The definition of a hard nosed person: very tough, not influenced by emotions, practical and realistic.
Someone who is hard nosed can be really hard to work with. As long as you agree, things are fine, but as soon as you start to disagree, it gets tough.
This is definitely a complex type of people to deal with. A type I cannot completely cover in a short post like this, so I’m sharing one strategy I think is strong:
Most “tough” people are really detail oriented. They have their facts laid out, often took the time to really get to know what they are talking about and are equipped to argue. If you know this, it is really foolish to deal with them if you don’t have your facts in order. Prepare diligently. Don’t cut corners while doing your research and leave nothing to chance. Focus on facts, not on feelings. Focus on practical results, not on theories.
In most cases your ground work will help you win the respect of the hard noser you’re dealing with.