In negotiation for your small business you deal with all types. People of varying intellect and emotional maturity. The most hard nuts I’ve had to deal with are those who wear their hearts on their sleeves. They feel aggrieved at the slightest pressure. They take offence at anything that doesn’t go their way.
These are the sneaky competitive types in negotiation who are takers and not givers.
But worst of all is when one of these seemingly intellectually deprived, emotionally immature people blow up into a full tirade. They will speak rapidly as if they are in a catatonic state. It will look as if they are drooling. They will shout and scream at you as if they are still in the cradle having a temper tantrum for mommy.
Humans are predators. The blowhard bully in negotiation will show their eyes and their teeth. This is part of the reptilian or lizard brain (the amygdala). It is the side that hurts, tortures and kills others.
Negotiation trainers say that executives spend up to 85% of their time negotiating. For small business owners the percentage must be about the same or even higher.
Just think about it: small business owners have to deal with customers from hell, suppliers who think they are in the business of doing others favours and employees who, once employed, try their utmost not to work. Then there are rental contracts from Scrooge landlords, customers who sue you and even large companies who brazenly steal your product ideas and intellectual property (a cool drink and a salt product recently ended up in court – at least the small guys won).
Here are some tips to deal with the blowhard bully in negotiation:
1 Handle your own emotions. Stay calm when under attack. Slow down. Watch your breathing.
2 Ask the person if you could continue the conversation behind closed doors.
3 Let the person know that you can’t talk to them when they are in an emotional state.
4 Take a toilet break.
5 Tell them you can talk to them later but now you have an important call to make.
Chinese negotiators use questioning and endurance while those in the West rely on aggression and impatience to persuade. Negotiating with blowhard bullies requires the skill to lower emotions. It’s very difficult but it’s got to be done.