A few years ago, I was sitting in a room negotiating with partners. The discussions weren’t heated but, they also weren’t smooth. It seemed normal to me to remind the team that we were seeking a win-win outcome.

To my surprise and disbelief, one of the partner answered:

Not really.

How do you respond to that?

Unfortunately, it’s not true that if you play nice, people will always play nice with you. People have different rulebooks; they may not be playing the game that you were prepared for as a child and, that might be alright with them.

But, at some point, it’s important to realize that some of the values you were taught (with the best intentions) may be holding you back. To move forward, you may have to undo some of the teachings you received… and learn to play by other people’s rules…