“Negotiator – This Is How To Best Crush A Bully” – Negotiation Insight

“Confronting a bully is as tough as you allow him to make it.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Negotiator – This Is How To Best Crush A Bully”

People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.

As the bully sat across the negotiation table, she thought, I’m going to crush him! He’s a weak negotiator. He’s going to make one concession after another, and I’m not going to give him anything without putting up a big fight. He’ll think he’s arrived in hell by the time this negotiation is over.

You’ve just entered the twilight zone, because you’ll be negotiating with the negotiator from hell, and it won’t be easy. Yes. She’s a bully. She’s out to crush you. And that’s going to make the negotiation extremely difficult. What do you do now?   

Since you engage in negotiations throughout your daily activities, if you’d like to discover how you can confront a negotiation bully or anyone that attempts to bully you, and be a more effective negotiator, take note and use the following information wisely.

Disrupting Power

It can be tough negotiating against a tough negotiator. But when you’re haggling against a bully, the negotiation difficulties become exponentially more difficult. That’s due to the demeanor of a bully, which derives from the way he views you. So, to alter his perspective, you must disrupt his power. And how might you do that, you ask? There are many ways. The following are two of them.

  • Pitting

Every bully seeks attention from his followers and those that he follows. Thus, he must present himself to those entities in a positive light. To disrupt the bully’s power, pit the people within his group against one another, or pit them against him. And one way to do that is to have them question their values, as they relate to each other, and the bully. While doing this may have to occur before the negotiation begins, it can also happen during the talks by letting outside forces know what’s happening in your discussions with the bully.

  • Chaos

The purpose of pitting people within the bully’s sphere of influence is to sow chaos within his ranks. Accordingly, the more chaos you create, the less focus the bully will place on you, which will make your negotiation efforts easier. Also, it would be better if you secretly performed your deeds to make the bully shift his attention.  

Playing The Bully

First, let me define what I mean when I say, playing the bully. In this case, I’m referring to doing something that strings him along. In essence, you’re manipulating him against himself. I’m making a distinction from playing the role of a bully, versus being a bully because being a bully can be a viable ploy to use as a negotiator, against a bully. In the latter role, the two of you would be attempting to out-bully the other. Therefore, as I’m suggesting the role you play, they’re two aspects to consider. The first is the situation, and the second is the person.

  • Situation

When playing a bully against himself, based on the situation at hand, you must consider the optimum circumstances in which it might apply. As an example, if a newsworthy story was prominent, and it was against the bully or his followers’ position, you might point out how the bully is out of step with the opinions of others. That position would make him appear to be less appealing, which you can use as leverage in an attempt to have him alter his stance (i.e., look how many people are against this). And that’s how you’d play a bully based on a situation.

  • Person

When playing the bully as a single entity, you gear your efforts towards making him sense his actions as an individual. You don’t depend heavily on outside stimuli as your primary source of manipulation. To make a distinction, you may refer to opportunities, as mentioned in the situation section that I covered. But in playing the person, the main emphasis is placed on him. And you do that from a psychological perspective.

As an example, you get wind that the bully’s followers or those that he’s following are shifting their views about a position that he staked out at the negotiation table. You raise that point with him when he becomes immobile from an offer or counteroffer that he made. Then, you could raise the question of how he might feel if others knew about the unreasonableness of his position. The gist of doing that is to cause him to have doubts about his attitude and situation.


It can be challenging, but if you get a bully negotiator into a state of reasoning, you can alter his attitude. That should lead to a change in his perspective to crush you. And that should lead to you dealing with a more open and rational individual. So, how might you accomplish that? As mentioned, you can ‘play the bully’ and disrupt his sources of power. Another effort you might attempt is asking him to be rational. Do that by asking what offer he would accept. Use this point strategically. Because after you use it the first time, the other negotiator will become suspicious about where you’re attempting to take him in the negotiation.

You want to ask the question to get insight into the deal he’d accept. And of course, with a bully, the agreement has to lean to his favor. Thus, he’ll propose an outcome tailored to those desires. But once you have his deal proposal, ask if he thinks it’s fair. He’ll say yes, and when he does, inform him that you’d like to flip the offer. Tell him, since he thinks it’s fair, you’ll accept the deal in reverse that he’s offering you. Then, you’ll have him in a corner.      


If you wish to avoid being crushed by a bully when you negotiate, you must be a coy negotiator. That means you must be a negotiator type that can display shrewdness when appropriate, modesty when called for, and possess a deviousness that sways a bully’s constituents against themselves and him. When you’re capable of exacting and combining those variables into a cohesive weapon, a bully will have no chance of crushing you. You’ll be the one doing the crushing. 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://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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