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In grammar school I was a good athlete but a lousy fighter. I tried to stay out of fights, especially with older kids. But one day one of them started punching me in the arm repeatedly, and I viscerally punched him in the stomach and knocked the wind out of him. Word spread, and I was never picked on again.

I had accidentally created a deterrent (something that discourages others from doing something—the police should be a deterrent to crime).

I don’t negotiate fees with clients, nor change my plans to meet arbitrary meeting dates. I tell my coaching clients that I want to hear their question first, I will not sit and listen to ten minutes of “background.”

It’s one thing to enter into battle daily, but it’s another to avoid them altogether in the future.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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