As a callow young law student, I spent one summer as an internat the Park Avenue offices of a huge corporate law firm. Oneafternoon, I happened to look in on the firm's most polishedpartner. Hovering over his speakerphone, the courtly eminencelooked so mad, you could have fried an egg on his bald spot. Withhis bared teeth inches from the receiver, he hissed again andagain, "You're making me hang up on you!" Thiswas a master intimidator in action, and he left me wondering how Iwould deal with him if I had to.
Intimidation does work. It catalyzes powerful and primitiveemotions, sabotaging your ability to think clearly. Usually, theside being cornered will be so aggravated, frightened or shamedthat they'll simply cave in. They'll make a dealthey'll later regret.
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