3 Assertive Ways to Handle Aggressive Negotiators
BEATING THE BULLY: Handling Aggressive Negotiators
Nobody wants to be a pushover, but there are times where we walk away from the negotiation table feeling weak, vulnerable, or unhappy with ourselves, especially when dealing with intimidating negotiators. We may have avoided conflict, but in doing so have agreed to make a few crippling sacrifices. It is possible to be both assertive and amiable, however, and both parties can reach a satisfying agreement if these aggressive negotiators are approached with strategy and tact.
Many people are afraid of turning down requests because they want to ensure an amicable relationship between the parties involved. The drawback is that such an approach rarely leads to all parties being satisfied with the outcome; in numerous cases, people are left feeling like they have drawn the short straw. It is sensible to refuse a deal that will not improve your position. State your refusal courteously, and then offer an alternative solution that will benefit all parties. Others will be more willing to listen if you have other viable options, rather than if you had only responded with a blunt ‘No’.
USE ‘I’ INSTEAD
When negotiations get heated, tempers may flare and accusations may start flying. The next time temperatures begin to rise, use ‘I’ statements, especially when requesting for something. ‘You’ statements, such as, “You are unaware of our company’s procedures in this matter,” or “You’re not making sense,” sound accusatory. An ‘I’ statement not only removes the edge from the remark, it allows the other party to see things from your point of view. An aggressive negotiator tends to see only his or her agenda, so using statements like, “I understand that you would like the report by the end of the month, but I have two projects due next Monday, so those take precedence,” may shift the focus from fulfilling one party’s agenda to coming up with a solution that benefits all.
There are moments where lengthy explanations would benefit negotiations, but aggressive negotiators enjoy finding the devil in the details. Many meetings suffer from being derailed by negotiators arguing over trivialities. To counter this, be simple and direct. Ensure that you know exactly what you want to achieve from the meeting, and keep your requests brief and clear. If pressed for elaborations, always remember that less is more. Give yourself a few seconds to think before replying, and then politely assert yourself.
is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
It is possible to be both assertive and amicable, however, and both parties can reach a satisfying agreement if these aggressive negotiators are approached with strategy and tact.
It is sensible to refuse a deal that will not improve your position. State your refusal courteously, and then offer an alternative solution that will benefit all parties.
The next time temperatures begin to rise during negotiations, use ‘I’ statements especially when requesting for something.
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