Lessons on Negotiation From Artie the Briard


As I sat down to write not this, but another blog post, my dog, Artie, reminded me of an important lesson in connection with negotiation.

Armed with my notes and a rough outline, I prepared to write a post about Hostess Twinkies and hospital-centric healthcare, which will now be, I hope, the post following this one.

Just then, Artie, who, when standing on all fours is tall enough to eat off the dining room table, shoved his face into mine. I told him to sit; he did, but he rested the weight of his head on my lap and on the keyboard of my notebook computer. I then told him to go away. He looked up at me, but other than that, didn’t move. Finally, he lied down on the floor and lifted his paw up to the armrest of my chair. I then put my notes down and gave him a belly rub.

Yes, Artie could be better trained, but that’s not my point.

My point is that Artie has intensity of purpose. To him, the word “no,” which he fully understands, is only the beginning point for further negotiation. He doesn’t give up when told to go away, he just changes his tactic. True, he sometimes settles for less than he initially intended, but he generally gets far more than I intended to give.

Sit! Remember that! Good boy!


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