Leveraging Tension in Decision-Making

Question: How can tension be important to making big decisions?

Rubin:    This tension in a dialectical in everything you do, everything you do, every negotiation you’re involved in, every political decision that is made, every business decision is a tension.  I believe tension is helpful.  I like tension.  I like to negotiate with tension.  You have to be in touch with your compassion and your anger at the same time, and you have to be able to use it together, and by doing that, the anger, the revenge, the hatreds sort of dissipate because they were imbalanced with something that’s more important.  And if you just loved everybody, if everybody you met, your girlfriend, the wife or lover or your friends just hug you all the time and says, “I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”  And didn’t have any tension in the relationship, you’d be out of it and bored to death very quickly.

Entrepreneur and art collector Donald Rubin on negotiation strategies.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
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Saying no is hard. These communication tips make it easy.

You can say 'no' to things, and you should. Do it like this.

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  • Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
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