Winning quietly beats losing loudly… every time.

19 04 2016

“Trash Talk?  Smack talk?  This is an American term that makes me laugh.  I simply speak the truth.  I’m an Irish man.” ~Conor McGregor

You do only get one chance to make a first impression.  The real question to me is: Does your first impression always have to be a positive one?  Many times, that answer is yes.  But what if you’re going into a negotiation where you are in a zero-sum game?  Poker might be a good example here – only one person gets all of the chips in some games.  And it’s often a good thing to keep the target off your back as the “big dollar” players are pushing each other around and trash talking.

Sometimes you want to keep your hole cards to yourself.  Let others bet up the pot, play smart, quiet poker, and only when you’re ready to pounce do you declare to the others at the table that you are indeed someone that they should be very, very afraid of.  Sometimes the emotional impact of them realizing that they underestimated you is best used at a key time.  Today’s leadership lesson:  Sometimes it’s OK to let your LAST impression to be the one you saved up to make.  In negotiations, and other zero-sum games, don’t show your cards too early.  Winning quietly beats losing loudly every time.

Speaking of trash…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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