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1/ random rant on negotiation: we tend to under-value people who are NICE and REASONABLE in negotiations, and forget about how easy and pleasant they are to deal with.
2/ similarly, we often praise people who negotiate HARD or TOUGH in a way that seems positive -- like "wow that person drove a hard bargain; they stuck with it and got what they wanted" -- when in reality, they were just a pain in the ass and you just gave up / gave in / caved.
3/ to be clear: in fairness to yourself (and everyone else), you should actually reward the NICE behavior and penalize the TOUGH behavior, rather than the other way around.
4/ what does that mean? well actually for the NICE person, you should actually GIVE THEM STUFF WITHOUT ASKING because they were NICE, and because they DIDN'T ASK for anything.
5/ similarly, for the HARD person, you should actually negotiate HARDER, and TAKE AWAY things from the deal, so that they realize when they negotiate in a hard or unfair way, they actually get a shittier deal.
6/ of course, this is incredibly difficult in practice, especially when you are in a weak negotiating position and/or don't have much leverage.
7/ and then realizing the above, you should be NICE to NICE people EVEN MORE when you *do* have leverage... by NOT USING IT. (in fact, this is the essence of true power: having leverage and knowing when to NOT use it)
8/ so while i realize it's very difficult to stand up to TOUGH negotiators and drive a fair bargain (for yourself as well as others), I will leave you with this bit of advice -- even if you aren't tough with the tough people, be NICE to the NICE people (even when they don't ask)
9/ in summary: please be sure to recognize NICE people who are easy and reasonable to deal with, and try and reward them for being that way. in reality, you are really just rewarding yourself as well... that is, assuming you're a nice person. which i hope you are :)
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