Expert Advice On How To Negotiate With A Bully – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Follow this expert advice to negotiate with a bully.

  1. Differentiate between a bully that may be controlling versus bullying. Some people don’t see themselves as bullies. They may be the type that likes to be in control of situations and display overly aggressive means to maintain that control. The two perspectives possess different mindsets.
  2. Identify the personality type of the bully you’re negotiating with (you’re always negotiating). Thus, even in your first encounter with a person (and after that time), you should assess that person’s traits, demeanor, and characteristics. Doing so will give you the insight needed to formulate a negotiation strategy.
  3. Determine the best environment to negotiate with a bully. He may be stronger in one environment as the result of resources surrounding him or those he has to ‘save face’ for; this may also tend to make him cockier than he’d normally be. If that’s the case, get him out of his environment; this should be done physically and/or psychologically. In doing so you’ll dilute his psychological powers and weaken him mentally in the process (i.e. power is perceptional).
  4. If addressing a bully on a one-on-one basis doesn’t achieve your objective(s), marshal forces to use as leverage against him. Depending on the situation, let those that he has more respect for take the lead on your behalf; never let a bully know how strong your forces are. You must be prepared to send in a second, third, fourth, etc., wave that’s stronger than what preceded it. For maximum effect, the timing of your next foray should occur just when the bully thinks he’s squashed your best efforts. In normal situations, over time you’ll wear the bully down and he’ll acquiesce to your wishes. Be mindful of the bully that won’t acquiesce over a period of exhaustive negotiations when forces have been marshaled against him. You might be dealing with a bully that’s willing to destroy himself for the sake of denying you any kind of victory. To prevent from making too many concessions, establish exit points that indicate when you should depart the negotiation. Always be mindful that, the longer you stay engaged in a negotiation, the likelier you are to make concessions to your disadvantage. This is due to the psychological need to see the negotiation to its end. This could be to your severe detriment.
  5. Once you’ve achieved your objective(s), over a period of time reengage the bully from a polite perspective and observe how he interacts with you. To the degree the relationship is important to you, be prepared to let him win an encounter, but never let him bully you again. Your prior actions should be engrained in his mind to the point that he’d not want to experience the prior encounter that you two engaged in.
  6. As further insight into the affects your engagement has had with a bully, note how those closes to the bully engage with you after an encounter. Their actions will allow you to assess the degree of sting that still resides in the bully.

Bullies only pick on those that they perceive to be weaker than themselves. Don’t let a bully perceive weakness in you and he’ll have no target to attack… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

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Do You Know How To Negotiate With A Bully? Negotiation Tip of the Week

Negotiating with a bully, or anyone that acts in an obstinate manner can be a difficult proposition. Such encounters can leave you haggard, bewildered, and in a sense of bedazzlement. Stated simply, it can leave you emotionally drained. But, if you know how to negotiate with a bully, you don’t have to risk jeopardizing your sanity or peaceful state of mind.

When you find yourself negotiating with a bully, consider employing the following strategies to lessen his impact.

  1. First, identify why the bully feels he can bully you. There’s something that he’s perceived about your demeanor that marks you as a target. Once you discover that, you can alter your demeanor to appear more formidable. Just an FYI, you should alter his perspective of you prior to entering into the negotiation.
  2. Understand his source of power. A bully’s mindset is one of picking on people that he perceives to be weaker than himself. His perception stems from his support system (i.e. those that back him), along with his perspective of what he’s achieved versus what he perceives you to possess (e.g. he has friends in higher places, more money, greater status, etc.) To combat his perception, create the persona of someone that’s also connected. You can do this by emulating the bully’s support system.
  3. Appear fearless when such is required. A bully will ‘push your buttons’ to discover ways to manipulate you. Everyone is familiar with the schoolyard bully. He picks on the kids that won’t stand up to him. When they do, he usually moves to a target that is less challenging. When dealing with a bully in a negotiation, you have to be defiant when defiance is called for. Remember, the bully will only push you to the point that you allow him and, he’ll continue to push as long as you allow him. Unfortunately, history has taught us this lesson time and time again when dealing with tyrants; tyrants are nothing more than bullies with a bigger platform.
  4. Observe body language – In particular, look for nonverbal signs of submission and those that are out of sync with his verbiage (e.g. bully leaning away from you when making a demand – potential sign of him retreating and testing your resolve, softening his demeanor when he senses that you’re displaying backbone, making request with ending statement sounding like a question). Such observations will give you greater insight into what his next action(s) might be and his psyche.
  5. Consider how you can have embedded commands in your offers, suggestion, and/or concessions. As an example, observe the statement in bold in the first paragraph of this article. It states, ‘you know how to negotiate with a bully’. Such subliminal messaging may not be observed by the conscious mind, but they will be perceived at a subconscious level. Therein is where it can have an influence on the other negotiator. To combine the effects, lace several subliminal messages together. Use them as needed and apply them judiciously.

While negotiating with a bully can be trying, if you employ some of the suggestions mentioned above, you can decrease the bully’s effectiveness. In so doing you’ll make yourself less desirable from being targeted for bullying by the bully… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

Watch Emotional Abuse When Negotiating With A Bully – Negotiation Tip of the Week

When negotiating with a bully, watch the emotional abuse you incur and mind your responses to it.

Bullies make some people experience an array of feelings in a negotiation. They do so for the pleasure of feeling superior to the other negotiator in an effort to exert their dominance. The emotional feelings they attempt to invoke can range from fear to hate to happiness. Yes, bullies can make you feel happy as the result of relinquishing the pressure they’ve applied to you. That’s another reason why you should monitor your emotions. You want to check them so you can display the proper response, based on your position in the negotiation at particular points. When it comes to watching your emotions take note of the following.


Fear can invoke primal actions within you. When fearful, your normal thought process shuts down. Depending on the degree of fear you experience, your body prepares for a fight, flight, or freeze scenario. That deliberation can cause you to be thrown off your negotiation game (i.e. forget the negotiation strategies you’d planned to implement).

When you sense that you’re experiencing fear in a negotiation, note its cause. Consider to what degree its source will devastate you and your future position. The point is, diminish your thoughts of fear by contemplating how you can assuage it before continuing the negotiation, and recognize when it has you in its grips.


Anger is another stealer of normal thoughts. It can be stoked by fear, which is also the reason you should control your perspective of fear and anger.

When angered, you can lose your perspective and rationalization. Thus, to negotiate from a mindset of anger will not serve you, it serves the other negotiator, instead.

Therefore, be aware of when the other negotiator is intentionally attempting to gouge you by instilling fear into the negotiation. Also, be mindful of what his attempts might look like before entering the negotiation. This can be accomplished by role-playing ahead of time. Just be mindful of elucidating your mind to how fear might be used against you, and be prepared to thwart such efforts.


Most people seek happiness as a constant state of mind. Our body seeks it too. Thus, when we’re not in a state of happiness, our mind will attempt to guide our actions back towards that state. It will also do ‘things’ to stay in that state, even if those ‘things’ are to our future detriment. It’s because of the latter that you should be hyper-vigilant when you’re in a state of happiness that’s been caused by a bully’s actions. You may not be off the hook. Instead, you may have been unknowingly placed deeper onto one.

To combat a bully’s effort to mentally manipulate you through the use of happiness, understand his motives for doing so. If his efforts don’t serve you, don’t appease him by succumbing to this tactic. Remain stern.

Anyone’s emotions can be strained when negotiating with a bully. Suffice it to say, you should stay on top of your emotions when negotiating with a bully more so than with other types of negotiators. Bullies can invoke extreme passion within you, which is why it’s so important to be mindful. If you’re aware of what can ‘set you off’, and not allow it to cloud your actions or judgment under such circumstances, you’ll be able to think clearer and negotiate better. That alone will give the bully cause for doubt, which means you’ll be turning his tactics against him. Doing so will allow you to maintain greater control in the negotiation… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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