Reply To: Strategic Negotiation Curriculum

  • Patrick Griffin

    January 17, 2024 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks Mary, these are great questions. I’ve seen a lot of bullying tactics and they can take a few different shapes; interrupting, personal comments meant to elicit an emotional reaction, just general aggression, etc.

    First off, you should try to determine if it’s a tactic, a cultural difference or something else. No matter what the driver is, it is disruptive and not conducive to a productive negotiation.

    I’ve found that the most important way to handle that is to keep your own emotions in check, and don’t let them get a rise out of you. If they are interrupting, the first instance or two you can hear them out and ask questions about the points they make to get them to explain further. However, if it persists and gets in the way of you being able to communicate, then I’d suggest taking a break and calmly remarking on it, e.g. “I know you have a lot to share, and I do too. I think we may be talking past each other, so let’s take a break.”

    If someone is raising their voice as they interrupt, which is common, you want to avoid tone-matching. Social-mirroring is useful when communication is benign, but not if one party if trying to escalate. In those cases, keeping a level tone is a very powerful statement.