Dealing With Emotions Should you wear your poker face at the bargaining table?

You don't need much supporting evidence for a statement likethis when the most common idiom in the American language for anexpressionless face is "poker face." Nonetheless, youshould watch a championship poker game on television sometime andobserve how much emotion the top players in the world display whileinteracting with one another. You'll see a group of completelystraight-faced individuals sitting around a table, slowly pickingup the cards that are dealt to them and showing no emotionwhatsoever until the game is over. This complete lack of expressionand emotion is the logical end of the poker mentality.

Try to imagine what it would be like to do business withsomebody who tries to maintain a poker mentality at the bargainingtable. You might ask, "So, what are you interested in gettingin this deal?" Their response: a blank stare. Then you mighttry, "Are you excited about our future possibilities?"Their response: a blank stare. Finally, you try to stare back atthem, and they respond, "Now we're gettingsomewhere."

In contrast to the poker model of raising capital, Thomas Edisonwas constantly enthusiastic about his products and possibilities,and this played no small part in his success in raising capital. Healso offered a great upside for his investors and tended to keep agood line of communication flowing between him and them.

Excerpted from At Work With Thomas Edison: 10 Business LessonsFrom America's Greatest Innovator

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