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Tricks that Can Neutralize Aggressiveness in Negotiations

Tricks that Can Neutralize Aggressiveness in Negotiations

Dealing with aggression when negotiating can be tough. In some circumstances, avoiding a hostile behavior can seem unattainable. The key to winning challenging negotiations is to neutralize aggressiveness. It’s something everyone can achieve, though. Back in the 80s, many companies were concentrated on training their people the most aggressive techniques. The tactics brought short-term results, so companies of all sizes and shapes stopped using them in the business environment. Leaving aside the short-term results, aggressive negotiation tactics create damage. In the long run, that damage may have a great impact on your company’s reputation as nobody would want to deal with someone who uses dubious, manipulative techniques to sign contracts.

effective negotiations

An aggressive approach towards negotiations doesn’t necessarily mean that the person using those techniques is a manipulator. It’s important for business people to make a distinction between using compelling techniques and using unethical techniques, as they’re not the same thing. Unethical tactics are often related to illegal practices, while manipulation may seem immoral, but it’s not illegal.

How to avoid aggressiveness when negotiating a deal

Business people should be prepared when negotiating a deal. You can’t know that an opponent wants to deceive you, and you shouldn’t take that risk either. To avoid bad scenarios from turning into severe conflicts, preparation is the key. Sharpen your senses and pay close attention to every detail; there may be indicators that an opponent is trying to use more aggressive tactics in order to persuade you to agree to a certain contract. Negotiation training and practice play an extremely important role. Get assistance from professionals in areas such as linguistics, body language and behavioral psychology.

effective negotiations

Maintain a professional attitude

Believe it or not, there are business people who are only interested in winning deals. For them, win-win solutions are not an option, so they won’t hesitate to use the most aggressive tactics just to get their way. It’s paramount that you keep your cool; don’t let them get under your skin. Forceful negotiators have a specific set of phrases they like to use such as “Make a decision now, or the deal is off!” or “You have 3 minutes to agree or disagree with our proposal”.

As incredible as it may seem, many people fall in the trap and make bad decisions. Don’t be one of them. Maintain your calm and let them know that you need more time to think. There’s no shame in walking away from a proposition that can’t bring you any benefits at all. Some negotiators are genuine bullies. They shout and scream only to highlight that they have the toughest attitude. That doesn’t always work, though.

Know when to flinch

Physical replies like suddenly gasping for some air or evident expressions of alarm and astonishment are frequent examples of flinching. A flinch can work to your advantage as long as you can use it right; it can also be incredibly perilous, mainly because it happens in a split of a second. Many negotiators are not even conscious of the flinch. Here’s a clear example: seeing someone’s socked face expression is a lot more believable than hearing that person say “Wow, I’m shocked!”

In order to combat the flinch, and keep negotiating, you must be aware of everything that’s happening at the negotiation table. Look at your opponent’s face when you express your offer, and if they flinch, it means they’re not satisfied. Further negotiations will be required. However, if you fail to see the flinch you may lose the chance to bargain some more, and your opponent will remain dissatisfied.

effective negotiations

Nobody likes aggressive negotiators, mostly because they have one goal in mind – to win. They’re gamblers and they won’t hesitate to take chances, even if that could mean losing a contract entirely. As a business individual with a reputation to preserve, you are not advised to deal with forceful negotiators; however, in some scenarios they can’t be avoided.

Forcefulness is an attitude, and attitudes are challenging to amend because they’re both rational and emotional. A business negotiation can’t happen if involved parties are not interested in changing their attitudes. Attitudinal bargaining is paramount in business because it assures that negotiations are carried out in a way that all the parties involved are satisfied with the end result.

About William Taylor

William Taylor wrote this article. He is a frequent writer who has contributed many high quality articles to various business sites. He also writes for the site London Speaker Bureau which is world’s leading speaker and advisory network.