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Quid Pro Quo

Ever since the United State (US) Congress begin formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, the phrase “quid pro quo” gained much traction. Trump has maintained throughout the impeachment inquiry that he wanted no “quid pro quo” from Ukraine in return for the release of much-needed military aid.

I have to admit that when I first heard of the phrase, my first reaction was to go online to find out its meaning. I am not too sure if others know that “quid pro quo” mean to reciprocate in Latin.

The phrase has become so popular that I have been hearing it almost on a daily basis on CNN. Even in my business conversations I have heard it not once but on several occasions in the past few months. However, even if one knew or only just found out the meaning of the phrase, they should be aware that it is not appropriate to use it in business dealings. Didn’t they notice how President Trump got himself into trouble when he indirectly asked Ukraine President to ‘scratch his back’ before ‘he scratches his’?

Most recently, a supplier used the phrase “quid pro quo” when requesting me to release payment despite the fact that his company had yet to fulfill certain tasks. If not for CNN, I would have been left puzzled when I heard him use that Latin phrase and will surely struggle to stay on the same frequency in our conversation.

Fortunately, now that I know what it means, I was completely taken by surprise when the supplier used the Latin phrase to request for the payment to be released. Since it was straight forward professional business deal, I didn’t need him or ask him to ‘scratch my back’. The deal is done based on the right budget and fair market value. I was puzzled as to why did he have the impression that he was ‘scratching my back’ when I managed to negotiate the price at fair market value. It was just a pure business negotiation with zero personal interest.

How is it possible that anyone could interpret a business negotiation into a favour and subsequently ask for a return of that favour is beyond me. While I believe that we must apply what we learn, however, we must also remember to apply it only in most appropriate moment. I believe that there is no time frame in applying what we have learnt.

Godbless #MSME and #MakeMicroandSmallBusinessesGreat!