Negotiations; A medical pickup line

Day 20: Friday

Morning, Tim!

I appreciated the continuation of thought around ramifications of second languages — not only do they bring about risk-taking and utilitarian morality, but also what level of trust do you put in the second-language words (or third language — unbeknownst to you Jerry speaks fluent German with me, a common language among conures). I’d default to a more Wittgenstein lens that suggests a look at context, but some people just like to joke around so it’s harder to tell. For instance, Jerry’s German is pretty good, but his pun game is the Wurst.

Tim, I’ve compiled a couple of lists recently (so have you!), and I hope you’ve appreciated them. I’m going to go back to the well and try another list, this time on just two things I learned in my course on negotiation.

  • Learning 1: Know your Reservation Price. Don’t guess. Don’t assume it will be easy to figure out.
    • Explanation: Your Reservation Price is the one where a deal is no longer worth it — you’d rather walk away from the table. You understand it by doing a lot of prepwork — what are all the issues at hand, and where do I draw the line. Testing combinations to figure out “Yep — it’s at least this or I walk away” is tough, but preparing ahead of time helps set what you should target, how the negotiation should go, and perhaps help you avoid an emotional swing at the negotiation table
    • Example: Say you are in the market to purchase a home. You find a home you love, but it’s a touch out of your price range, the owners can’t actually complete the sale for a couple months, and there are some things about it you’d like fixed. At what point do you walk away to find a different house? That’s your reservation price. (Also, you probably made a mistake and weren’t looking at the right houses, because you couldn’t walk away from these!)
  • Learning 2: Retain a catalogue or checklist of cognitive biases. Before, during, and after a negotiation, check to see which are likely to play a role.
    • Explanation: We all have cognitive biases. In some ways, this is more stylistic (e.g. a tendency toward passively accepting rather than negotiating a more aggressive solution) while others are more structural (e.g. in taking risks, you are likely to experience loss aversion) and still others are based on our unique past (e.g. My friend has a friend who knew a girl who went on a date and the guy didn’t call but then they ended up together in the end…so i believe this could happen to me too when the guy doesn’t call! [note: this may be a movie plot…)

    • Example: I already gave several  in the explanation above, what more do you expect? Kidding. In buying a car — wait. This is a lot of purchasing in one day. Let’s make it a used car. In buying a used car, you may care about how many miles on the car (often as an indication of just how used it really is). You may look at the miles on one car and say “Wow that’s got below 100k miles!” (say, 48, 672) and look at the next and think “blech. This one already has over 50,000 miles! (say, 50, 112). You’re likely experiencing left digit bias (where the far left number you read over-impacts your perception); this is why you see prices ending in .99 at the supermarket! 

This was probably a less exciting list than one full of puns. Inspired by your title, I’ll end on an awesome pickup line I intend to use to flirt with my wife later today.

Are you my appendix? Because I don’t understand how you work, but this feeling in my stomach makes me want to take you out.

Until Monday,


p.s. My guess on the response to said pick-up line will be some form of “hardy-har. Yet another pun…” with a follow-up helping me understand what the appendix does. 😉


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