While I was in the middle of the USG Financial Crisis, I was describing to a lady friend the type of people I was working with and against. As I touched on some of our Adversaries better personal qualities like lying and going back on their word,  etc., I also described some of the meeting room lunches we had. Some of the people had, according to my upbringing at least, unusual eating habits:

-Like picking up and staring at a number of sandwiches before choosing.

-Or better yet smelling several items before choosing.

-And even once someone even took a bite and put it back.

Our very intelligent lady friend was shocked by all this and said  I was working with a pack of Wolves!

Coincidentally, that weekend I was watching TV. As I flipped channels, I came across a program on Wolves. I watched and became fascinated. I bought a number of books and photo essays on Wolves. Friends gave me Wolf books, posters and we started to send out Wolf Holiday cards from the World Wildlife Federation.  So what is the big deal with Wolves?

Much of what I have read has been verified in scientific studies including these fascinating points:

-Wolves have been here over 1 million years

-Wolves are very intelligent, very social and follow rules

-Wolves prefer to live away from humans and there is little evidence that they  attack people

-The female lead in a pack chooses where they live, when they move, can lead the hunt and can assign nursing her pups to someone else; she has power!

-Siblings separated as pups can recognize their brother or sister’s howl for the rest of their often 10 year lifespan

-A pack can travel across a snow covered area and walk in each other’s steps so no one knows how many have passed

Now how many groups of Sports or Business Teams can live up to the level of Wolves? Not very many.

I have also studied Rats. In latin the word Rat means Of unknown origin since they have been around forever. Rats only reside near humans, they eat our waste, only live a year and carry disease including the original plague. Rats can swim under water for a mile and chew through a concrete block.

And Rats eat Anything, often after smelling and touching it!

I went back to our lady friend and told her that No, I did not work with a lot of Wolves but I did work with a lot of Rats!

So why and how should you dine with Adversaries even Rat ones? You should act like a European lone wolf. A great dinner, with proper seating, flow and wine is a perfect way to learn something about the other person. To see if you have any particular views, common ground-or not-on anything-in the deal. Dinner is also the perfect way to make some small progress on a very difficult negotiation or to break up a major log jam. And everyone wants to believe they are important and critical to the process. You can best reinforce this either one-on-one or in a small wolf pack sized group.

Lunches and Dinners are so important in Business and Life, I have a whole section in my book, The Business Zoo, explaining how to do dining right and benefit your career while adding huge enjoyment to your life!