Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trump Style Negotiation: CH11--Negotiating with Difficult People

Ivan, the intimidator

 About Ivan

Usually, this is a person with bigger physical appearance, louder voice, and/or higher status. This guy will try to scare you. If you can defend yourself, this guy will go to plan B -- Be nice. He wants to be nice to you, because he wants the deal to work. This is because if the deal worked out, he would deem himself as still in control.
  You may try to raise your voice and intimidate the other side. But be careful. If the other side isn’t intimidated, they might get angry. You may have difficulty in negotiation from that moment on. Also, if you use it a lot, it may damage your reputation.


  • Stand your ground. But do not escalate into a confrontation. If you succeed, Ivan will change the tactic or the power will be shifted to you. 
  • Establish rapport but not in the battlefield. Wait until the meeting is over. Then, make peace. This can be initiated by you or be the other side. It can be just a telephone call, or a lunch. 
  • Do not try to diminish his stature in front of others. If you hurt his pride, he will fight for it. If you have to, make a private phone call or a private lunch.
  • Let him think he’s winning. But, in fact, you get a good result. 
  • Usually, his subordinates are also scared of Ivan. So, if you can establish a good relationship with Ivan, you can also threaten his subordinate that you will go to talk directly with Ivan.
  • Most intimidators hate details. They like making a grand move. They expect their staff to handle the details. You can slow him down by flooding him with details, e.g., send him every single documents. Doing so would also keep Ivan’s staff in check, because the staff knows that Ivan can dig in and see what the staff has done. The document also acts as an evidence of what has and has not been agreed upon. It would be very useful when later a conflict occurs.

Know-It-All Charlie

About Charlie

Charlie usually get caught in his own ego. He does not listen to anyone but himself. So, you cannot deliver your idea to him, not easily.
The problem with know-it-all Charlie is that he believes that he knows it all. So, he cannot learn anything new. Even if you try to feed in new information, he would not get it.


  • Do not tell Charlie what he should or should not do. 
  • Do not get into a head-to-head confrontation with Charlie. 
  • Give little information and give the information he’s already known.
  • Be humble. Flatter him. Let him think that he knows everything. He’ll let his guard down. Say something like ‘This is typical. You’ve done this a thousand of times. But let me repeat what you know so that we can be sure that we are on the same page.’ Charlie would be less likely to reject what you are saying because that would be tantamount to admitting that he doesn’t know about what you are saying. So most likely, he’s going to say ‘yes’ to your proposal. 
  • When he says ‘no’--like ‘this is not typical. No one in our business would do this’, you can counter with ‘you know more than I do. Why don’t you show me what it should be?’ This will allow him to show off that he is an expert. 
  • Get people on his side to help you. This guy is usually very arrogant. If you’re lucky, people on the other side might not like him as well. Try to win these people over.

Waffling Wilma

About Wilma

Wilma is a person who has a hard time making decision. One day, she may think a certain thing is good.  The next day, the same thing could be bad.


  • Go slow and be patient. Make sure that every move is solid. Do not let Wilma go backward.
  • Build up Wilma’s confidence. For example, compliment her in front of her boss. Make she think that you are her friend. 
  • Be stingy with concession. Wilma is very whimsical. So, she is going to ask you for a lot of concession and not feel satisfactory. If you are not careful, you will use up your concession very fast. 
  • Eliminate choices: Giving out concession is like giving Wilma more choices. Choices confuse Wilma. It would be better if you just show her the best one. Do not give an opportunity for her to choose.
Book or Audiobooks?

Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post].

There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into audible.com. You can keep downloading the over and over again.
About the summary: It takes time to finish up a book. And, when you do, sometimes, you want to review what you learn from the book. If you do not make  notes as you read, you might have to go through the book once again. This can be time-consuming when you are dealing with a book. But you can still flip through the book and locate what you are looking for.

However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.

This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.

I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.

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