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‘The Negotiators’ is a series of articles that bring to life the most common types of negotiator: what they are like, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as approaches that will help you negotiate with them. Designed to be practical tools, you may find value in referring to the set for a quick start in reading and handling those you encounter.

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The Bully

Working for a larger company has upside, such as benefits, kudos and job security.  And the power in negotiations is great too. Knowing the other party needs them builds a great deal of self-importance, even arrogance. The Bully is firm, demanding, persistent, sometimes aggressive. They love a process, particularly if its backed up with a system. Controlling this process and often having learnt to keep silent, The Bully can be intimidating and deliver great financial benefits in the short term, usually with cost savings.

But try and form a relationship with The Bully and you may stumble. They don’t really know how to be collaborative and are probably unwilling to try. Sometimes they recognize their inability to create value, which leads to insecurity. The consummate ‘one trick pony’ who can even cut off their own nose to spite their face – losing huge potential value. Secretly they just want to be loved.


Favorite Film –   Any Stallone film

Favorite Book – Game of Thrones

Favorite Food – Bento box


How to work with them

You can face them down and they might back off (a bit). However, they have their process so will probably just try again. Going around them can work, as more senior people often have at least some relationship skills and an awareness of the value of using different styles. But make sure you do it in a way that the boss doesn’t have to show a lack of support to The Bully or they’ll block you at some point in the future.

If you don’t need to do the deal, or it’s unlikely on the current path, and/or you’re feeling like having some fun, do something totally irrational. This blows The Bully’s mind as they can’t compute anything outside the process. When you’ve got them totally confused, an offer of help and understanding can get them to accept your assistance.

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