3 Ways For A Negotiator To Deal With Intimidation

by drjim on September 25, 2015

When intimidation shows up in a negotiation, you need to know what to do

When intimidation shows up in a negotiation, you need to know what to do
Image Credit: clyde

In a perfect world, there would not be any intimidation when we negotiate. Both sides would treat each other with respect and neither side would feel the need to attempt to use brute force negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to get their way. The unfortunate reality is that we don’t live in a perfect world and that means that intimidation will show up in just about every negotiation that we are part of. This means that we need to know how to deal with it when it shows up.

Stand Your Ground

When the other side of the table starts to use intimidation in order to get their way, you have a very important decision to make: how are you going to react? They would like you to cower and give in to them. However, if you’re smart you won’t do this. Instead, you’ll choose to stand your ground.

What this means is that you will show them that you won’t be intimidated by their actions. Please understand that this is not an easy thing to do. However, if you are strong enough to do it, then two magical things will happen. The first is that control of the negotiation will shift over to you. The second is that the other side will adopt different tactics when they see that their intimidation is not working.

It’s All About Rapport

Ultimately your goal in any negotiation is to reach an agreement with the other side that you can both live with. Even if the other side has tried to use intimidation to get their way during the negotiation, you still need to be able to work with them. This is where developing a sense of rapport between the two of you will come in to play.

A great deal of what will need to be done when you are working to develop rapport with the other side is to get the person in charge to take control over their troops. They may all be trying to use intimidation to get their way and it’s going to be up to their lead person to get them to stop. Your rapport with this person is how you’ll get the intimidation to go away so that everyone can focus on what’s really important: reaching a deal.

Monitor For Incursions

When you are dealing with a team of negotiators, you have the additional challenge of trying to keep them all under control. More often than not, you’re going to discover that various members of the other side’s team will be willing to use intimidation to try to get what they want. You need to put a stop this when it happens.

The easiest way to go about doing this is to make sure that you copy their “big man” on all of the paperwork that is involved in the deal. The other side will see that you are sending a copy of everything to their boss and you’ll need to make sure that they understand that their boss is going to see everything that they do. This will quickly prevent members of their team from trying to pull things on you.

What All Of This Means For You

Intimidation is a part of almost every principled negotiation. In order for you to be a successful negotiator, you are going to have to be able to realize when intimidation is being used and then take steps to negate it. There are three things that you can do to prevent intimidation from influencing the outcome of your next negotiation.

When you are faced with someone who wants to try to intimidate you during a negotiation, make sure that you stand your ground. By not rolling over for them, they’ll be forced to change their tactics. The next thing that you need to do is to work to establish rapport with the other side. Meaningful conversations between you will allow you to move the negotiations along quicker. Finally, make sure that you keep anyone who uses intimidation in the loop as the negotiations progress. Ensure that they get copies of every document – they may not read them, but they won’t be able to say that they didn’t see them.

Negotiations are all about finding a deal that both sides of the table can live with. If one side decides to try to use intimidation to get more than their fair share, then you are going to have to take defensive measures. There is no reason that the other side should be able to intimidate you. Use the techniques that we’ve discussed here and you will be able to defend yourself the next time someone tries to intimidate you during a negotiation…

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you should start to try to develop rapport with the other side or let them make the first move?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If your goal in life is to meet all sorts of different types of people, then you most defiantly do want to become a negotiator. Sitting across from us at the negotiating table will be a parade of just about every type of person that you could possibly imagine and they’ll be using a wide variety of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques.. Yes, some will be very nice people that we’ll be glad that we’ve had a chance to meet. However, then there’s the know-it-all.

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