There are exceptions to “Always Be Closing.”

I don’t write about work here because it’s not that interesting, you don’t care, and it’s not a good idea. Some combination of those three is always in effect, so I leave it out. But I want to pull back the curtain once for a specific purpose.

Yesterday’s entry that I might miss voting on Tuesday referred to a contract I was negotiating that involved traveling. It was to start Monday, but I rejected it this morning. That’s not particularly useful to you, but the experience reminded me of a key lesson I’ve learned, whether in my negotiating class in business school or through experience. When you have the sale closed, shut up.

My adversary did not heed this lesson. (I would not normally use adversary in this context, but that’s what he wanted to be.) As I prepared to say “yes”, he interrupted me to question my decision-making process in an insulting manner, implicating my personal life as questionable. Thinking he was proving to me why I had to say “yes” and forcing me to appreciate his understanding while I was being unreasonable, he talked me out of the deal. I would have to work with him for the length of the contract. If he won’t trust my judgment now on my personal decision, I will not risk trusting him to trust me later on professional decisions.

As a blogger, I rarely practice this, but sometimes it’s important to keep one’s opinion quiet.

Addendum: Danielle and I ordered Chinese food last night. My fortune was: Any decision you have to make tomorrow is a good decision. It’s great knowing I couldn’t screw up.