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Leveraging Tension in Decision-Making

Entrepreneur and art collector Donald Rubin on negotiation strategies.

Question: How can tension be important to making big decisions?Rubin:    This tension in a dialectical in everything you do, everything you do, every negotiation you’re involved in, every political decision that is made, every business decision is a tension.  I believe tension is helpful.  I like tension.  I like to negotiate with tension.  You have to be in touch with your compassion and your anger at the same time, and you have to be able to use it together, and by doing that, the anger, the revenge, the hatreds sort of dissipate because they were imbalanced with something that’s more important.  And if you just loved everybody, if everybody you met, your girlfriend, the wife or lover or your friends just hug you all the time and says, “I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”  And didn’t have any tension in the relationship, you’d be out of it and bored to death very quickly.

Question: How can tension be important to making big decisions?Rubin:    This tension in a dialectical in everything you do, everything you do, every negotiation you’re involved in, every political decision that is made, every business decision is a tension.  I believe tension is helpful.  I like tension.  I like to negotiate with tension.  You have to be in touch with your compassion and your anger at the same time, and you have to be able to use it together, and by doing that, the anger, the revenge, the hatreds sort of dissipate because they were imbalanced with something that’s more important.  And if you just loved everybody, if everybody you met, your girlfriend, the wife or lover or your friends just hug you all the time and says, “I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”  And didn’t have any tension in the relationship, you’d be out of it and bored to death very quickly.

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