negotiationThere’s a term that’s that goes “loose lips sink battleships.”

There’s another term that I like to use, which is: “keep your enemies close.” Why? Because eventually you’re going to need to negotiate with somebody who’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

You see, the whole area of negotiation is collecting data. What type of data do you need to collect in order to negotiate with somebody who’s unreasonable?

In your lifetime, there’s going to be somebody that is extremely unreasonable. No matter what you say, they will always turn it upon themselves. Negotiating with them doesn’t really exist because they always think they’re in the right, no matter what. So when you’re up against somebody like that, with narcissistic behaviors and tendencies, you need to start collecting data. You need to always be on silent patrol, meaning, whatever you want from that person, you don’t ask of that person for a while.

You just hold back and allow them to sink their battleship. Loose lips will sink battleships.

You see, we get so frustrated when we’re negotiating with someone who drives us nuts, or doesn’t hear us at all. So we tend to react. The trick is not to react at all. Allow them to talk at you. I know it’s going to mean dropping your ego entirely, and really becoming a little soft. But allow that. Allow them to vomit their works, their narcissistic personality all over you. Allow them to speak their point of view that’s never wrong, because they’ll start trusting you. They’ll start sharing things with you that are more personal.

People like this are in fear mode 24/7. They’re not smart. You’re actually smarter than them. The only way they know how to play is by battling. That’s the only way they know how to play because they can never be proven wrong, because they’re always, in their mind, right. Once you acknowledge their right-ness — even though you know it’s so wrong-ness — you can trust again.

When you gain trust, and you do not react to them at all, they’re going to start sharing things with you. Personal things. Loose lips sink battleships. Eventually, you’re going to start writing down all these personal things. What I would do is start sending back in an e-mail to them basically doing one. Congratulating them on being vulnerable or open, the changes in their life. Befriending the enemy.

So, continue to talk and they think that you get them, and get their very narrow point of view. You’ll get their narrow point of view. They’ll start sinking even deeper into the hole. You’ll gather information and you’ll start writing it down. Then when you want something from them, you basically use an old Sopranos method. The mob always presented a final offer, an offer somebody couldn’t refuse.

Why did they do that? Because they gathered information. They had personal information against somebody, and they basically made them an offer they could not refuse because, if they didn’t take the offer, bad things would happen to them. Their husband, wife, would find out about the affair. Their partner would find out that they were embezzling money.

You see, you can’t argue with somebody who thinks that they’re never wrong, but you certainly can use their information against them because it will break their perfect world that they’re trying to create. You see, they’re fear-based. And the only way to negotiate with a fear-based person is to bring more fear into their life. You have the upper hand. You just don’t realize it. So when you’ve gathered enough information, you make them an offer they can’t refuse, exposing things about them that they don’t want anybody to know.

Sounds a little bit like blackmail. It is what it is. Because when you’re talking with somebody who is Mr. or Mrs. I Am Never Wrong, you can’t rationalize with them at all. So the only way you’re going to get your way, or the only way you’re going to get what is deserving of you in the negotiation is by using the information they’ve given you. Loose lips sink battleships.

I had this done against me one time in a business deal. I was the loose lips. He sunk my battleship. Great lesson to be had, great lesson to learn and a great way to negotiate with somebody.

I know when you’re up against somebody like this, it definitely rattles your nerves, eeks your emotions and makes you feel really lousy inside. I know that feeling. I get it throughout my chest and throughout my stomach when I’m dealing with somebody like this.

But you have to stay calm. You may not get what you want out of that negotiation in the beginning. It may take time for you to actually manifest your own ending. But once they start blabbing to you, you’ve got them over a buck and barrel. When you’ve got them over a barrel, you’re just playing into their fear.

That, to me, is the art of negotiation, collecting data against the person you’re negotiating against and using that data. Sounds a little Sopranos, a little mobster. But you know what? Most times you can negotiate with people who are rational. Most times, you can negotiate with somebody who speaks a language and knows what’s fair for both parties.

But there’s going to be times in your life where you’re running against a narcissist, somebody who doesn’t think they’re ever wrong. So the fact is, all the rational negotiation skills are thrown out the window. And you’ll have to get downright dirty.

But you have to do it smart, and you have to do it so you come out with the upper hand. Because when you’re dealing with a fear-based person, you actually have the upper hand the whole time but don’t realize it. They’re just triggering you, and you have to stop letting them trigger you.