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Re-Introducing Herb

If you're talking beauty he's not a star, There are others handsomer by far, Even when it comes to fashionable dress, he's not a dandy who wants to impress
Observe his face, he doesn't mind it,
Of course, that's because he's behind it, So if today's news makes you downcast, Get perspective from an experienced enthusiast, With Herb's advice and tips in a nutshell, Your negotiating problem will become a bagatelle.

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HERB's Blog and Current Musings


Herb's Quotes over the Years

"If you're conned into believing you're free, escape is not an option."


"Only dead salmon go with the flow."


"Caring but not T-H-A-T much is the middle ground between clinging to it and winging it." 


"All behavior no matter how outlandish appears appropriate to its initiator."


"People work for what they want but invariably want what they've worked for."


"All of life's a circle - like a doughnut or bagel. When you finally get to the hole there's nothing left."


"Once you accept the legitimacy of a symbol or a sign your options become limited."


"There is a time to leave even if you have no place to go."


"The US Constitution protects religion from government but in France they are concerned with protecting government from religion." 


"Some things need to be believed before they can be seen."


"A successful negotiation occurs when both sides discover an outcome that is better than the status quo."


"Candor without compassion can be cruelty."



Savvy at Seventy

Eventually the happiness and satisfaction derived from life is based upon the choices we make, not our excuses, looking forward not backward, and finding a purpose for our existence. Ultimately, we all will have to pay the piper for each choice we've made, cruelty displayed and every injustice we confronted or avoided.


From my experience, there is no absolute determinism or fate that drives our conduct, but in every interaction each of us can determine how he or she will behave. Truly we have within us the capacity to transcend the worst that life has to offer. As Victor Frankel put it, "He who has a WHY for his existence can live with almost any HOW.


There is only one inescapable fact, death lies waiting in ambush for all of us. So while we are here we might as well try to do what has not already been done. And this action is the supreme blessing that can bestow significance upon an individual human life.


Dumb is Still Desirable

When teaching a formal course in negotiating in 1963, mostly for Attorneys, I suggested that one is better off not displaying his or her intellect right at the outset. Getting carried away, I even stated that, "dumb was better than smart and inarticulate preferable to articulate".

At the time, I took considerable flack, but decades later this idea has gained acceptance. Certainly, there is something to be said about appearing naive or slightly stupid. Really interesting things happen because you are not expected to know the rules and what you can or can't do.

Think if you will, how we react to "perfect people" - - those with all the answers. They are difficult to love or even like. We all have some flaws and in my case I don't try to conceal them but put them on display. As a result, I seem humanized and that helps people identify with me.

When I was touring Australia in 1983 the national newspaper wrote: "Standing five feet nine inches and weighing about 170 pounds, Herb has a rumpled look that makes him seem ordinary. In fact, looking like a regular bloke gives him the stamp of authenticity".



Baseball's All Time Leaders in Hits and Lies

In 1989 as part of his deal with Major League Baseball, Pete Rose agreed not to discuss whether he bet on baseball games. Since then, however, he spent 14 1/2 years denying it.


Then in his latest book he went from arrogant denials to arrogant admissions. Presumably, this was done to enable him to gain entry into Baseball's Hall of Fame and back into the business of baseball. The latter is especially important to him because Rose was and is a compulsive gambler, always in need of money.


What Charlie Hustle does not grasp is that he is negotiating with the Commissioner, the Media and all the fans and they will not be persuaded without some show of contrition on his part.

I watched him being interviewed on-late night cable T.V. Rose said he's not built to act sorry or sad. His comment was, "I'm sorry it happened". In short, that comes across as he's sorry he got caught.

What Rose needs to do now is display some humility as he spends his time apologizing. He might begin with Roger Kahn the author of his first book, followed by Jim Grey who interviewed him during the 1999 World Series. Moreover, to convey sincerity by deed he should avoid gambling facilities for at least a year and take the profits from his second book and donate it to charity.


Herb's Hotline and Current Musings

  • How can you possibly "live happily ever after" with a spouse who pronounces both d's in Wednesday?

  • "A journey of a thousand miles" begins with the realization that 1,000 miles is one helluva long trip.

  • It is the weak who are cruel and heartless, whereas kindness and compassion come only from the strong and secure.

  • If you want to get people to really listen to you, tell them what you are about to say is confidential and lower your voice to a whisper and speak the through the side of your mouth.

  • We like people primarily not for who they are or what they have accomplished, but for how they make us feel.


To add to our Blog please email you musings to herbcohen427@gmail.com