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Thoughts and Reflections on
Better Business Relationships.

  • Writer's pictureStephan Mardyks

What's going on with "take-backs"?

Woman Decision Making Chessboard

What's going on with "take-backs"?


Saturday at 6:00 PM, during a tense 10-minute online chess match, my niece found herself in a tight spot.


Employing strategic thinking, laser-like focus, and flawless decision-making, she crafted a winning strategy in just four moves.


However, just before securing her victory...


"Your opponent proposes a take-back" flashed on her screen, presenting her with a choice: to accept or decline the offer.


This "take-back", in the context of chess, means that her opponent wanted to retract their last move.


Should she agree, potentially nullifying her hard-earned triumph and casting uncertainty over the outcome, or should she decline?


Monday at 10:00 AM, I'm at our weekly meeting. Tensions run high due to differing opinions on a proposed new discount. One team member makes a disparaging remark about a colleague's previous sales proposal, questioning its effectiveness and basically implying incompetence.


The room falls silent as the weight of the comment hangs in the air. Subsequently, the team member says...

"I'm so sorry. Can I take that back?"


Tuesday at 4:00 PM. My friend Alex is immersed in negotiating a critical contract with another company. After days of meticulous preparation, data collection, and strategic maneuvering, he successfully secures highly favorable terms for his startup, saving a ton of money.


However, Alex's triumph was short-lived, as the representative from the other company immediately contacted him with a last-minute request to "take-back" a key term and amend the signed agreement.


In these three situations, the concept of "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" (Charles R. Swindoll) becomes relevant. In these moments, we're faced with the decision:


Accept ✅ or Decline ❌ ?


What would you do?


What do you think of the "Can I take it back" statement?


What matters most?


Kindness and Relationships or Accountability and Responsibility?

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