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When You’re Away From Home, You Understand These 20 Amazing Things

When You’re Away From Home, You Understand These 20 Amazing Things

Living away from home is a big step for many reasons. There are so many phases of emotion people go through when they first move, but eventually they realise it was the best thing they have ever done. The lessons you learn when you’re alone are lessons you use for the rest of your life. It’s also a great way to have hilarious stories to tell your friends. Here are twenty things only people who live away from home can really understand.

1. You learn to enjoy being alone.

The quiet is disturbing at first, and you may find it difficult to get used to. Eventually, you learn to enjoy the quiet and learn that being alone is time for you to spend with yourself, which is very therapeutic. It becomes something you miss when you go back to visit your family from time to time.

2. You have the opportunity to figure out what your thoughts on things are.

When you live at home, you are surrounded by people who have different opinions and these opinions have an effect on how you think. When you are alone, you have time to really find out what you think about certain things and develop your own set of beliefs.

3. You realise you are stronger than you had realized.

When you’re faced with adversity, you seem to muster up strength you never knew you had. Only when you live alone do you really see how strong you actually are when dealing with stressful situations.

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4. You appreciate the little things.

You never realised what a blessing it was to have a fridge full of groceries and a table ready with dinner when you were living at home. When you live away from home, you come home to a dark house and bills. You will never take things for granted ever again.

5. You learn to be more aware of your responsibilities.

When you live alone, you develop a biological alarm clock that reminds you to do important things. This biological alarm clock doesn’t exist initially; it grows over time, and when it does, you end up being pretty proud of yourself.

6. You can blast music throughout your house and dance with no inhibitions.

There is nothing more liberating than turning up the volume and just letting go of all your stress, which is something you can only do if your not in a house full of people.

7. You become more aware of money and when not to spend it.

You have the balance of your debit account recorded in your mind, and you mentally subtract from it every time you spend, making sure you don’t go past your budget. Sometimes you do spend too much, and when that does happen, you spend the rest of the month never leaving your apartment.

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8. You tend to double check if you locked the door and turned the stove off multiple times in one night.

You can never be too careful. You do not want to be the person that sets the fire alarm off at three in the morning.

9. You learn to appreciate just how much you enjoyed being around your family, even if you didn’t realize it when you were living with them.

You miss their dumb jokes at the dinner table. You actually just miss having them at the dinner table. Any chance to Skype with them is just bliss.

10. You learn to self motivate.

With no one around to tell you what to do, it’s easy to get carried away, but you find a way to motivate yourself to do work. When you do end up getting work done, you feel pretty good about yourself.

11. You develop some kind of organizational skills.

Even if things don’t seem organized to everyone around you, you understand your system and that’s the most important thing.

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12. You learn to appreciate the things that were done for you when you did live at home.

Now that you have to do them all yourself, you see how hard they actually were. Paying bills and writing checks are not exactly fun jobs. You are grateful that these jobs were once done for you, but appreciate that you are learning to do them yourself.

13. You become an expert multi-tasker.

Multi-tasking is the best way you can make maximum use of your time. You never realized there would come a time when you had to stir spaghetti sauce whilst you were sweeping the floor and reading simultaneously.

14. You find that almost everything in life requires filling out forms.

You spend ninety percent of your time ticking boxes and signing on dotted lines. If these forms were a final exam you would probably get a hundred percent.

15. When you take important phone calls, you find that you have slowly transitioned from being awkward to actually sounding like a grown-up.

You hang up and you realize that you managed to make it through the phone call without saying anything awkward and that’s when you know you have won at life.

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16. You fake being an adult so well that you eventually become a fully functioning one.

During some point of your life away from home, you will have an out of body experience where you will watch yourself be such a grown up that you won’t even recognize yourself. It’s a pretty spectacular moment that you’ll cherish for a long time.

17. You become good at responding to unexpected changes.

You eventually deal with them calmly and rationally, which is a change from how you first used to deal with them. You are impressed with how well you handle erratic situations, but are glad you developed this vital life skill.

18. You are a master at keeping in touch with people because you are so used to living away from people you love

Technology is your best friend when it comes to keeping in touch with people.

19. You learn to enjoy change and transitioning more than you used to

You learn that change is a part of life and you find that change builds character. You look at any potential changes as challenges that you will eventually master and learn valuable lessons from.

20. You hold on to things less tightly

You become good at letting go of things and moving on, which is a big part of growing up.

Featured photo credit: young hipster man looking at the mountains via shutterstock.com

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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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