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Life Wisdom: You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate

Life Wisdom: You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate

There seems to be an emphasis on the value of technical knowledge or skill in today’s world. It could be assumed that only the most talented end up with what they want whether it’s a job promotion or the power to choose the type of work they want to do. After all, hard work and dedication is what leads to the best jobs, right? Although that is mostly true, there are outliers who manage to always get their way and do so easily. You know the type. He’s not particularly talented but somehow appears to have it the easiest. Chances are, this person has learned the art of negotiation.

What Makes Good Negotiation?

“In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” – Chester L. Karrass

What exactly is “negotiation”? Simply put, it is the process of coming to an agreement when two parties have differences. A successful negotiation occurs when both parties gain a mutual benefit. Good negotiators are able to get what’s best for themselves without damaging the other party.

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A classic example of great negotiation comes from studying how Mahatma Gandhi negotiated the independence of India from British rule in 1947. Through a combination of style, meticulous planning, patience, compromise, and execution, Gandhi was able to negotiate a successful independence from Britain without lifting a single weapon. It remains one of the most successful negotiations in political history.

The Art of Negotiation

Usually neither party has an advantage initially, but by keeping the following tips in mind you will be well on your way to a successful negotiation.

1) Listen.

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It’s so simple which is why it’s amazing how so many people mess this up. Don’t just listen to the words. Successful negotiators go beyond that by putting themselves in the other party’s shoes and understanding what he or she wants so that they can meet in the middle. Listening bridges the gap and makes the other side feel respected.

If you are negotiating with your boss for a pay raise, ask him specifically how you can do things differently to make his life easier. If you show him that you can deliver, then you will be in a much better position to negotiate a salary boost.

2) Make sure everyone walks away happy.

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What’s the point of negotiating if it is just for the benefit of one party? Both parties are there because they both want to win. If you accomplish a win-win outcome, you will be more likely to succeed in the future as other people will be more open to negotiating with you, knowing that you are reasonable.

Let’s say you are negotiating with your son who wants to eat chocolate after school before he finishes his homework. You want the work done and he wants chocolate. If you negotiate an agreement where he can have chocolate after his homework is done, then both parties win. He still gets to eat his chocolate and you got him to do his homework without yelling.

3) What do you have in common?

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It’s always better to focus on what you and the person you are negotiating with have in common rather than focusing on differences. Negotiation can be contentious, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. For example, if you are negotiating for a lower price on an old board game at a garage sale, a good approach would be to strike a conversation with the owner by asking him which is his favorite. By building up that rapport through your common love of board games, you will be more likely to get a reduced price.

Successful negotiation is a highly desirable skill that can be learned. With good negotiating skills, you will be able to help others get what they want while also achieving your own goals and desires.

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Joseph Chan

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on February 19, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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