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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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      5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

      5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

      Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

      A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

      So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

      1. Take breaks

      First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

      If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

      This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

      There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

      According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

      It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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      Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

      If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

      If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

      Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

      Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

      2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

      One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

      When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

      Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

      All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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      For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

      You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

      You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

      In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

      Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

      That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

      That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

      Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

      3. Put your work first

      This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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      While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

      However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

      In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

      If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

      4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

      In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

      When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

      If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

      5. Try to be happy and optimistic

      If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

      This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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      If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

      Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

      Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

      15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

      Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

      All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

      While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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