7 Keys For Effective Negotiating

In nearly every aspect of our lives, we find a need to effectively utilize negotiating skills in order to perform to our potential. Negotiations is a useful and needed skill in our personal lives, in our business activities, and in nearly every one of our day to day activities. There are seven basic keys to become a competent and effective negotiator, which include: 1. Doing our homework; 2. Effective listening; 3. Clearly communicate what’s needed; 4. Be as specific as possible; 5. Include as much as possible in the contract/ agreement; 6. Build in contingency clauses; and 7. Exhibiting absolute integrity.

1. Homework refers to understanding the needs and positions, not only from your perspective, but from your adversary’s perspective, as well. This process creates an understanding of what can and cannot be asked for, and why. It requires both a willingness as well as the ability to do the work and put in the effort that is required in advance.

2. Unless someone is willing to effectively listen, rather than simply speak at someone, he cannot effectively negotiate. When we negotiate, the goal must be achieving a deal that creates a win- win scenario, because all long lasting deals come to fruition only when both sides are satisfied with the results. Negotiating is never about trying to defeat an opponent!

3. Next, there is a need to clearly articulate and communicate what is needed, and why, so that there are no surprises, misconceptions, or inaccuracies. How can anyone possibly negotiate properly if both sides are not on the same side? This must include a thorough understanding of priorities, etc.

4. Effective negotiations require specificity. There is no use or purpose being vague during this process, because unless it is clear what you want to happen and need, you can never come to a meeting of the minds. When both sides understand each other, they can much better work together to come to a mutual,y acceptable agreement.

5. The result of the negotiations must be coming up with a contract agreement that is as inclusive as possible, including as much specificity and detail as possible. There is always the best chance of a fair deal before a contract is signed because both sides are then on equal footing, while after the contract is signed, one side might have an upper hand.

6. The basic rule of any deal made is that at some point, things happen. We can never foresee all possibilities, but it is wise to include as many contingency clauses as can be foreseen, in that initial and binding agreement. Professional negotiators always have back up plans!

7. When all is said and done, the main quality remains a commitment to the principles and ideals of absolute integrity. Without integrity, negotiations will invariably fail in the long run.

Successful negotiations must be based on mutual respect and understanding. When this is the approach, there is always significantly more cooperation between the parties, and thus a better end result. These principles and keys are needed, whether the negotiations are event related, labor contracts, business dealings, or intra- family arrangements, etc.

The Past, Present and Future of Technology’s Evolution

In today’s world, computers, tablets and Smartphones run our lives. In a short amount of time, the explosion of technology in the market has many people never imagining their lives without it. In order to understand how we came from the dark ages to where we are today, we should first understand the evolution of technology. Most of today’s technologies were born out of purpose. Search engines are a good example, they were created to sort out the huge amounts of online data. Every new upgrade of a technology creates something that was better than before.

Every time this happens, technology evolves and has become the thing that is essential today. Future new technologies come from ideas that get compounded to form new technologies. Technologies that exist today evolve into more powerful technologies that they were before. With the speed at which technology is evolving, it is no wonder why people are struggling to keep up. The following is an overview of how fast technology and the internet have evolved in just the past few years.

The Past

As recent as the 1990s, the internet was a new commodity that some businesses and homes had. People at that time remember the painfully slow sound of the dial-up signal as it connected to the internet. As more people saw the value of having internet access, technology once again stepped up to eliminate the use of a phone line to access the internet with an even faster way to connect to the World Wide Web. This advance also caused websites to advance and suddenly everyone had either a Tripod or Geocities website all of their own.

About this time, the blogging craze took off on the consumer level. This allowed the sharing of information to become much easier. Rather than handing over a floppy disc or CD-ROM, more people started to email documents or store larger files on a USB drive. With the advance of new technologies popping up, they would compound and form a stronger, faster and better technology. As this technology developed, it changed the way people operated, worked and coincidentally live today.

The Present

Since the 1990s, internet access has popped up nearly everywhere. It is rare to find a place of business, library, or coffee shop without access to a Wi-Fi signal. Even without a Wi-Fi signal in close range, most people can still access the internet with their cellular device or Smartphone. Because of this anytime/anywhere internet access, many businesses have created web apps that will answer the consumer’s common needs. These apps or applications will do everything from sending huge amounts of information to tracking food portions with just the click of a button. One of the differences that is most noticeable with today’s internet is the ability to be personable in such an impersonal setting. It has been social media that has changed the way people engage with each other online.

Even though this form of communication is superficial, it has helped people remain close that may otherwise would have lost contact all together. Even face to face conversations are becoming easier because of web/video conferencing that has broken the barriers of geography. Now, businesses can communicate with customers in more of a human manner, people can have a face to face conversation without having to travel across the country, and people can reach out to others across the world in an easier and faster manner. With all the new technologies influencing how people access each other and information, the future looks promising.

The Future

Technology will allow work to be accomplished faster and easier, internet access will become faster and more streamlined. Devices like tablets and Smartphones will keep evolving to work together better.

Data between these machines will be shared automatically, which will limit the need for human involvement. More and more businesses and people will put themselves in the cloud or have everything stored online rather than on a single device. This will allow an enormous potential to change how business is done, how the traditional office will look and how companies and people will interact with each other on a daily basis. As technology continues to evolve, the world will change with it and create new ways of working together and new habits.

Presenting Yourself With Confidence – How to Break Out of Your Shell

Imagine a royal court. You have the king, the dukes, the prince, the peasants and everyone in-between. Each of us has the equivalent to a royal court that resides in our heads. We populate the roles of the court with people we know and ourselves. Depending on our role and depending on the role of whomever it is we are interacting with, we act differently. Daily interactions always go through this thought process. If you’ve given yourself the role of peasant, you will always be expecting people to put you down. If, however, you’ve given yourself the role of a king, you don’t expect to ever be put down. The way one views oneself has been influenced by a myriad of factors, but most importantly by the people one surrounds oneself by. The trick to the whole game of life is figuring out which role you’ve given yourself and deciding if that’s the role you want to have. You can choose any role you want, but whatever role you choose becomes your reality.

When someone treats you in a way that isn’t congruent with your self-assigned role, your ego get’s shaken. You can physically feel the effects when that happens. That’s called “fight or flight.” I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I just find it amazing that the body reacts as if it is in physical danger when the ego is rattled.

The word “ego” has to be the most misused word in the English language. It’s been associated with “megalomania,” “vanity,” and a bunch of other negative concepts. According to Freud, it actually just represents the conscious, instead of the unconscious, mind. If a challenge to the conscious mind causes a physical reaction, it stands to reason that you can control the physical world through your conscious thoughts. I could take it a step further and posit that you must change your thoughts before you can change your physical reality. If we consider this as truth, then we aren’t reacting to our environments, we are creating them!

Once, I walked into a friend’s house that needed to be cleaned badly. His name is Charlie. I wouldn’t say he was up to hoarder status, but he definitely needed a hand. I realized that I could help change the situation in that house; and, without sounding condescending; I offered to hire Charlie a maid service. The thought of a maid service coming in to help clean up bothered Charlie to the point of physical agitation. Why would somebody with a dirty house be so against a paid maid service? I would have loved such a luxury.

The answer to that riddle lies in the internal role my friend has given himself… not exactly king. My offer to have a paid service come and clean things challenged his role, thereby challenging his ego, and causing him physical discomfort. Having a maid come in and clean would mean that the role he had given himself was false… that he wasn’t privileged enough to have a service like that. These are the types of life changing thought processes that need to be considered when attempting to unlock your inner swag. Have you given yourself the wrong role? Are you a peasant or are you upwardly mobile? If you’ve given yourself the wrong role, you need to change it and now.

If Charlie had already made the conscious decision to change the way he views himself in relation to his environment, he wouldn’t have resisted the notion of having a paid maid service come in and clean. He would have already been agitated at the sight of such a dirty house and would have been waiting for the opportunity to gather enough resources to get it fixed up. If he had done the internal work before the chance presented itself, he would have been able to benefit from it. If he previously visualized a clean house, it would have actualized at that moment. Daydreaming is, therefore, productive. Dream your reality into existence.

Some people just aren’t ready to view the world in a different way than they always have and they miss out on life because of it. Charlie could have challenged his own ego and upgraded his environment; but instead chose the lazy route and stayed in his comfort zone. It’s much better to step outside of the comfort zone, even if it means asking for help or thinking of oneself in a different light. To do it any other way is to cheat oneself. Do not wait around to be swallowed up by an environment you’ve created. That’s never a good look.

Ask yourself, “What role have I given myself?” You are not your role. You never were. You never will be. Your role is just a hat you wear, that’s all. Becoming the best person you can possibly be involves assessing your perspective. You can’t become the person you want to be if you don’t start with a basic understanding of who you are. Just like a general going to war against an enemy, you must assess the obstacles that stand in the way of you unlocking your personal potential. The first of those obstacles is your ego.

Everyone has doubts and insecurities about themselves… some are natural, but most are shaped by those around us. The art of finding yourself in all of that involves, oddly enough, finding yourself in those around you. People project their own insecurities onto you. You absorb those interactions and then they become a part of your personality. You really are the sum of the people around you. They help shape the way you view yourself and the way you view the world. You are the flesh and blood representation of all the thoughts, emotions, and views you have absorbed from those around you.

It’s important to be conscious about which notions you allow yourself to absorb and which you allow to “pass.” Once you allow a certain belief to enter your mind and become a fixture, you will begin to mirror that belief and your entire reality will bend in order to make room for it. Renovating your house of cards is just as time-consuming and uncomfortable as renovating your physical house. It hurts, but that’s the only way to truly grow.