Something dramatic recently happened to me. I quit my job. Since November 2000 I worked at Integro. On January 27, 2006 that ended. I (and the others) basically bought an Integro contract - the details of which are contractually secret.
But that's not the most important takeaway for me. It was the negotiation process. See, as we prepared proposals for Integro we had to think through the worst case responses. It was due diligence. As a result, we had to imagine our Integro counterparts as their worst possible selves.
Because this took weeks, we were weeks imagining people we had known for five+ years as strategically cunning, manipulative, self interested and wantonly destructive. In hindsight, none of this ever arose; Integro was most gentlemanly.
However, the side effect is - now I am left remembering these people I actually enjoyed working with in an inappropriately strong negative light. Moreover, they are left remembering me seeing them so.
I have a feeling that this is one of those things you have to learn and can never be taught. Only experience can really explain how objectivity slowly seeps through cracks. It's a constant effort to remember your opponents aren't axe murders; they’re just the other side of the deal.