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2023-11-08 - 3:14 p.m.

I am refraining from all but ESSENTIAL communication with one CEO who is vacationing.
I mean really,
this remarkable person deserves an actual vacation.

I hate that I had to even pull her in, but there are some things in a negotiaton I need the client input on. Like price.

If that is unclear I can't make decisions unless EXPLICITLY told by my client they give me free reign to do my best with trust.

I have had that before, and its awesome.

And I don't #@& it up.

BUT I don't yet have that level of trust. That level of trust is earned.

In the past when I had that from a client it was because they had worked with me previously.
In fact on the two occassions where I was given total control. On those occassion the CEO or CFO supported, or VP just threw things over the fence and I completely negotiated them.

I only pulled one leader in ONE TIME when I hit a really tough negotation. It was more typically the once in a blue moon text to vet a judgement call and be sure that it was OK. ONLY ONCE did I have to pull in the VP who to his credit still let me handle the negotiation and kinda refused the punt to him HA HA

It was with a really overtly mysogonistic client. I do not use that term lightly. Seriously , this dude was like

"Where is the VP?"
I want him on the call.

He wanted THE MAN.

The man was so GREAT in his response . He said to me "Oh, I know I am such a pretty boy, but sometimes it gets old... they just want me and think cause I am so good looking I am going to be a pushover. But you know...I am not going to do that. YOU GOT THIS"
and he proceeded to tell me how he was going to his kids soccer game, or hockey game or something to that effect- one of his kid's games on that evening
and he would just make it CLEAR to
that I am who he needs to negotiate and come to agreement with if he wants the business.

It was a $25 Million Dollar Deal.

And it made me LOVE working in support of that VP.

A deal I closed by the way.

AND after I Left that space, it was so validating to hear .... or maybe not.. I mean not good for the company..
that YEAH the guy continued to be a prick
I mean that is the nicer term
Continued to be difficult as a partner to deal with.

It was like that mysogonistic dude was just ANGRY and PARANOID and NOT TRUSTING

I swear the guy had some serious PTSD going on, and angry issues - anger at woman issues, among whatever made him so difficult

and he also did not want to ensure the personnel he was putting on a project actually met the REQUIREMENTS.
These were non negotiatable. And it was a PIA to get him to understand that and agree to it
because I am rather sure he never intended to meet them. He was trying do that shit of hiring folks who don't meet requirements to save money and maximize profit while not REALLY Delivering as agreed.

I hope the company I worked with, who decided to proceed in working with him ( it was $25 Mil after all) in the end determined it was worth it for that money to deal with such a jerk.

Honestly for me, it is barely worth it. I mean I did it and got through it
only cause he was not my boss and my boss WAS NOT A JERK and I wanted to serve my company well.

SO I was clear in all the red flags. I reported them all. I let them know to watch this dude for compliance.
I did not hold back in telling it like it is.

Thing is , I am rather sure the OWNER of the company may have been FRIENDS with the difficult one, the difficult mysogonistic partner.

I never regretted being honest and calling for support and saying why. BUT... there is a part of me that knows the loyalty of the OWNER was to his friend far more than to me, who supported him for but a few years.

Enough of that. Water under the bridge. BUT it is hard when you see relationships based on TRUST which are then codified in doing business, and see SHITTY contracts drafted by lawyers that are all one sided, just onerous, and without respect or decency for the other party, your so called "friend".
I mean I EXPECT that from large businesses. I expect cappy, one sided, onerous agreements.

I also expect that from folks who don't KNOW BETTER

and sometimes it serves to just trust and give the benefit of the doubt.

I honestly respect the folks who do business based on TRUST and strength of their own interpersonal relationships and character.

If they are solid, 9 out of 10 or maybe even 95 to 99 out of 100, they will be respected. I do not believe people take advantage and are intentionally manipulative and bad business partners intentionally MOST of the time, so more often than not the relationship will be solid and business will be smooth with services or products delivered decent and timely.

It is the times that doesn't happen that the contracts and relationships matter even more. If there is a strong relationship constructive criticism can be received, and re-do may be offered if quality was not up to par, solutions can be crafted to compromise to resolve concerns. If there is a bad relationship defensiveness is the pronounced response, and heightened by lack of trust. Which is why I negotiate to have strong agreements so if there is a fail, then there is less tension as it is impossible for the one person to feel taken advantage by the other-
when solid agreements that are in the interest of BOTH PARTIES have been created.

But once in a while , one might agree to a BAD agreement in writing because they know the actual relationship is solid so it is little risk of harm. In those cases I defer to decisioning of the boss. But I prefer when the boss allows me to negotiate an agreement hard to make it the best agreement possible, EVEN if they are doing business with a trusted friend. I have such a client now!
My client is so trusted by everyone I encounter and work with and negotiate with on her behalf.
She is a person who, no matter who I speak with, is spoken so highly of, with accolades, with "I LOVE HER!"
and "She does so much good work in this world! I just want to help her!"
with such genuine good will
that it is EASY to let it go when there is actually shitty langugage in a contract because there is such a devotion to her that I can't see anyone wanting to do her wrong! BUT I still negotiate hard for her! JUST IN CASE.... I leave in language which is only problematic if the business relationship goes south only when the risk is super low,

Because of her integrtity and TRUST of others, I believe others are trustworthy when they do work for her.

So I can let some things I might not otherwise let go if I did not know that the partners really feel so much devotion to her! Seriously, devotion is the word! They just love her. There are few people in the world like that, with an energy and spark, and I say a love for people, that just transends differences and makes them so loved by many . So I "don't sweat the small stuff".

I still negotiate hard for the things that matter, for her and every small business, because the smalls are the ones that need more solid agreements. It is inverse of reality where the large companies craft these onerous one sided ones cause they have in house counsel to do so, but in event of any dispute they also have the backbone support for disputes. The smalls rely on EXPENSIVE outside counsel. So not fair for them to start with the short end of the stick.

The smart ones hire someone like me and school their BD folks on understanding why it is in their interest to NOT look at me as a holding up of getting business done. There is value in negotiation so they start with a stick balanced, each holding one side.

No one gets the short end of the stick.

Unless we do so willinglly
cause know the stick is not the measure of worth ( so to speak) anyway.
We develop relationship.
Because that is what matters.

And this is one of the big secrets. Relationships are STRENGTHENED by negotiation!

I will say that again:

Relationships are STRENGTHENED by negotiation,

because when one feels heard, knows they are heard, and knows their needs are understood and met-
that is when trust is built.

I try REALLY HARD to not undermine that relationship building by interruptions;
as that is the biggest ADHD challenge I have.


I work hard at it. Fail often, but try again, and try again... and KNOW that despite this failing of mine, I STILL develop good relationships through my work.
That is how I went from working for one company
to later working for another that had been a partner company. No one poached me, no one had any improrietty-
but after I left one place I saw a posting an applied
and they KNEW ME from years of negotiations.

They respected me and hired me.

I seriously have admiration and affiintity for some of the attorneys I did the most negotiation with. One hard as nails we nit picked over EVERYTYHING because she is a damn good attorney! I RESPECTED her much. I see her in a volunteer role at the professional org and hope some day run into her and her junior mentee at a national professional event. It will feel like meeting an old friend! HA HA but seriously

I mean we spent HOURS in a tough negotiation- again over a multi million dollar deal- over a quarter million that one.

BUT we got it right.
And ended with eveyone pleased with the outcome

of a deal that when I was brought on felt like it was about to implode-
combust from the inside
by the partners themselves having the WORST , poor communication. Talking past each other. One email sent raising a concern, a reply ignoring it and shifting focus etc. etc.

I may interrupt, but it is out of excitement, not intentional gaslighting. I try so hard to curb it
but I also shut down bullshit when I see it.

I let some of it go. ( Like when someone says "some of my orinigal language is not there. I don't know where it went" When I KNOW FOR A FACT I NEVER CHANGE ANYTHING WITHOUT THE REDLINE SHOWING. I let that go... its usually language that is later found in another provision. The person's memory was faulty...but they figure that out. I don't take the bait. I am patient. I give benefit of doubt. Maybe I did somehow make a mistake and screw up and accidentally delete a line without tracking changes? A quick doc compare and both they and I will know. So I apologize and say "I am sorry if that happened, as I never intend and am very careful as would NEVER want to send a change not obvious to discuss."

That is shady when folks do that shit intentionally. OH YES I KNOW When done intentionally too and yes have called THAT behavior out! IT is done when AFTER A call someone agrees but they send a document that doesn't reflect what was discussed AT ALL and makes a bunch of OTHER onerous changes.

Hell that happened once to a boss of mine and she just called a meeting quickly and let the partner go. Straight up called the meeting and said "We no longer want to do business with you, and take this as a breach of the teaming agreement. This behaviour is unaccepable"

It was epic actually.

I admired her in the moment , even though she went over the top reaming them out- which I would not have done so colofully. I think however I get it how she said "They are not being trustworthy now, so why do business with them?"

I still recall the company.

as they were not that big now.

Someone suggested I look to them to see if they need help and they were perplexed by my facial expression

I left my thoughts unsaid

But recalled the bad redline. HIDDEN changes. I was supporting my boss as the reviewer and sending out iterations.

She was the signatory on that one and I was her initial ghost editor/writer/ assistant for that deal.

Back to work.

All this to say - I had the thought

" I would rather go through life on the basis of trust and be screwed one time out of 100, than go through life and mistrust 100% of the time and never be screwed but also never develop relationships due to lack of trust. "

or somethign like that which I thought... not verbatum, It sounded more insightful when in my brain and not yet captured before the writing. HA HA

Someone with a deal that went south that cost much might disagree...
but then again..
Oh wait..
there was my own divorce...
MAYBE not.
Either a person is trusting or not; and either a person is trustworthy or not. It is always a risk as we can't always see the difference but I still choose to not live in fear and choose to trust.

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