If you are about to begin a negotiation with someone who has a reputation as a hardball negotiator, here is what you should consider.

  1. Anyone who is a hardball negotiator may succeed when dealing with someone who is an inexperienced negotiator, is financially mismatched and may be too eager to make a deal.
  2. Where both sides’ resources are evenly matched and each is an experienced negotiator, hardball tactics are more likely to irritate and encourage the other party to walk out. No should make himself someone else’s punching bag especially if he has better alternatives.
  3. If the other party launches into hardball leaving you with an “I win, you lose” message, tell him that you came to negotiate, not to be bombarded by one way discussion. If he is being strictly tactical in the belief that he can intimidate you, he will stop and begin to listen to you.
  4. If he is not being tactical. he will stay on course and this will be your signal that further negotiation serves no useful purpose.
  5. A genuine negotiation seeks to explore all of the parties interests in an attempt to satisfy as many as reasonably possible. The goal is not to leave scraps on the table. Unrelenting hardball tactics are all about ego. They tell you that the other party doesn’t listen or perhaps he doesn’t know how to listen. When this happens your best option is to explore other alternatives.

About The Author

Jack Zwicker