How to Communicate and Negotiate in Life to Better Effect

We all use negotiation constantly in our communications. Starting as children we quickly learn that if we promise to be good we gain some advantage or positive result. That understanding is often quickly transferred to our other relationships, where we learn the value of trading. We give something the other person wants in return for some benefit to ourselves.

Children quickly learn to be quiet in return for sweets. That is the fundamental tenet behind every negotiation, a win/win situation for all concerned. The fact that the child may manipulate the situation when they want more sweets may have to dealt with by using penalty clauses and riders as time goes on. The negotiator too has to learn how to trade.

As an adult the art of skillful negotiation is in learning to trade something that we are not too concerned about losing. The skill is in treating it as if it is really important, as if it really matters to us. We create in the other person a sense that are we are making a huge contribution to the negotiation process by allowing a particular concession to be made.

When the other person feels that they are gaining an advantage they are more likely to relax their guard and become more flexible. When they feel that they are gaining ground they will often decide that it is reasonable to make some concessions to the negotiations. They are more likely to feel the need to reciprocate, as a gesture of good faith on their part.

A good negotiator treats the other person with respect. Good manners are a large part of being good at the job. A person who is calm, poised and polite will appear to be in control, measured and clear as to what they are doing. They will instill in the other person a sense of confidence.

Meeting someone halfway is a good negotiation technique. In daily life, we will all have had times when we have been in a group or with a friend and have had to decide where to go for a social evening. Negotiation can be required in these situations. We may decide to take it in turns as to where to go, or decide to go somewhere completely different as an alternative option. The skill is in being respectful and flexible, is in appreciating that each point of view has its own validity and importance.

In acrimonious couples counselling I sometimes say to my clients ‘you may win the argument, but lose the relationship’. Being pedantic and inflexible may ensure that you get what you want as an outcome in the short term, but in the longer term it may be a massive price to pay. Appreciating that each person has reasons for their opinions, feels justified in holding the view that they have, can bring some sense of perspective to the counselling process.

Effective communications are about trying to clearly understand what each person is saying, what they are hoping to achieve and how the different sides of the discussion can find resolution and compromise. Negotiation is a valuable process to apply. By trading, giving ground and feeling to gain some positive results or compromise each side can feel that they are successfully making headway and achieving a better relationship into the bargain.

Three Steps To Chill Out and Be Present

There are so many things we have to… and need to do… and want to do… that it is easy to jam pack our to-do list, our schedule and our life with busy-work. BUT it is necessary to do so? You may be saying “Yes, of course it is. How else am I going to get things done?” Well, that depends on what you have to get done.

If you are a do-er and an action-taker-and dare I say ‘perfectionist’-it is very easy to get caught up in the doing of it all. But where does living your life like you want it fit in? It really doesn’t because you are so busy being in the future about what you have to get done and feel you should be doing that you forget to live in the here and now.

My dad had a saying, well he actually had two that are relevant to share with you: “One day at a time” and “One thing at a time“. He was good at saying “I’ll be with you in a moment, right now I’m finishing this.” Meanwhile my mother and I are racing around doing (and not finishing) ten things to his finished one. I know for sure, by my own experience and those of my friends and clients, that when your attention is not in one place, neither are you. You simply cannot give whatever you are doing justice if you are not fully present.

Have you ever spilled a beverage, dropped something, banged into the corner of your desk, or stubbed your toe while you were trying to do something else? That’s being in the future (or the past). And oh yes, the spilled beverage on your carpet, the shattered screen on your dropped smart phone or the stubbed toe absolutely brings you into the present in a very fast way! It’s a rude reminder that you need to slow down, take a breath and maybe take a break.

I had a client who woke up one morning, got out her cereal bowl and her juice glass, and before she realized what she was doing the bowl was full of cider. She was upset and beating herself up over this. It actually threw off her entire day and when I asked her what was going on the moment before she poured the cider, she said she was thinking about her day and all that she had to do and what she wasn’t going to finish. And so there you have it: when we are not present, we can’t fully be mindful of what we are doing.

Would you like to experience fewer mishaps and mistakes throughout your day? Do you want to accomplish things and have them done right the first time? Be with yourself and not 10 steps ahead.

Here are three quick and easy ways for you to check in with how you feel and be more mindful and present in the moment:

  • Take a breath. Do you feel frazzled? Simply stop moving. Sit or stand still and breathe in to the count of 5 (slowly), then hold for a count of 2 and let your breath out for a count of 5, pausing for another count of 2. Try it right now – don’t you feel better?
  • Look around you. Are you jumpy and anxious? Look at where you are and what’s near you. Name what comes into your vision and give it a moment’s thought. The dog, “Oh, he’s actually snoring in his sleep”; the knickknack you picked up on vacation and what a fun time you had; the clouds in the sky and the shape they appear to you. Small distractions will settle your thoughts.
  • Change your view. Do you need to get out of your office? Do you need to go outside? Sometimes stopping what you are doing and taking a break is essential to help you be more mindful. Whatever it is, do it. Just five minutes can do wonders for your focus.

Follow the above tips and you’ll be mindful and in the present moment in no time (without stubbing your toe). You’ll be happier, more productive and relaxed too

Organic Skin Care Products: Which To Use?

If you eat organic food and sleep on organic sheets, it makes sense that you might also add organic skin care products to the mix.

To some, this is news. The idea that you can put organic skin care products on your face might be a very new idea, but those involved with beauty products know what others are just finding out – organic skin care products can give your skin a level of care that traditional products can’t.

What makes a product organic?

As with any food product you might buy that’s labeled organic, any skin care product that is called organic must meet certain standards. Specifically, every ingredient in the product must be produced organically. Because some factory-made ingredients are far from organic, this also means that organic products are usually more natural and healthy for the skin than non-organic products.

Organic beauty products are ideal for sensitive skin and those with skin allergies. Sometimes they are much more effective than traditional products as well.

What products can be found in organic forms?

There are many products on the market today that are organic. They might not be as easy to find as non-organic products, but as more and more people seek out organics for food and other things, they will also begin to seek out more organic skin care and beauty products and that will make them easier to find over time.

Some of the best selling organic skin care products available today are Athena products.

The Athena 7 Minute Lift is a high quality product that has gotten rave reviews in recent months for its ability to provide visible benefit to the skin within 7 minutes. Those who use the product say that within those 7 minutes they notice that their skin is more lifted, firmer and looks suppler.

But the benefits go beyond the 7 minutes. Due to a unique and proprietary blend of organic ingredients, the cream can also help your skin age better over the long term, which gives you a one-two punch of immediate and future benefit.

Other Athena skin care products are getting attention these days, such as their stem cell serums thanks to the success of the 7 Minute Lift. Many of these products are also organic and provide benefit to the skin through the use of quality ingredients that are also completely naturally produced.

Other brands of organic skin care include Miessence which are not known for instant lift or anti wrinkle creams, but more for their organic cleansers which can accompany the use of a good organic wrinkle cream.

How can you find organic products?

In the past, you had to order from a specialty catalog in order to get organic skin care products, but these days the process is much simpler. You can order online (even sometimes including a sample you can try before you buy the entire jar or bottle of something) and you can find some of the products in health food stores.

Your best bet is to find an online store that sells these products. Order the sample and try the product out. If it works, you can then order the entire product. This will save you the investment if the product isn’t going to work.

Organic products are new and popular in skin care these days. Seek out some of these products and see what they can do for your skin.