Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sharing is caring but you can't share everything...

Sharing is caring. But there are things in life which cannot be shared. The tricky part of this predicament is how you convey the underlying message. The message is not pleasant. Imagine you have to look into the eye of the other person and tell him you are not going to share it, whatever "it" might be. It is not easy to say "No", no matter what how cold hearted you think you are!

Last week, I was a silent spectator to a deal my friend was orchestrating. The deal was interesting where my friend came up with a very attractive proposition in terms of value delivered with respect to schedule, cost and functionality. As a result of his meticulous planning, my friend had a detailed work breakdown structure prepared in an excel sheet along with the efforts required to complete the various tasks.

During the meeting while talking about price, the persons sitting opposite him was sceptical about the price. They were not ready to believe my friend could pull this off at the given schedule in the given price. To win the critics over, my friend opened up the work breakdown structure and explained the rationale. Now, every one was convinced about my friend's capability. But there was a strange request from the opposite side. "Can you share this sheet with us?".

As soon as this question was spoken, both the sides went quiet. My friend and gang went silent because these details, if shared, might end up in the hands of his competitors. The opposite went silent because if my friend didn't say no, they have got a gold mine. I knew the answer before my friend spoke. So, I was curious to how he will frame the answer.

My friend started, "We will be happy to...". On hearing this, I winced. My friend was going to give away the critical piece of information. Then it dawned on me. He started the sentence in a positive note. But what he ended up saying was a "No" in a positive way. He actually said, "We will be happy to keep this file with us". He took me a few moments to figure it out. Once I figured out the meaning, I had trouble keeping the smile off my face.

As for you, here is the take away. There is always a way to say things in a positive way.

Tags: Musings,Sharing,Deal



  1. That was some quick thinking..

  2. Really nice :) Positive No :)

    1. Very positive way! That is why I decided to share it. :)

  3. Or may be he was already prepared for this? :) Anyway, that's a smart one for those smart-asses.

    1. May be he was. But I felt it was improvisation on the fly!


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