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15 Signs You’re Doing Better You Think You Are

15 Signs You’re Doing Better You Think You Are

It is perfectly normal to get to a point where you feel stuck and feel the need to regroup. You have to arrive at that period in life where you assess the choices you’ve made/are making, the lifestyle you live and the company you keep at some point. If mankind had not at one point wondered “how can we make it better?” you’d not be reading this post.

We are all our worst critics, especially when it comes to judging how we measure up against what we initially set out to do. We don’t keep in mind that success is not the end goal, but a journey to something bigger than yourself. Even if you haven’t accomplished one thing on your bucket list this year, you’re doing better than you think you are.

Don’t write yourself off just yet. Here’s a checklist to measure how close you really are- even when you can’t see it.

1.You are more confident than you use to be

Confidence is defined as “the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something”. Confidence is not about walking tall and bold in a room or bringing more to the table, it’s an unshaken faith and trust in one’s ability to overcome challenges when experiencing uncertainty. When you choose to step out of your comfort zone and take calculated risks, whilst trusting that you can and you will, you access the kind of confidence that can only be gained through learning from experience.

2.You don’t fall for the #Hype (#FOMO)

The #HYPE is that “#IT” thing or latest thing everybody else is doing, just because that’s what everybody else is doing. Some people don’t even bother to ask themselves, “why do I want/like that?” they just know that, at this point in time, they should be into it.

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When you’ve matured, you know yourself more and you’re able to discern what doesn’t speak to you. Then you can shift all your attention, focus and commitment to mastering and strengthening the best version of yourself. Being at a place or doing something you were not called to do automatically compromises you- and acting in this way means that you will always be inferior to someone who is in their natural habitat.

3.You’ve overcome your approval addiction

Approval addiction is the need to have other people validate you. Determining your life status based on the number of likes you can pull on Instagram and doing things to please people you wouldn’t like otherwise are examples of approval addiction.

We’ve all, at some point, done things only to please and get validation from others. But you are now at a stage where the only people you want to please are the ones who matter (i.e. yourself and your loved ones).

4. You are more responsive than reactive

You’ve stopped having fits, throwing tantrums, panicking and dramatizing everything that happens to you. Being reactive is a trait that means throwing in the towel, throwing a pity party, victimizing yourself, and giving up when things haven’t worked out.

People who are reactive let things happen to them.

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Responsive people ask questions like: why? How? And what?

Through being responsive, you allow yourself to feel the pain, but also understand the need for analysis. You are less likely to be swayed by other people’s actions and opinions; you don’t hold things people have done against them but you know to keep your distance for safety measures.

5. You’ve stopped waiting on people

You just go ahead and do it your damn self.

6. You have a handful of friends who can describe you in three words off the top of their heads

These are people you rely on, they are a good support structure and they see you through most situations. This is not family, family is by default. We’re talking about friends that you’ve chosen, you’ve made a good enough impression on them, and you have been so worthwhile in their lives that they have decided (with no inherent obligation or responsibility to you) you are worth them investing their hearts and time into a relationship with you.

7. You know the difference between savings, retirement and investments

You are no financial expert but you’ve gotten the basics of life and work and money down, just so that you know what is absolutely necessary for your future.

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8. You are sooooo over proving them wrong

You know, proving your haters wrong, revenge on the people who’ve hurt you, wanting to show the nay sayers that it can be done… What a draining, pointless and counterproductive exercise.

This kind of attitude evolves from the wrong energy and can cloud your judgement through fear that they might be right. Now you do things because:

a) you genuinely want to and you really love it and b), its the most rewarding and fulfilling thing for you and it’s all you want to do.

If they said you shouldn’t’ write because writers make no money, so your every day is committed to proving the wrong, how much creativity springs from that? Maybe a manuscript or two featuring the vilest characters and soapie drama, but other than that? Hate and resentment.

If you, however, write because that’s what you were called to do and you draw your inspiration from that gift that no one can take from you, you’ll go so much further and live in a very fruitful way.

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9. You are so over arriving late, being disorganized and unprepared

You understand the principle and importance of punctuality. So you don’t waste your time and you don’t waste other people’s time. You plan ahead for all your meetings and you organize yourself accordingly. That is true “adulting” and you know that it’s a habit worth mastering

10. You can organize a report in Word, graphs in Excel and present using PowerPoint

This is because you’ve actually been involved in projects that required these skills and you have once in your life had to present your findings on research that you did, whether it was for investors in your new start up, or a job report, or thesis.

11. You’re learning a new language

This is a good thing. You are open minded and you want to expand your horizons. You know the benefits of being bilingual and you have an interest in other cultures.

12. You can say good things about your least favorite person behind their back

Ah, the true test of character. This matters most because it says more about you than it does about the other person. When you have dignity you have no business tearing others down or giving a bad report on someone who is not there to defend themselves. You respect people by respecting yourself and self-respect does not involve dragging other people’s reputations down into the mud.

13. You have good tendencies

The general vibe about you is that you are reliable, kind, harmless, fun, loving and people get along with you. This does not mean that you go out of your way to please people but you are conscious of the impression you give and you try to be accommodating enough so as to make meeting you pleasant and worthwhile.

14. You are so much more grateful

You don’t do comparisons as much, so you’re not as envious and spiteful. You realize just how blessed you are and when you lack you’re thankful whilst working towards the things you want, never neglecting what you have been blessed with. You know that there are people who don’t have what you have and you don’t take your health for granted.

15. You are the right person

Right person for the job, right person for that life partner, right person to befriend, right person for that dream house, right person to achieve those goals, right person to be at this point in time. You’ve just realized that you are not foolish for having those goals, because you don’t need what you thought you needed: a million dollar idea, more money, more education, more experience. You just need to develop and grow what’s been planted inside you to go forth and create the life you’ve dreamed about living.

More by this author

Kayiba Mpoyi

Writer by birth

Don’t Wait for People’s Validation, Do It Yourself, Every Single Day 10 Reasons Why Some People Will Never Succeed Successful Businesses Use This Tool to Predict the Future and Get Ahead of Their Competitors 15 Signs You’re Doing Better You Think You Are The Key To Reaching Your Goals: Willpower And Planning

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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