Bo: Learning to Negotiate



Negotiation is part science, part art. Knowing how to ask for what, when to hold firm and where to bend is essential to success. As is feeling out your adversary across the table, reading his or her face and keeping yours blank. When either negotiating party senses fear in its adversary, it has won. It can pounce and get the favorable terms it so desires.

Everyone has experienced fear in life: You enter into the boardroom and freeze before the tribunal of perspective bosses about to grill you drier than a well-done cheap steak. Your first day of school or work leaves you intimidated by the unknown, confronted by new teachers or bosses and coworkers.

What if there was a way to face a situation, especially an adversarial one, with transcendent and unwavering confidence? What if you knew that you had the negotiating tools so immensely powerful that you were guaranteed to walk out of that negotiation or adversarial situation with everything you wanted?

Well, you do.

And this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Bo, meaning “Come,” reveals that secret gift.

  • Come to address the essence; don’t go focus on superficiality.
  • Come together with God; don’t ever go it alone.
  • Come to own the situation; don’t go just to get by or pass through.

As well, Yud Shevat reminds us how to emulate Moses today: walk into the belly of the beast and turn a terrifying experience into freedom!


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