The Negotiating Tactic of Yelling and Screaming

By Dr. Chester Karrass

Some people get their way by deliberately yelling and screaming. It’s a negotiating tactic.

These screamers know from experience that other people find this negotiating tactic uncomfortable. Most people find it difficult to cope with a screamer. This is especially true if others are around to witness the scene. Most cringe at the thought of having to deal with an obnoxious character-so they simply give in.

A loudmouth is accustomed to winning these negotiations and uses this negotiating tactic time and again to get their own way, or to gain a better position than other, more reasonable people. Their plan is to intimidate the other party into submission.

People who yell and scream do so because they have learned, like children, that it is easier to scream than to take the time to persuade by rational means. In fact, the weaker their position, the more they resort to loudmouth tactics.

As parents, we have a responsibility not to let our children get their own way by yelling and screaming. When children rant and rave, we have to call their bluff by calmly demonstrating that their approach will not work. This takes a good deal of parental courage, patience, and self-confidence.

How do we handle the business negotiator who uses such tactics?

This question is important because many of us, sooner or later, will have to deal with someone who yells and screams. Don’t let this negotiating tactic trap you into responding with like actions. If you both end up yelling at each other a satisfactory outcome is a remote possibility.

The key defense is not to be intimidated. If you remain rational, refuse to take abuse, deal in terms of fact-not emotion, and act with quiet dignity and firmness, the loudmouth will soon stop. If not, then it is wise to bring them to someone at a higher level who can handle the screamer with calm authority.

The experienced loudmouth has won a lot of easy victories since childhood. Don’t let them win another one at your expense.

Dr. Chester L. Karrass brings extensive experience, advanced academic credentials in negotiation techniques, and over 35 years experience in seminar delivery. After earning an Engineering degree from the and a Masters in Business, Dr. Karrass became a negotiator for the Hughes organization

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