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3 Steps to Take Back Your Power!

3 Steps to Take Back Your Power!

Have you ever felt powerless or immobilized? Have you ever felt that life kicked out your teeth?

Don’t despair. You are not alone. The universal answer to that question is YES and by universal I mean that everyone answering that question will say yes. The reason for this is simple. When life throws one of her curveballs you want to be with helmet and all.

What do you need in order to prepare for the curveballs? Does this mean I should hide away in my closet just in case I get kicked?

Let us discuss three ways you can use to take back your power and still enjoy a happy fulfilled life.

1. Let go

Almost every self-help guru has talked about letting go. You can let go in different scenarios. For example you can let go of an abusive relationship or aThe way of letting go that I am talking about is more brutal. This letting go will dump you in all sorts of personal conflict. However, if you can let go successfully it will mean that you feel truly free.

How can you achieve being free and springboard you to take back you’re power?

You can do this by letting go of your past. Humans tend to worry a lot about their past. What if I decided to take that job? What if I did not sell that house? What if I just asked that girl’s number? What if I made peace with my father before he died?

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These and other questions plague us day and night. The truth is that we have absolutely no control over our past actions and decisions.

So how do I let go of my past? Simply by deciding that from today onwards I am not bound by the decisions I made in the past. It can be difficult because our minds enjoy reflecting on the past and making judgements. Realize that your mind exist to serve you. Not the other way around. So make that decision now.

What helped some people let go of the past is to have a little ceremony to signify the act of letting go. List down some of the things in your past that stole your power. Make a fire. Throw the paper in the fire and see how the fire burns it into oblivion. You can also say out loud as the paper is burning: “today I am letting go of my past and it will no longer have a hold on me!” truly believe what you are saying. Say it straight from the heart. Say it with conviction. You can also create your own ceremony.

After making the decision to let go it is important to be aware of thoughts and feelings as it manifests in your mind. Don’t judge the thought and do not judge yourself. Just be aware of it and decide that you will not enter into any engagements with this thought. To create this new habit you will need repetition and time. Do it anyway because it will give you a feeling of freedom and it will help you to take your power back.

2. Create a compelling future

Now that you are free from your past it is time to create a compelling future. According to the dictionary the word compelling means:” evoke interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way“.

You need to create a future that you will excite you.

How do we create this irresistible future?

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First, we need to know what gets us excited. What makes our blood curl? So take some time now and write a couple of things down that really gets you going and that turns you on. Example: being able to help and influence young people.

Then ask the question: “What opportunities exist that I can do more of these things?”

Example: Give career speeches at local schools.

The next thing is to decide what it is that you must do to create more opportunities to do the thing that makes you excited.

Example: I need more time. I need to become self-employed.

Now write in full what a day will be like doing the thing that excites you. Take time and really flesh it out. What sights do you see? What smells do you hear? What textures can you feel under your fingertips? Got it?

Good. Now you need to put actions in place. What actions can I put into place in order to reach my compelling future? Example: Buy that book about how to become an entrepreneur. Remember that your actions should be specific, measurable, realistic and time-bound.

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Work continuously on this action plan and feel the excitement burning day by day.

3. How do you see yourself?

Another method to stand up and demand more power is to have a look at how you see yourself.

This can be a touchy subject. We are usually very quick to judge other people. I do it too, however it is awkward to turn those laser eyes on ourselves. In many cases the reason we feel powerless is because we have low self-esteem. How can we rebuild our self-esteem?

First, we need to take stock. Ask the following questions and list the answers. Be sure to respond as honestly and truthfully as possible.

  • What do like about me? This can also be physical things. Example: I am crazy about my legs.
  • What do others like about me? Here you might need to ask your friends or colleagues.
  • What is one thing that I think will make my self-esteem grow? Example: I need to stand up for myself.

 

Then pick someone that you think have good self-esteem (example: Oprah, or anyone that you can think of) and ask the following questions:

  • What in my mind constitutes a person with BIG self-esteem?
  • Is it because they share their opinions without fear?
  • What qualities can I see that makes me think this person has a lot of self-esteem?
  • Make a list of those qualities.

Take a look at the list you created about yourself. What areas do you lack in? What are the qualities that will grow your self-esteem? You now have a couple of qualities that you have identified as problem areas. Work on those problem areas by tackling one area at a time. Also share this with your friends. They will be able to tell you if it is working or not.

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Having self-esteem does not mean that you have the right to be vain and self-centered. Self-esteem will focus you on your path and you will be able to be yourself in every sense of the word.  If you consistently build your self-esteem it will ensure that you take your power back.

 

We should never be fearful of life and hide away in the closet.

You now have some tools to help you take your power back. The onus is on you. The only thing that will hold you back is if you don’t do something to change your situation.

You need to take steps to apply this in your life. Start today. Don’t let anything stop you.

 

Take action and reclaim your power!

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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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