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It all starts in the stomach. It is like a small sphere of heat at the center of it that expands rapidly. Afterwards, it becomes a kind of a chill that rises up the spine and comes to wrap the brain as if it were a Christmas present. And that is exactly what can happen, that you give your reason to the one who has caused that little sphere to be born, that little emotion that can, for the untrained mind, dominate everything else.

And whoever says that he or she has not felt it, has probably never sat at a table to negotiate with someone more capable, or to carry out a project with minds whose experience and cradle have given them more experience, or rather, less inhibitions to say anything. folly. Many times have I fallen victim to that sphere, to that sentiment that someone else initiates by touching some fiber of our being, it may just be a comment, or even a simple interjection that causes it, I speak of the “heat” that is felt at a professional career, creating just the opposite, an emotional response.

But even for that, the mind is capable of training and practicing enough to control such emotions and not throw a business or business relationship overboard for just a moment. I remember that the first time I achieved this, I didn’t really, it was an occasion in which I was upset by a client’s comment, this made me thirsty, and I had to immediately go out for a drink of water. The journey to the jug was enough, the sound of the small paper cone sliding over the one that follows it, the jet of water cooling my hand and the water reaching that sphere like a tsunami to turn it off, and understand why the other person said what he said on the way back to the boardroom. So the trick was not to control it but to let it take control, only for a brief moment, to understand it.

Now, for more extreme cases, where that “heat” lasts longer than expected, use the Miguelito corollary. Miguelito is my nephew, he is 6 years old, and he has a very simple formula to know if he can still eat more sweets or not, he just stops eating them for 10 minutes and if after those 10 minutes he still feels like it, then he eats them. And so on until the desire fades. You can then do the same, if after 10 minutes the heat continues, write something (without sending it), and so on until you lose the desire to set everything on fire. Now, if this does not let you sleep, it is possible that some of your principles are at stake, so then take the action that you think is necessary, the one that you think is right, but never betray yourself.

At inflexion, this has helped us more than once to dominate a negotiation, large or small, and of course also to lose, although the one thing I have for certain now is that we already have enough “flight miles” to only lose what you need to lose, and only win what you want to win.

Software Engineer and psychologist, founder and CEO of Inflexion Software.

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