In my short stay I realized that without a deep understanding of human psychology, without the acceptance that we are all crazy, irrational, impulsive, emotionally driven animals, all the raw intelligence and mathematical logic in the world is little help in the fraught, shifting interplay of two people negotiating.
I always make offers with escape clauses. In real estate, I make an offer with language that details “subject-to” contingencies, such as the approval of a business partner. Never specify who the business partner is. Most people don’t know that my partner is my cat. If they accept the offer, and I don’t want the deal, I call home and speak to my cat. I make this ridiculous statement to illustrate how absurdly easy and simple the game is. So many people make things too difficult and take it too seriously.