping people. It’s a characteristic that’s pleasing. It’s also a characteristic that some people despise. Thus, you must know when to be a helpful actor and when to drop the act.
Dominant negotiators, the bullying type, tend not to want help. They already know what’s good for the negotiation. From their perspective, your insights will only hinder the process.
Invoke the helpful act with collaborative negotiator types. They seek input to promote win-win negotiation outcomes. To better effect this act, consider when you’ll lead and when you’ll follow. To follow, ask the other negotiator for her opinion. Then, build on it. To lead, present a non-threatening offer and ask your collaborator what she thinks of it. Build on what she says.
Most people don’t like to be dominated; it places too many restrictions on them. Nevertheless, acting dominantly versus someone that’s savvy and in control can have its benefits. The difference lies in whether you’re perceived as being overbearing, strong-willed, or just knowledgeable. To effect this act, attune yourself to the other negotiator’s perception. There can be hidden value in this role. Knowing how to uncover that value makes it more valuable.
The stage you’re in, in the negotiation, should direct how you act. Like a good director, if you time your actions appropriately, your actions will be more believable. That will lead to more winning negotiation outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.
“There’s Hidden Value In The ‘Nice Factor’ When Negotiating”
“I don’t know why I made those concessions. The other negotiator was so nice! Something made me want to be nice in return.” Unbeknownst to the speaker of those words, subliminally, he was affected by the nice factor.
Have you ever considered the hidden value of the nice factor when negotiating? Being nice is perceptional, depending on who you’re negotiating with. Nevertheless, it has a place at some point in every negotiation.
The following are ways you can deploy the settle ally of the nice factor to enrich your negotiation outcomes.
Negotiators set the tone for the negotiation at its outset. Note: The outset starts before you’re at the negotiation table. They may set a tone to suggest you should not take them lightly or one that implies they’ll go along to get along.
Some negotiators project a stern persona to convey the sentiment that they’re not to be dallied with; this persona can also be invoked to protect the veneer of insecurity. That’s worth mentioning because you should be watchful and asses if such a demeanor serves that purpose. That can uncover the personality type that you’re really dealing with.
In some cases, a stern type of projected positioning is advantageous. But, if you don’t consider the negotiation style of your negotiation counterpart, it can be the uncoupling of the negotiation before it starts. Thus, you should be mindful of the persona you project at the beginning stages and throughout a negotiation. You don’t want to turn the other negotiator into a more abstinent opponent if he’s not already one. If such occurs, attempt to mollify him by modifying your demeanor. Be nicer.
Soft negotiators will display their demeanor by presenting a broad smile upon meeting you and a handshake that is appropriate for the encounter (i.e. not too hard, not too soft). As you engage in the negotiation, assess to what degree this may be a façade. You can accomplish that by noting the slight changes in her personality when discussing points of disagreements. If she’s quick to placate you, make sure you let her win points, too. Doing that will enhance the nice factor.
Hard negotiators may present more of a challenge when attempting to invoke the nice factor. Depending on the degree of their hardness, moderate to obnoxious, the nice factor may not be appropriate. Instead, you may want to adopt a persona that matches the style of the other negotiator to get him to modify his demeanor. If he does, at that point you may consider implementing the nice factor. Depending on the severity of his modification, being nice can serve as his reward.
Most negotiators don’t like strong tensions in a negotiation. When tensions reach a certain level, negotiators tend to be more dogmatic about the positions they’ve adopted. So, if you find yourself in such a contention, consider employing the nice factor. This may be in the form of making a concession. If you’re not sure if doing that will ease tensions, preface your offer with an ‘if’ statement (e.g. If I do this, will you do ‘x’?). The point of using the nice factor at this point will be an attempt to reset the negotiation to a less pretentious position.
The more positive the experiential endowment you invoke within the other negotiator, the easier the flow of the negotiation will be. That will lend itself to an enhanced negotiation engagement, which in turn should lead to a greater negotiation outcome for you … and everything will be right with the world.
“How To Prevent From Being Slaughtered When You Negotiate”
“What the heck happened in there? They slaughtered us! They out-negotiated us at every turn! Why did we not see that coming?” “I guess we didn’t plan for that type of negotiation with that type of negotiator”, was the reply.
People engage in negotiations because they seek to maximize an outcome. In that quest, some people lose their focus. They use the same negotiation strategies they’ve used in the past and wonder why they get slaughtered when those strategies are no longer effective. To prevent that from happening to you, note the following.
Environment: Know what the best environment is to conduct your negotiation in. That environment may encompass doing so in writing, or phone, versus in person. There are different dynamics that come into play when negotiating in different environments. Know the environment that will most benefit your style of negotiating compared to the negotiation style of the opposing negotiator.
Perception: Everyone has an image of who the person is that they’re negotiating with. That persona is based in part on what the perceiver knows about the other negotiator; that stems from what the perceiver has seen, heard, and thought of that person in the past.
Project the persona warranted for the negotiation. Take into consideration the negotiation style of the opposing negotiator in your calculation (i.e. hard (I’ll crush you), soft (I’ll go along to get along)). The perception you cast and how you perceive the other negotiator will determine the flow of the negotiation. To prevent being caught off guard, about your perception of the other negotiator and him of you, be adaptable as to the persona you project.
Entity: Know who you’re really dealing with (i.e. what force and sources motivates the other negotiator). Consider how he interprets information and how best to message that information related to the messenger (i.e. your persona). Your message may be received more favorably with one persona based on how that persona is perceived.
Leverage: When assembling strategies, assess how you’ll employ the powers of leverage. Leverage is a tool that can embolden you with positional power (i.e. power you have for a specified time), which can improve your negotiation position. Be cautious of how you use leverage. If you state you’ll engage in an action and don’t follow through, not only will you lose the ability to invoke leverage further in the negotiation, you also run the risk of losing credibility.
What’s your end game and how will you know when you’ve entered it? You should develop the answers to those questions during the planning phase of your negotiation. The plan should encompass what might trigger the end game phase of the negotiation, how you might promote it to occur if it’s lagging, and what you might do to terminate the negotiation if you discern that your efforts will not get you there.
By having markers denoting possible exit points from a negotiation, you lessen the possibility of staying engaged longer than what’s necessary; staying engaged longer increases your vulnerability by making unnecessary concessions.
Once you arm yourself with the thoughts mentioned above, you’ll insulate yourself from the brutality that could otherwise occur. That insulation will also be a shield that prevents you from being slaughtered in your negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.
“When it comes to an ‘us versus them’ mentality, potential danger looms in the inability to understand ‘them’.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“The Danger In The ‘Us Versus Them’ Dilemma”
“If we stick together, we can overcome them.” Those were the words of a devoted follower of his group. That is, he was a follower until he realized that he did not want to follow the group in the direction it was going.
There’s danger in the ‘us versus them’ mindset; it’s a dilemma people don’t realize when they’re in it. So, what is that danger and why should you be mindful of its pitfalls?
Psychologically, everyone needs to belong to an entity that’s larger than themselves. That’s not the dangerous part of the dilemma; the danger lies in the degree that you’re willing to follow the group, based on your own beliefs, and the confliction that might be caused as the result of those two being out of sync with one another. It also highlights what can occur, per how you view what the group terms as enemies of its norms. You hear that in the intonation of, “they’re not like us.” Therefore, something must be wrong with them.
If one adopts the latter mindset, their mind becomes clouded by the prominent thought that someone that doesn’t share the same norms as the group that they belong to, must be ‘missing the boat’ (i.e. not seeing something right). Once such a mindset is adopted, you’ll seek confirmation in the actions of those that are unlike your group, to confirm why you can’t treat them like you treat members of your group. In essence, your mind will have been jaded to receiving positive thoughts and ideas that might otherwise allow you to see ‘the others’ in a positive light.
If you want to be more open-minded, do so by believing, and allowing your thoughts to be moved by, the thinking that people may have different opinions and perspectives about something, but because they do, that doesn’t make them wrong or a bad person.
When it comes to ‘us versus them’, keep an open mind with the intent to discover something new about the perspective being discussed. Doing so will allow you to gain more insight into anything that you weigh. That will make you a more informed individual … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
In a negotiation, you should always be mindful as to how you’re being influenced by the biases you have, towards the person making the proposal or offer. Even if you don’t like the initial offer, don’t let your initial emotions alter its appearance. There may be more than meets the eye, if you keep an open mind and consider any hidden benefits the offer might contain.
Good negotiators are aware that they can control a negotiation better, by controlling themselves. When it comes to, ‘us versus them’ in a negotiation, such a demeanor will only serve as a blight on an otherwise more successful negotiation outcome.
“A leader is someone that can lead or follow. Always know the role of your leader.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Don’t Hurt The Leader’s Position”
In the daily activities of everyone’s life, everyone follows someone. Thus, those that you follow have influence by the fact that you anoint them as someone to lead you. You embolden them with that privilege by the fact that you follow their edict/mandate/suggestions. That being the case, don’t undermine the leader by:
going off-point per a strategy that has been discussed and agreed upon (e.g. going around the leader to gain attention for yourself, etc.)
engaging with outside sources that have not been agreed upon – make sure the leader knows what you’re planning to do
creating ad-hoc strategies when you’re in the midst of interactions with those that are not on your team/group
When you subvert the direction of the lead that you’ve granted to someone else, you forgo potential opportunities, and diminish your team’s ability to implement the plan that’s been agreed upon; that can be costly in time and opportunities. You may also be cloaking into darkness the light of opportunities that may have shown themselves to you in the future (i.e. if you prove not to be a team player, no one will want you on their team.)
If you’re going to be a team player, play follow the leader by supporting the person that you’ve chosen to follow. Do so to the degree that such returns are beneficial to you and the team. Once you decide that you no longer wish to engage, inform the leader of your intent and disengage. Don’t just drop out without any communication. If you restrict the flow of communications, you don’t know what potential door(s) you’ll close that might have offered opportunities that could lead you to higher heights.
As long as you’ve decided to follow the leader, don’t hurt her. You’ve made a conscious decision to allow her to lead. So, follow her lead as long as it serves you and her … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
In a team negotiation environment, the leader of the team can position and pose as any of its members; it doesn’t have to be the person that projects the image of a leader at the negotiation table. Depending on the strategy chosen by the team, the leader may pose as someone that’s in a strategic position for a particular negotiation. He may also be positioned as someone that a senior person on the team can replace once the negotiation has reached a certain point.
The point is, once you have a strategy in place, don’t undermine it by undermining the person that’s the lead for the negotiation. Not only will you be weakening her, you’ll also be weakening your team’s negotiation position and the perspective beneficial outcome of the negotiation for all of you.
“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
“How To Really Overcome A Bully Before Negotiating”
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.
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.
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.