You know that person, they start off nice or cute and cuddly like the dog in the picture and before you know it they are dominating the situation. You say black, they say white seemingly just because. You ask them to do one thing and they ignore you and do something completely different. The word collaboration is not in their vocabulary.
Whether it’s a client or another agent, dealing with a bulldog is not fun, and can leave you reeling if you are not careful.
Before you know it, they have walked all over you, your boundaries are shot and you are getting angrier by the minute.
Or you notice yourself disengaging from the situation.
While giving up and walking away may sound good in the moment it doesn’t solve the problem and it doesn’t serve you or your business.
Here are a few tips for the next time you find yourself dealing with one:
- Address it early. Those conversations in the beginning when you think something is off, but you let it slide because you don’t want to be perceived as over reacting? You are not over reacting. Now is the time to say something. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to change the interaction, and the more “shocked” they will be that there is an issue.
- Be direct. If you are not a bulldog this can be uncomfortable. To you it will feel like you are being confrontational. To the bulldog it’s just normal conversation and what they need to hear in order to get it.
- Don’t take it personally. It can feel like a personal attack, but it’s not. This is just who they are. The sooner you let go of the personal part, the sooner you can move forward and find a way to work through things.
- Stand your ground. Treat it as an exercise in staying true to what your boundaries and speaking up.
- Be open. They might actually have some good ideas that are getting lost in an overly aggressive delivery. If you can find some common ground it can help to open things up for both of you.
More than anything, know that their overly aggressive persona is usually a mask for insecurity. Some people over compensate with the thought of “if I overpower you first then I can protect myself”.
Don’t let them block your momentum. Shift your mindset and approach to the situation to keep things moving forward.