Dealing with Trolls on LinkedIn

big bully_small girlI am pleased to announce that I have had my very first vitriolic and infantile post on linkedIn from a supposed professional in the area of negotiation. This person does not know me and, as far as I know, has never had any contact with me.

My initial reaction to his post was anger, followed by a desire to respond in kind and my final reaction was pity – for him! as such behaviour is not appropriate or expected on a professional network.

Since his post, the number of views of my post have shot up so his negative comments have had a positive result for me and has produced potential work for me.

More importantly, it reminded me of some of the key elements that I teach to my trainees and apply in every negotiation:

  • This person is probably a bully and is used to throwing their power around and revels in the power that he thinks he has. However, Bullies forget that power always disappears. Don’t be bullied!
  • He appears to believe that he is the source of all knowledge and he must be recognized as such.
  • Never respond in anger – it will always come back and bite you!
  • Laugh at it. Taking it seriously can spoil your day (why let an unknown person have the power to do that to you?)
  • Think three times before responding: You usually do not know why the person is behaving in that way: personal, health or business problems, or just a bad-hair day.
  • Never respond by reflecting their language, attitude, or style of communication. Be in complete control of yourself and not under their control.
  • Do not answer any of the points they raise. Once you start playing their game you have lost. The have set the rules and you have agreed to “play” by their rules.
  • Remember that you have probably signed NDAs that prohibit you from even discussing practical cases where you have been involved.
  • “It takes two to tango!” If you don’t fight with this person, they will move on to an easier target who will fight with them.

So, when / If you find yourself in a situation like this, I hope this post will help you.
All constructive feedback will be appreciated. All negative feedback will be treated as indicated above.

(c) Ian Brownlee, Madrid, 30th January, 2018

About ianbrownlee

Ian Brownlee, the founder of Brownlee & Associates has been actively involved in the field of interpersonal & transcultural communication since 1977. He has worked in universities and companies in the following countries: Laos, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, England, The United States of America & Spain, as a teacher, university lecturer, trainer, researcher & consultant. In addition, his experience in living in these countries, and studying the language & communication and interaction styles of each has aided him in reaching a real understanding of intercultural and transcultural differences and how to resolve them. Ian Brownlee has various masters degrees from British Universities: One in Linguistics & Teaching English Overseas from Manchester University, one in Training & Development with a specialization in the area of Communication and Adult learning awarded by the University of Sheffield. He has also gained professional qualifications in Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy from various professional organizations. During his university career he has also studied elements of Sociology, Organizational psychology, Educational psychology, Psycholinguistics and Kinesics. He is a licensed Practitioner, Master Practitioner, and Master Trainer in NLP. as well as being a trainer in Ericksonian Hypnosis. He is a member of a wide range of professional organizations involved in Training, Applied Psychology, Hypnotherapy & Ericksonian Hypnosis, Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Communication & Cross-cultural Communication. He is also recognized by the Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, as a Negotiation Skills Trainer & Mediator and has been a collaborator on various projects with the program, and as such is in great demand as a negotiation consultant for some of the largest multinationals operating worldwide. His wide experience gained in multinational organizations in positions such as Director of Training, Communications Consultant and Negotiator / Mediator has helped many people to learn and apply new methods of negotiating skills and advanced communication techniques both in their private and professional lives. He has published various articles & books related to the field of interpersonal communication and he is the author of all the courses taught by Brownlee & Associates. He has lived and worked in Spain since 1985, initially as a trainer / Special Assistant in a multinational pharmaceutical company and then as the Training Manager for a multinational company involved in Clinical Analysis & Nuclear Medicine. Brownlee & Associates was formed in 1991 and currently has a small, highly-trained staff. While based in Madrid, courses are given world-wide either in English or Spanish. Brownlee & Associates currently work with leading international companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals , Information systems, luxury products, food & beverages, etc.
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