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10 Things You Cared About Growing Up 10 Years Ago but Don’t Now

10 Things You Cared About Growing Up 10 Years Ago but Don’t Now

Getting older is inevitable. Looking back on our past is a way to see how much we have grown, and evaluate where we want to go in the future. Our past has made us who we are today. However, the things that we used to care about 10 years ago, are nowhere near as important to us today as they used to be. Here are 10 things that you cared about 10 years ago, but don’t today.

1. You cared about what people thought about you

Ten years ago, when you were trying to fit in and find your place, you actually cared what people thought about you. Today, that couldn’t be more wrong. Within the last 10 years you have learned what makes you tick, what you’re good at, what you love, what you hate- you just know who you are. If someone doesn’t like it too bad. They can keep it movin’ forward just like you.

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2. You cared about having name brand clothes

Ten years ago you cared about what kind of clothes you wore. You would not be caught dead in some Walmart or Target brand clothing. You/your parents spent way too much money on those those as well. Today, you have matured and have come to the realization that money is better spent on other things. You still have some name brand clothing, but you don’t care one way or another if people notice it. It’s just not that important to you anymore, as you have far more things to worry about today than you did 10 years ago.

3. You cared about gossip

This might be more true for the ladies, but I know guys talk just as much as us. 10 years  ago you cared way more about who was dating who and what drama everyone was talking about. You never wanted to be the last person to know what was going on. Today when you hear gossip it’s just not as entertaining. Your life doesn’t revolve around it, and you are probably the last one to know about it. Lets face it, today you just have more to worry about than someone else’s drama.

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4.  You cared about school

Ten years ago you were probably in school, whether it was high school, college, graduate, ect. and you actually cared about how you did. Majority of your free time during the week was spent doing homework, or at least putting your homework off until the last minute. Today, you have made it past that in one way or another, and you are working. Sometimes you actually wish you could go back to those days of less responsibility, but then you wouldn’t be as successful as you are today. Today you are hopefully glad you went – but it’s just not part of your life anymore.

5. You cared about being able to drive

Ten years ago you might have been starting to drive, or not quite 21. You cared about getting the car from your parents, or having your own car. You cared about being able to drive anywhere you wanted, and were usually the one of your friends who drove everyone-everywhere. Today, its the opposite. If you don’t have to drive you won’t. On the weekend you are worried about who will be the sober cab, and probably crossing your fingers that it won’t be you. Instead of loving the road, you are hating the morning and rush hour traffic. You have developed some form of road rage. Simply put, you don’t want to drive.

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6. You cared about keeping a good image in front of your parents

Ten years ago you cared about not getting caught sneaking out, or doing something you shouldn’t be – by your parents. Whether you cared about keeping a good image in their eyes, or just cared about not getting in trouble; you did your best to avoid being caught. Today, you will gladly open up to them about how you would throw parties when they went out of town.Your relationship with your parents today is a lot different than it was 10 years ago. Today your parents are your close friends, rather than an authority. You have come to the realization that your parents love you no matter what you did then, or now.

7. You cared about keeping up with TV shows

Ten years ago you had days of the week and times picked out that you had to be at a TV to watch your favorite show. Whether it was American Idol, The OC, Survivor, or Lost you had to be at a TV (or you wouldn’t know what happened with that mysterious button ). Today, we don’t care about what time our favorite shows come on. With the invention of DVR you no longer have to be home at the exact time a show is on to watch it – best television invention ever.

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8. You cared about being skinny

Ten years ago you wanted to be as skinny as the models you saw in the magazines and on TV. You either worked your ass off daily to get the body you wanted, or you tried ridiculous diets. Today, you have matured in caring about your health rather than being stick thin. You have realized that fit is better than skinny, and you have developed a healthier lifestyle to maintain the body you want. You don’t have as much time to hit the gym as you used to, but you still make the effort, and eat how you want.

9. You cared about what other people thought you should do with your life

Ten years ago you cared about other people’s opinions about what you should do in your life, whether it was career wise, relationship, or school. You wanted to know what people thought you would be good at, and you might even have gone along with it. Today, you have matured and realized that you really do know you best. You are the one that has to live with all your choices. It’s nice to know what people think you are good at, but it’s not what drives you.

10. You cared about people’s words

Ten years ago you took people at face value. You cared about what people said to you, and whatever promises they made you. Today, you know better. You now care about people’s actions, rather than their words. Words are great, but actions speak volumes.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

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.

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:

1. Work/Business

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.

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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.

2. Personal

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.

3. Ourselves

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.

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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.

1. Preparation

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.

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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.

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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.

Conclusion

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

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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