What do you do when a power hungry competitor comes after you with blood in their eyes? They are going after the sale you’ve spent weeks working to get. The carnivore competitor is having power meetings with key decision makers to snatch success away from you.
Why are these blood thirsty Type A hyper-driven individuals trying to steal your lunch? Most often is because they’ve detected a hint of timidity in your approach.
Timidity is often seen as weakness, especially in the uber competitive halls of business, government, and academe. If you hesitate, you lose.
Here are 5 reasons why competitors come after you and try to take everything you’ve got – all due to perceived timidity.
1. They don’t think you have the courage to fight for your goals.
It isn’t hard to beat someone who gives up easily. If you seem timid and don’t go tongs and nails after your goals, a motivated competitor will believe you can be put down for the count — all with just a little bit of effort. Watch for this play. It means you’re about to become road kill.
2. The competitor feels you are NOT as smart as he is.
What? Yes, people who seem shy are often considered to be less intellectually gifted as those who are bold. This is particularly the perception of those who are power hungry. Invariably they see driving ambition and bold action as signs of superior intelligence. Since intelligence is everything in Western culture, the competitor thinks you are going to be an obvious push over.
3. He believes you lack commitment.
If you don’t look the competitor in the eye, your voice drops and you mumble your words, or you’re modest about accomplishments; the competitor may believe you simply aren’t that committed to your product, service, or idea. Maybe you’ve lost your enthusiasm or a boss told you to make the pitch. Of course, everyone knows the person who lacks commitment is rather easy to beat. It’s as if you’re going to say when challenged: It’s ok, you can win. I don’t really care that much.
4. They hear you saying “uh” and “um” a lot.
You know how some people can’t talk without throwing uh and um between every word? “I um thought that uh we could look at uh solution for the um problem.” Studies show lower level managers and lesser professionals use lots of uh’s and um’s in their speech. CEO’s and famous business leaders use almost NONE of these hesitation devices in their speech. Using uh and um immediately labels you as a lower level operative who does not have the knowledge, experience, or status to compete.
5. By being aggressive and brusk, the competitor lulls you into timidity
This is where the competitor use sometimes boorish behavior to make you act timid. Maybe he is so outlandish and in your face that you simply don’t know what to say. Or you feel his extreme aggression isn’t worth you treating with dignity. In this environment, he who shouts the loudest wins. This tactic most often rears its head in politics but is also seen in business.
Use these 5 points to become more aware of how others cast you as timid to gain the upper hand. Don’t let them do it. When you see one of these power plays, stage a play of your own. Shoot back with confidence and energy.