What can you do when you have to negotiate with a narcissistic boss? Probably head for an exit. I outline things to look for in a narcissistic boss. I also offer 5 ways to manage negotiations with someone who exhibits signs of narcissism until you can launch your walk away plan and move on.

Strong negotiation skills can often seem like a superpower, but every power can encounter kryptonite. When I hear clients use phrases like “I feel that I’ve exhausted all my options,” or “nothing I do is good enough, and it never meets with approval,” I begin to wonder if the situation involves a toxic work environment, including a bad boss. Having a bad boss can range from being a lesson in managing up to a sign you need to change jobs or put in for a transfer. Those situations might also be signals to dig in and do some work around communication, and the situation might improve. But if you find yourself negotiating with a boss or leader that exhibits narcissistic tendencies, it could be a situation where even expert negotiation skills won’t save the day. In fact, a strong walk away plan might be your best option.

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