A whole one, I.

Even in a metaphor, this guy is a great negotiator.
They’re just joking around here about the role Hamlet could play in an imaginary company. Horatio offers him half a share, presumably as an upgrade from the fellowship Hamlet proposed, and Hamlet ups it again to a full share.

I’ve been thinking about negotiation and how hard it is to learn. I posted a blog about a negotiation that actually worked out for me last summer – but what I didn’t post was how much coaching l needed to get there. There’s a whole world of literature on women and negotiation – how women don’t negotiate – how we should learn to do it but also how we have good reasons for not doing it. (Like the article called “women don’t negotiate become they’re not idiots.”)

But there’s another non-negotiating impulse that comes with being an artist. Artists don’t negotiate either – also because we’re not idiots. We’re in precarious positions most of the places we work and despite the uniqueness of each of us, we are extraordinarily replaceable. An artist who negotiates might not be asked back. Same as being a woman, really.

So we learned, artists, women and others who are in unstable position, not to ask for more – while people like the Prince of Denmark are just automatic negotiators, primed to ask for more from the beginning – probably even as a child, always advocating for a little bit more.


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