Carrot on a Stick

Sometimes people have a meta conversation about negotiating. Sometimes those same people talk about the carrot and stick method of negotiating. Those people really anger me.

Mostly because the “carrot and stick” term is a bastardization of the proper term “carrot on a stick”. Thankfully they mean completely different things.

Carrot and stick usually means you’re going to play nice until a certain point where things get nasty. This represents oppression to me.

Carrot on a stick usually means you offer niceness in front of the other party, and if they grab for it, you move a step away, hoping for the first party to make another grab. This represents cooperation to me.

I’ve noticed people using either term are not using it incorrectly. That makes me feel a little better. Nevertheless, I’ve got a lot of carrots here for the people who insist on using it.