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How Successful People Deal With Manipulators

How Successful People Deal With Manipulators

Some people are born manipulators, and not in a good way. A psychological manipulator deliberately creates an inequality of power, exploiting a victim or circumstance to serve their agenda. This can be beneficial, of course, and many successful business men and women are master manipulators. The problem is that a psychological manipulator isn’t necessarily going to have the best interests of the business at heart.

According to Psychology Today, most manipulative people have four common characteristics:

  • They know how to detect weaknesses
  • Once those weaknesses are found, they use them against you or your business
  • Through shrewd machinations, they convince you to give up something of yourself in order to serve their self-centered interests
  • In work, social, and family situations, once a manipulator succeeds at taking advantage of you, that person will continue repeating the violation until they are stopped.

How do successful people deal with manipulators? They do so through wisdom and their own strength of character.

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Below are several character traits and actions that successful people commonly use to deal with psychological manipulators.

1. They always trust people until those people are no longer honest

According to Jorge Diaz, founder of Lead Layer, honesty is one of the best compasses to use to successfully deal with manipulative people. It’s a filter that weeds out the people who will give you problems, like a business partner who just wants to work with you in order to take advantage of your connections for their own gain.

Steve Jobs, former CEO of NeXT and Apple and one of the most successful people in history, had a habit of being brutally honest. He told his biographer, “I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell people to their face. It’s my job to be honest.”

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2. They remember that manipulative people are good communicators

A manipulative person won’t do what they say, but they will convince you with their interpersonal skills that they possess more value than they actually do. Unfortunately, once you’re ready to pull the trigger and take action, the manipulative person won’t act or will give you excuses so he or she can take advantage of the situation.

This reflects back to dealing with people honestly and expecting the same. Once the manipulator shows his or her true colors, it’s time to cut the cord and end the business relationship with that person. The successful person realizes this, and acts swiftly to remove the manipulator from any position of influence he or she might be in.

3. They evaluate the past actions of people

Looking at business that people have conducted in the past, digging deep to have a feel for what a person has built over the years, will show you what kind of person the manipulator really is. Do those past actions show a healthy response to fear, or an overwhelming defeat by it? The manipulator, often, is defeated by fear.

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Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, pointed out that “The difference between people who succeed and people who fail, I think in many cases it’s not fear. Everyone experiences fear. The difference is what do you do with your fear. Do you work to overcome it or do you let it defeat you? And I think that is actually what distinguishes very successful people from others.”

4. They follow their intuition

Whether in the business world or in personal life, it isn’t often that we hear our inside voice. Successful people are in tune with what both their minds and their bodies tell them, using the feedback on the outside world to determine whether something truly is as it seems.

Bill Gates once said, “Often, you have to rely on intuition.” Steve Jobs agreed with this, encouraging others to “Have courage to follow your heart and intuition.” If that’s not enough, Oprah Winfrey insists that people should follow their instincts because “That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”

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5. They don’t play the fool

Gary Rawding, Chairman and CEO of myServiceForce, points out that successful people do not typically play the fool. Rather, they tend to be direct and challenging, knowing that manipulation won’t hold up well to the bright light of deeper inspection.

They take risks, to be sure, but they don’t do so foolishly. Instead, they closely evaluate every person they are dealing with and every situation they are embroiled in, determining how the puzzle pieces fit together and which pieces are from the wrong box.

6. They expect excellence

The manipulative person will find it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain an atmosphere of excellence. Their excuses and backpedaling won’t stand up to the light of excellence, so demand nothing short of that in the workplace. Like honesty, the expectation of excellence will act as a filter to weed out those who just want to manipulate the environment to best suit them.

Steve Jobs once advised leaders to “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” By demonstrating excellence, the successful person sets the stage for a manipulator to be found out and dismissed out of hand.

Featured photo credit: Gratisography via gratisography.com

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Steve Young

Entrepreneur and founder of AppMasters.co

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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