In business deals, look for the fool. If you don’t see one, the fool is you.
7. It’s ok to yell and be yelled at
One of the rules I have is that I don’t mind if people raise their voice and even yell a little bit. At MicroSolutions, my partner Martin and I would have some knockdown drag outs. They were always short bursts. They didn’t happen a lot. When they did, I knew, and he knew, that this was an issue we were passionate about.
As my businesses grew, it happened less often because people deferred to me more often. I hated that. If someone believed strongly enough in something and I was being passionate about something, I wanted them to match my level of passion if they felt that strongly about it.
So I told people that if they thought it was the only way to get through to me, to go for it. This may not work for you in corporate America, but anyone in a family business, or in a private business of any size with a partner or two, knows exactly what I am talking about!
I would agree with this latter point. Everything is much too safe in North America. People are afraid to disagree. It’s fine in business to always be reasonable, but it is deadly for art. I remember seven minute circumlocutions from choreographers to just say “I don’t like it.” The seven minutes could be spent just creating something else.
And every step of the way.
My own brusque manners I learned in Russia and have had to shed them (with great difficulty, I was in Moscow for nearly ten years) to be able to get along in the West. The Russians do very well in the collective art forms (opera, ballet even cinema before they ran out of money). I believe it is in large part as they are not afraid to speak their minds nor hear the thoughts of others.
Apparently the same rules can apply in business.