Negotiator – 5 Crazy Ways To Prevent Being Burned By A Bully – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Dealing with a bully can be daunting, exhausting, and frustrating. It can leave you in a state of anxiety and devoured by stress. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Observe the following 5 crazy ways to prevent being burned by a bully when negotiating.

Three bully types:

  • Hard Core:

This bully type is someone who likely had psychological challenges as a child. He wants the respect and acknowledgment that he’s someone to reckon with.

  • Middle Core:

This individual is someone whose bullying is based on circumstances. While all bullies seek to maximize their efforts based on situational opportunities, this bully type will seek to escalate his situations if giving the chance to do so to become a hard core bully.

  • Soft Core:

A soft core bully is one that’s classified as a bully in training. He’s usually someone that’s enticed into doing things to prove himself to those from whom he seeks approval. He’s what’s known as a useful idiot in intelligence parlance.

It’s to your advantage to know the bully type that you’re dealing with.

Do a good deed:

Most bullies wear their emotions on their sleeves. They want others to like and appreciate them. Studies have indicated, when people are in a positive frame of mind, they’re more receptive to your thoughts and ideas.

If you commit a good deed for a bully before the negotiation, that could endear you to him, which may lead to him having a more positive perspective of you. If so, he may be lax when it comes to emploring bullying tactics against you during the negotiation. As in all cases when dealing with a bully, you should be mindful of how he might react as the result of you doing good deeds for him. Some bullies will interpret such actions as a green light to push you harder.

Group threat:

A group threat can be an assembly of others you amass to threaten the bully or his supporters. In either case, the group you assemble should be perceived as a formidable force that the bully or his followers will have to contend with if he attempts to bully you. It should also be a force that the bully perceives as being threatening to his standing and wellbeing.

Playing field:

Don’t play on the bully’s field. That means, when negotiating with a bully, do so on your own terms. Don’t allow him to dictate where and when the negotiation will occur. If he says, ‘x’, you say, ‘y’. Bullies like tough guys. Show him that’s who you are by the actions you engage in.

Scorched earth:

There will be times when you must stand up to a bully to show him how tough you are. Sometimes, you’ll have to take that to the extreme.

A scorched earth approach to negotiation is one way to display that extreme. It entails positioning yourself as someone that will ‘burn down everything’ if you don’t get your way. After positioning yourself as such, make him fight for every concession you grant him. You want him to feel like he’s really been in a battle during the negotiation. In times of perceived peace, make him wish he’d prepared for war.

Some of the above strategies will work with some bullies and some won’t. By knowing the type of bully you’re dealing with, you’ll have a better idea of how you can prevent him from burning you. Thus, by implementing the strategies above, you’ll enhance your negotiation position. You’ll also be better prepared to thwart the efforts of a bully… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Living the 10/80/10 Rule for Past/Present/Future Awareness

One of the great things about journals or taking regular snapshots (not just selfies) is that when you look back, you realize how quickly time really does fly. I decided to clean my office recently and while I was moving some papers, my old student card from the University of British Columbia, hit the floor and I quickly realized how much time has passed. My youthful appearance in 1992 has transitioned into a present day portrait that reflects the passing of a significant amount of time. I can still remember sitting in dank libraries studying, late into the night thinking how the time seemed stagnant and interminable. Once and a while I would daydream about what my life would be like when I was done university and then all of a sudden “poof” a few years fly by. My Dad used to (and still does) remind me to be careful about wishing or dreaming my life away because time has a curious was of speeding up if you are not paying attention to the present moment.

I recently read a story about a family who decided that life was going by too quickly and they wanted to step off the “treadmill” and really live their lives fully and presently. They quit their jobs, sold everything and decided that they were, along with their young children, going to buy bicycles and ride them from Alaska to Argentina. They completed the trek in just over three years. Working in healthcare for many years, I was reminded on an almost daily basis about the importance of living a full and rich life. When people realize that the end is near, more often than not they talk about wishing they took more chances and lived in the moment rather than worrying about the future or regretting the past.

It is easy to say but hard to do: live in the present moment. We of course have to spend some time planning and dreaming about what we want our lives to be but we must spend the majority of time living in the present and making it happen. By being in the present moment, time really does change its rate. If you were to force yourself to pay attention to the seconds, you would find that the days seem longer. The key is to pay attention to the seconds while doing something that is mundane. Really try to make those moments last and be present in them. We all have mundane things we have to do like brush our teeth, shovel the driveway, cut the grass, and pay the bills. These moments, which are usually neutral in terms of emotional attachment, can be used as moments for practicing present moment awareness and slowing life down. Being mindful is not just about slowing things down but it literally improves our health. Research has shown that when people are taught to practice mindfulness for just thirty minutes a day for eight weeks, their brain literally changes. The brain grows in the area responsible for feelings of happiness and shrinks in areas which cause feelings of fear, rage, and anxiety.

If we accept that the present moment is the only moment you can affect, then it is here where we should spend the majority of our time. I have met clients who have told me that bad things are always just happening to them. When I listen to their history, it is hard to argue that their lives sound like a series of unfortunate events. I believe that in many cases by living in the future or the past too long, our hand is no longer on the “tiller of our boat” and we are at the mercy of the winds to blow us any which way. Their is not much point to living in the past as that part of time cannot be affected and the future is only imaginary so there is no point in being there too long either. I tell my clients to try and live the 10/80/10 rule for past/present/future. There is certainly some value in reflecting on the past. The past can be a good teacher and it can also be a reminder of how far you have come on your journey. Looking at the old snapshots can be useful if they are creating happy feelings. The future can be useful to set a course and a plan with the knowledge that you really cannot know how it will all work out but implementing the plan in the present gives you a better chance of reaching the goal. Spend a bit of time dreaming and planning but the majority of the time is spent right here at this moment.

Most often clients will say to me that they find just sitting and being mindful to be unproductive. They also tell me that they cannot find the time to do this for five minutes a day. I remind them that mindfulness does not have to be done sitting. It can be done when you brush your teeth but if you are brushing your teeth and thinking about what you will do next, it is not mindful and it is not present moment awareness. This practice of mindfulness done as often as you can and must be thought of as the most productive thing you can do in a day. I use the analogy of a needle on a record player. Our subconscious mind is continuing to play the same record over and over. There is no chance for growth or change if you are hearing the same thing day in and day out. Instead of music, our subconscious minds are playing tracks which are well worn grooves of our fears, insecurities, and beliefs. If you want real change, lift the needle off the record for a few minutes everyday. Quiet your mind so that new tracks can be laid.

Try the 10/80/10 rule and see how much of your time was probably spent in past or future. When I look at the old picture of me from 1992, I see a young man who lived too much of his life in the future. I don’t look at the picture with regret but rather I see how far I have come and I can celebrate the progress… but not for too long. Time to get back to making life actually happen. Time to go mindfully shovel my driveway.


5 Key Elements of Successful and Efficient Conference Presenters

  • Be a slave to rehearsals… – no doubt you’ve probably heard it before, but even if you’re a seasoned veteran rehearsing is essential to a successful and effective web conference. Ideally your test run should come as close to the real thing as possible (i.e. be held the same room you will be presenting in, using the same equipment, even similar hand movements and expressions) to ensure you are able to iron out any possible unforeseen issues. While you cannot predict every unforeseen event, rehearsing dramatically increases efficiency; and in the event a glitch arises, don’t stress – it happens to everyone sooner or later – just keep calm, and carry on to the best of your ability. Maybe even keep a couple jokes on standby that you can use in the event your computer crashes, or another technical error surfaces.
  • …but don’t be a slave to slides – sure, slides can be very informative and helpful in almost any conference, but the key is moderation. Reading verbatim from every slide you present is boring and loses the interest and attention of your audience. Stick to bullet points on slides, and use them as a springboard to engage in active conversation and collaboration.
  • Put your own spin on it – while rehearsing, try and find a conversational/presentation style that you feel comfortable with. This will help put your audience at ease as they will feel more confident about what you are presenting than they would if you were reading directly off your slides and sounding like a robot. Helpful hint: the more familiar you are with the topic or material you are presenting, the easier this will be.
  • Enjoy it! – when you have fun with your presentation it shows, and if you’re passionate about whatever it is you are presenting, chances are your audience will become just as excited about it. Keep your energy high by going on a short, brisk walk or getting some fresh air just before presenting. And most importantly, SMILE! Even if you are only conducting an audio conference, people might not be able to see it, but they certainly can hear it in your voice.
  • Avoid ‘ums’ and ‘uhs’ – this can be difficult for many of us, but these verbal tics act as instantaneous cues for an audience to tune you out and are the bane of all presenters. Whether it’s due to nerves, fear, a lack of product or service knowledge or confidence, rehearsing helps eliminate them – or at least keep them to an absolute minimum. Another helpful hint: if you are recording your conference and happen to have a case of the ‘ums and uhs,’ see if they can edit them out of your recording.