“A bully’s power exists to the degree you grant it.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)
“Stop Bully Fear – How To Fight Back
And Easily Increase Negotiation Skills”
People don’t realize they’re always negotiating, even more so against a bully.
World leaders gently gnaw at their bottom lip as the world wrenches in turmoil created by the bully. They are waiting to see what the bully does next. They pause in hesitation because they are unsure which negotiation skills and tactics to use. One courageous leader stands alone, shouting, fight the bully.
But since he has little and limited power on the world stage, his cry for assistance to fight the bully forcefully is met with an insufficient response. Even though the bully has shown through actions that he cannot be appeased or trusted, those in power act with restrained power. No one seems to know how to negotiate with the bully.
So, how might you better negotiate with a bully to fight back his aggressive nature? That is what this article will help you discover. And in so doing, you will increase your negotiation skills.
Bully Thought Process Consideration
The negotiation strategies a negotiator uses against a bully depend on the aggressiveness of the bully’s behavior. Thus, you would use less combative tactics against a negotiator displaying mild bully behavior.
To evaluate a bully’s potential behavior, assess:
It would be helpful to assess a bully’s rationality before and during a negotiation. Because when a bully loses it, he may do unexpected things.
To assess the bully’s rationality, observe his actions at the onset of the negotiation. Then, during your interactions, use that as your basis for how he alters them during your talks. Use that insight as a barometer to determine how to adjust the negotiation strategy you have created to deal with him.
Know Bully’s Triggers
Before you can trigger and control a bully’s actions, you must know what he fears. With that knowledge, you will have the keys to manipulate his mind, perspective, and perception.
Test Bully’s Intent
A bully will test you with threats. Know when and how to challenge him. In some cases, you may want to allow him to spew threats and demeaning behavior on you to determine how far he will go. Once you know that, you can employ the plan you have created to thwart his efforts.
Assessing Bully’s Supporters
When negotiating against a bully that adopts a scorched earth engagement, do not readily deploy all of your assets against him. First, know with whom he has alignments. By going after the interest of those aligned with the bully, you may use them to gain leverage against him. Instead of attacking him, consider deploying a moderate form of pressure against his supporters; this can be a threat – if the bully does this to me, I will do that to you.
It may behoove you first to address the bully’s weakest or strongest supporters. That would depend on the signal you wish to send and the effect you wanted it to cast. Regardless, always be mindful of who and what makes up a bully’s support system when negotiating with him. Therein will lie a potential target to alter the bully’s behavior.
Controlling The Bully
You can control a bully if you’re aware of his vulnerabilities.
I recall when I was in middle school. There was the class bully, and he played his role well. He took money and food from us kids and threatened to beat us up if we didn’t give him what he wanted.
One day, a new kid began attending our school. No one knew much about him, except he took karate lessons. We knew that because we saw him with his karate gi.
We knew it was a matter of time before the bully attempted to pick on the new kid. A week went by, and then another, and another. Somehow, the bully never seemed to be in the same environment as the new kid. And then it happened.
As a hoard of us watched, the bully threatened a kid as the new kid passed near. Uh-oh, was the sharp sound that pierced the bully’s attention. And as he turned around, he saw the new kid – karate gi in hand.
I have been waiting for you, stammered the bully. Where have you been hiding? I have not been hiding, and I am not afraid of you, said the new kid as he adopted a karate stance. The bully looked at the new kid and said, you are too small for me to waste my time. With that, the bully turned and walked away.
The bully played the tough-guy role as long as no one challenged him. Once someone did, the bully backed down. The bully’s persona changed because the new kid exposed the bully’s vulnerability.
When confronted by a bully in your negotiations, identify his weaknesses. Therein will lie your opportunity to fight back by attacking him where his strengths lag. You will also learn something about dealing with future bullies. Accordingly, that will increase your negotiation skills.
There will always be a gulf between leaders and those they lead. Knowing how and when to confront a bully and those aligned with him will enhance your leadership abilities. More people will entrust you with their well-being, and you will increase your negotiation skills.
Now you know, you do not have to fear a bully. So, the question is, are you ready to apply the insights you have gained from this article in your next negotiation to stand up to a bully? If your answer is yes, you will be better prepared to fight a bully’s antics and tactics. And everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
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