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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.

More by this author

Joseph Chan

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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