“I’m just living the dream.” Chaz Reinhold (Will Ferrell), The Wedding Crashers
Maybe your dream isn’t to be a 40-year-old wedding crasher who still lives with their mom, but I think it’s safe to say that each one of us has a shadow of an unfulfilled wish, dream or desire. In fear of being ridiculed or vulnerable, we might keep this dream tucked in the deepest part of our junk drawer, but it’s always there, ready to surface if one day the right circumstances fall into place.
Do you ever find yourself saying, “If only I knew then what I know now, I would do things so much differently.”
Do you ever look in at your life and wonder where you could have swerved wildly left to lead you down a different, more thrilling path?
As we approach the end of 2013, it’s a good time to evaluate a few important questions:
- Did you accomplish everything you set out to do this year?
- What would truly make your life meaningful and fulfilled?
- Are your current experiences in line with your desires?
- If you could do anything, what would it be?
Ponder these questions with uncensored thoughts and formulate some new intentions.
I think it’s important to realize that sometimes changing your life from bleak and mundane just means taking away the blur that is clouding your life. See 15 Ways to Lead a New Life you Love.Advertising
With a new year approaching, there is no better time to follow your dreams, no matter how big or small. Check out these things that people who live their dreams don’t do so that you can be one step closer to ‘living the dream’.
1. They don’t follow someone else’s dream.
This might seem like common sense, but many of us follow the dreams set up for us by our parents, partners or friends. You might be a people pleaser, or you might be afraid of letting your loved ones down. Are you lacking when it comes to trusting that you know what’s best for you?
People following their dreams know what they want, and they stand up to others who try to push expectations onto them.
2. They don’t make excuses.
How often do you find yourself coming up with a rainbow of reasons why you can’t achieve your goals or live the life you’ve been dreaming of? Do you even tell yourself elaborate stories about why things didn’t work out?
Where do you find yourself making excuses in your life?
Does it serve you? If not, let it go and simply vow to try each day to be better.
3. They don’t compromise their values or principles.
Compromising is a huge part of our everyday life – compromise, compromise, compromise.Advertising
You will be asked to make many compromises in many facets of your life, relationships, kids, friends and family, and what you’re willing to compromise can in fact play a huge role in your future – but never compromise your values.
People living a life true to themselves are not riddled with guilt, regret or doubts about their choices, they stand firm and move forward with decisions that align with their intentions, goals and dreams.
4. They don’t believe the glass is half empty.
Negativity will only build walls around you. A positive attitude is everything. The glass is always half full. With this attitude, opportunities and abundance will naturally flow into your life. Put your energy on what you want, rather than what you don’t want.
Your thoughts are single-handedly the most important weapon you have in achieving your dreams. Your thoughts are like energy, driving your life. People living the dream are always positive and this naturally manifests positive energy and positive results.
If you think you are beaten you are; if you think you dare not, you don’t; if you want to win but think you can’t; it’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose you’re lost; for out of the world we find success begins with a fellow’s will; it’s all in a state of mind.
Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger and faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can. ~ Author Unknown
5. They don’t focus on materialism.
If your dream starts with wanting to make a lot of money so that you can be happy, you might want to re-evaluate your priorities. Of course you can achieve great wealth, but chances are you won’t be any happier once this golden paycheck arrives.
People who are living the dream know that money can’t buy happiness, and they also understand that a life of status, wealth, fame and popularity is a very fragile house of cards.
If wealth comes as a result of living your dream – bonus. But people who live their dreams know it’s not the initial driving factor.
6. They don’t believe things are impossible, they don’t lose faith and they don’t quit halfway.
Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. ~ Gail Devers
Our mind is a powerful weapon. It’s normal to have self-doubt or feel like something is out of reach, but those who achieve big things see through this doubt and persevere long after others would have quit. Have a solid faith in your intentions.
Nothing is impossible. You might have to work really hard and sacrifice a lot, but chances are that just by trying, you will open up doors of new opportunities that you never thought possible.
7. They don’t let themselves go.
Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.~ Sasha Cohen
Staying physically fit and eating a balanced diet is the key to feeling good and without feeling good your dreams may not amount to much. Exercising also produces energy which will help you keep persevering.
8. They don’t get stuck in a safe space.
Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country. ~ Anais Nin
You need to get out of your comfort zone and take some chances. If your dream is to learn to surf, you need to lose the fear holding you back and just do it.
People following their dreams thrive on new experiences. They are living their life, not being a spectator to the lives of others.
9. They don’t procrastinate or believe in shortcuts.
Why wait until January 1st to start making changes? Start today. People who live their dreams don’t just talk about it, they take steps every day to bring their desires into reality.
There is no such thing as a shortcut. If you want to be physically fit, you have to do the work; quick fad diets are not the answer, and this goes for any dream. Put in the work and you will reap great personal rewards.
10. They don’t seek a destination.
People living a life dreams are made of realize that living is about moment to moment experiences; they love the journey and don’t obsess over the destination.Advertising
Published on September 23, 2020
6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master
I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.
If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.
Table of Contents
What is Negotiation?
First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.
Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.
In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.
Places We Negotiate
I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:
This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.
When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.
In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.
Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.
I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?
I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.
Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.
You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.
I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?
Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.
Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important
Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.
We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.
My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.
If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.
As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.
6 Negotiation Skills to Master
Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.
Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.
Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.
It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.
For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.
After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.
2. Clear Communication
The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.
If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.
3. Active Listening
Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.
If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.
4. Teamwork and Collaboration
To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.
If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.
When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.
5. Problem Solving
Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.
Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?
From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.
There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.
6. Decision-Making Ability
Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.
There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.
Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.
More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills
- How to Negotiate Skilfully to Get What You Want All the Time
- Perfect Negotiation: The 6 Stages That Help You Negotiate Successfully
- Negotiation: How to Negotiate for Whatever Result You Desire
Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com