SLAY: Rebecca Zung’s Formula For Negotiating with Narcissists

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Rebecca Zung has become popular in the world of negotiation because of her expertise in negotiating with narcissists. She runs both a YouTube channel and a podcast with the goal of teaching people how to negotiate with narcissists. In a recent episode of Negotiations Ninja, she shared the basics of her “SLAY” formula.

How to SLAY your negotiation with a narcissist

It’s estimated that 1 in 10 people have either narcissistic personality disorder or narcissistic tendencies. They’re everywhere. So how do you deal with them? SLAY.

S.L.A.Y stands for:

  • S: Develop a super-strong strategy.
  • L: Create invincible leverage.
  • A: Anticipate and be two steps ahead of them.
  • Y: Focus on you, your position, and your case.

It’s a framework for negotiating with narcissists that actually works (for thousands of people that have purchased it). The visual imagery of slaying a dragon fits with taking down a narcissist.

Develop a super-strong strategy

Rebecca uses the same strategy that might be used when going to war. You have to diagnose the situation and figure out what kind of narcissist you’re dealing with. You must then develop your guiding principle—a vision for where you want to go. Some people are so deep into the woods they forget this and struggle to reach their goal. Lastly, you must have an action plan. You can’t just skip to leverage. It’s worthless if you don’t have a strategy for when you’ll present the leverage.

Create invincible leverage

Rebecca notes that there’s a hierarchy of narcissistic supply. There are forms of supply that will mean more to them (diamond level) that they’ll do whatever they need to protect. Jerking you around gives them energy (it keeps the embers burning), but it’s not their core supply. The key to true leverage is to threaten a source of supply that’s more important for them to protect and maintain than what they get from jerking you around. They’ll have to let go of that. It’s about managing the scarcity of their narcissism.

Anticipate: be two steps ahead

You have to anticipate what they’re going to do and be two steps ahead of them. What kind of narcissist are they? In her SLAY program, Rebecca shares a chart that helps you determine where someone lands on the spectrum. It can show you what they’ll engage in so you can prepare. You have to research both sides, anticipate what their argument will be and what behavior they’ll engage in. It can even be effective to say in a negotiation, “I’m anticipating that you’re going to take this position; here’s why it doesn’t hold merit.”

Focus on youyour position, and your case

When Rebecca was a trial lawyer, she used to say, “If all you have is a good defense, no one is scoring any points.” No matter what team you’re on, you have to have someone scoring points. When you’re dealing with a narcissistic personality, it becomes easy to point a finger at how bad they are. But then you forget to bolster your own position and case. However, you need to bolster your own position. You also have to take care of yourself and protect your mindset. You have to have your own psychological blocks in place. According to Bob Proctor, 95% of negotiations are won before you get in the room.

The bottom line? A narcissist is heinous to deal with but very predictable. Learn more about narcissistic personality disorder and negotiating with narcissists in episode 231 of the Negotiations Ninja podcast!