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Killer Negotiator 101 – Everybody is a good guy

Killer Negotiator 101 – Everybody is a good guy

A good negotiator wins the deal for himself. A killer negotiator creates a win-win!

My name is Captain D. Most of what I write are things which have come from my experiences in dealing with thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world and judging what makes them tick. I have loved to do that all my life, and it has helped me in countless ways- professionally and personally. Just a few days back I had a major inspection on my ship. The results were crucial for the performance of the vessel. Everyone was looking forward to it. There was a lot of ground to cover, and there were several things which could have gone wrong. The inspector was a very senior, matter-of-fact guy with no interest in chit-chat. Not everything went perfectly, yet in the end we all walked out smiling with a glittering report which made everyone happy! The inspector’s words as he left were, “I will remember you”.

Long story short, I know how to negotiate! It’s not difficult, and being a negotiator can surely take you places. Let us start with a basic concept which many fail to understand.

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    1. Everybody believes they are the good guys

    Whether you are Bill Gates or a New York City cab driver, you have a philosophy- an internal code of what is right, what is wrong, what is enjoyable, what is not, etc. It is your unique collection of beliefs and behaviors. It’s surprising that many people never understand that concept! When you meet someone, they judge you. Those judgments come from that person’s experience- the way he has seen his life unfold. That’s okay. However, to be a killer negotiator you must remember that often you may be trying to convince another person using the yardstick you have prepared for yourself. That may not work very well for you.

    Conflict of Concepts

    I recently completed a voyage from Iraq to the United States and met people from both countries. I get to chatting easily and often end up finding out information which someone would never hear about from a public source such as a newspaper.

    Ask an American, “Why was your country attacked on 9/11?” He or she will say, “They hate us because we are free”. Ever ask a person from Iraq why America is dropping bombs on their houses? I have. They say, “The United States wants to eliminate Islam.” These are both ideas planted in the minds of the masses by people with a certain objective which they do not disclose. Whichever side you are on, one thing is for certain. Someone born in America thinks one way and someone born in Iraq thinks another. Both have reasons to believe what they believe.

    How to use this as a negotiator

    Even a terrorist is a crusader to himself. Killing people makes sense to him. He can dehumanize people for a greater cause, just like a soldier on the battlefront. A thief is desperate and to him stealing seems a logical way out. We forget that our beliefs are just as strong in our minds as the other person’s ideas are to him or her. To be a negotiator, you must understand that. You cannot try to convince someone otherwise unless you understand his persona completely and unbiasedly.

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    Weird people around you

    You will find many people making decisions which may seem weird to you.

    • A company executive I know fired someone just so that he could put the blame for his mistakes on him.
    • People are married to those they do not love for years, but it makes sense to them to stay married.
    • A friend of mine has taken a job which is about half the pay of his last job, but he now can spend more time with his family.
    • Another friend left his family for a girlfriend he had twenty years back in Brazil and went to live there with her.
    • Your boss accepted a modification plan for your office based solely on the fact that it is cheaper to implement, regardless of how awesome your idea was.

    You may not agree with all this, and that’s okay. When you are a negotiator you need to follow the philosophy below.

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” -Aristotle

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    Killer negotiator

      Action Plan: Learn more than you teach.

      As a negotiator, you will face situations when the person on the other side differs with you.

      It’s not the time to teach; it’s the time to learn.

      Listen and be unbiased. Try to make sense of what the other person said.

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      Think:

      1. Perhaps there is a point in that idea!
      2. Maybe I can rethink my ways to accommodate these demands.
      3. I may have gotten it all wrong so I will consider this way.
      4. His idea seems bizarre to me, but let me find out how he came to it.

      If you consider the above, even though someone may differ with you, he or she will still agree that you are easy to work with and a great person.

      If you have a fight or an argument in your personal life hold back and think the above thoughts. They are all applicable! The moment you think of a situation from the other person’s point of view, you are instantly in a position to negotiate! Fight it solely with your logic, and you will lose that position. A negotiator hits the problem from the other side of the table!

      The way to fight resistance is not with resistance. The only way to disarm opponents is to understand their philosophy and figure out why they feel that way. You can counter the idea only when you truly understand it. That is the only way to be a master negotiator. Do not hit the person; hit the philosophy, and the person will agree with you.

      Featured photo credit: Free Images via freeimages.com

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      Published on January 7, 2021

      How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

      How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

      Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

      If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

      Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

      You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

      When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

      Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

      In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

      Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

      3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

      Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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      1. Respect deadlines
      2. Understand the work-flow plan
      3. Build in time to mess up

      1. Respect Deadlines

      Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

      One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

      2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

      Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

      3. Build in Time to Mess Up

      You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

      Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

      For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

      Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

      This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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      Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

      Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

      Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

      When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

      12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

      Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

      1. Learn to Listen Well

      You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

      Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

      2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

      Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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      3. Follow Rules

      Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

      4. Take Notes

      Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

      5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

      When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

      As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

      6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

      If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

      7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

      English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

      8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

      Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

      9. Minimize Distractions

      It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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      If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

      10. Take Breaks

      It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

      11. Make Time for Reflection

      At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

      12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

      This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

      Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

      Final Thoughts

      Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

      When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

      More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

      Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

      Reference

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