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How to Negotiate Skilfully to Get What You Want All the Time

How to Negotiate Skilfully to Get What You Want All the Time

Negotiation is often unpleasant but necessary, in business, in the workplace, and in life. Some of us dislike negotiation so much we avoid it whenever we can.

When it comes to salary negotiations, to take just one example, a Salary.com survey [1] found one-fifth of all workers don’t negotiate salary at all when given a job offer. Nearly half of those surveyed – 48 percent – said they always get nervous when it comes to salary negotiations, and a further 39 percent sometimes do. When asked why, 18 percent said they think negotiation is inherently unpleasant.

But because negotiation is necessary, it’s important to work to change those feelings of angst and learn to negotiate in a way that makes both you and your clients feel good.

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Why is Negotiation So Hard?

Why do people tend to find negotiation so difficult in the first place? Part of the reason is because it can be uncomfortable to ask for what you want. Imposter syndrome can make you feel like you don’t deserve the success you have, and if you do anything to call attention to yourself – like asking for a raise – everyone will notice that you somehow snuck into your position and don’t belong there at all.

It’s also a skill that’s not really taught, and indeed includes a combination of skills [2] that take time to learn, such as:

  • confidence
  • the ability to read other people
  • listening skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • emotional control
  • communication skills
  • teamwork
  • ethics

Another problem is that we just don’t trust each other. Research by professor Karen Walch has found that, while 40 percent of people think of themselves as trustworthy [3]in a negotiation, most people think the other party in the negotiation is only out to win. Starting out from a place of mistrust can make a lot of negotiations go south.

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Why is Negotiation a Key Skill?

Negotiation comes in handy in a lot of areas of life, not just when you’re starting a new job or asking for a raise. You will negotiate with coworkers when you work on projects together, with your boss for vacation time, with clients and potential clients on specs, deadlines and project costs, among other things.

Being able to negotiate well is a key to getting what you want in a lot of situations. Learning this skill can help you gain confidence in other areas of business and life, too, because you know that you will be comfortable asking for what you need and can make your clients or business associates feel good about negotiating with you.

How to Improve Your Negotiating Skills

One aspect of better negotiation has to do with mindset. If you tend to go into negotiations thinking the other person is just out to beat you (or that you have to be in it to win it), you will be a lot more combative and less flexible, which could make the whole deal go wrong.

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Negotiation is communication and collaboration. If you can think about negotiating as a relationship instead of as people on different sides, one of whom will “win” and one will “lose,” you’ll be starting in a much better place. It might also help to think of negotiating as asking, and that you don’t have to get everything you want in order for the process to have been a success.

When it comes to negotiating in business or on behalf of your business, it may also help to think of yourself as a member and representative of a team. What you’re asking is not just for you; it will benefit everyone in the company (this also helps if asking for something makes you feel greedy).

It’s also important to understand the culture of your company when it comes to negotiation. When you’re asking for a raise it’s helpful to know how others have approached the situation. And if you are negotiating with someone else on behalf of your company, it’s good to know if people who have been in your position before have tended to be hard-driving or more laid-back.

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To find these things out you’ll have to ask, and someone else in the company who may be better at negotiating could become a mentor or coach for you as you refine your style and gain confidence.

Make sure you plan ahead for meetings, do as much research as you can, and go in with an open mind but also a clear idea of what your goals are and you’ll be able to negotiate more strongly and have happier clients, too.

Reference

More by this author

Sarah White

Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

Hobbies are Good for You: How to Find One That Fits Your Personality You’re Paid to Work, Not to Endure Verbal Abuse. Don’t Be Intimidated How to Make People Read Your Emails (and Letters) and Reply Every Time How To Get Rid Of Oily Skin: 10 Effective DIY Facial Mask Ideas How to Negotiate Skilfully to Get What You Want All the Time

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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