Can you deal with a negotiation bully?

4 tips for negotiating with a bully


Negotiations in the workplace are generally a time for two rational individuals to discuss opposing opinions and reach an amicable compromise.

In some situations, however, you may be surprised by a person who is determined to turn a negotiation into an argument. This person is hoping to throw you off guard and rattle your confidence by interrupting, yelling and responding with anger.

Negotiation bullies believe they can scare others into accepting their opinion. It is important that you are able to stand up to these individuals to get the best outcome out of your workplace negotiations.

Negotiation skills training can help you stand on the best foot when dealing with a bully. For a more immediate solution, here are four quick negotiation tips:

Stay calm

It can be difficult knowing how to respond when someone raises their voice in the workplace. The most important thing is to remain calm instead of getting upset or responding in anger.

Stooping to their level is unlikely to do any good as the negotiation crumbles into a full-out war. Instead, maintain your composure and try staying silent or speaking in a reasonable and even tone.

Be prepared

Doing your homework can help keep you on the right path when dealing with a bully. Knowing what you want to say ahead of time will ensure you can continue confidently rather than becoming flustered when they interrupt and throw their toys out of the pram.

Ask for help

If a bully decides to try to scare or intimidate you during a negotiation, you may benefit from having additional support.

Asking for help will ensure that the bully is unable to push you into a bad decision. Consider approaching a trusted manager or colleague to sit in on a meeting if you are worried about how the negotiations will turn out.

Say no

Healthy negotiations typically lead to a compromise between two individuals. When a bully is involved, however, one person is unlikely to get their way at all. In this case, it is better to stand your ground and show the bully that you are unwilling to work with individuals who rely on scaremongering.

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