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60 Thought Provoking Questions That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

60 Thought Provoking Questions That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

We spend most of our lives whizzing through our days. There is precious little time to self-reflect in order to change our perspective on life.

These questions are designed to help you get started on one of the most important things you can do for yourself; become more self-reflective in order to improve yourself and your relationships.

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As you read these questions, consider how they might challenge long held assumptions you may have about yourself and others.

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  1. Who are the people you surround yourself with?
  2. Do you have a personal mission statement?
  3. How do you express your gratitude for good things and people you have in your life?
  4. What are you spending your money on?
  5. Are you satisfied with your work?
  6. If you had unlimited resources, how would you live your life?
  7. Did you pause to celebrate the last time you accomplished a goal, big or small?
  8. Do you consider yourself worthy of love and admiration?
  9. How do you react when you encounter a homeless person?
  10. Do you meditate daily for at least 5 minutes?
  11. What story are you telling yourself about your life?
  12. How do you deal with failure?
  13. What is your favorite quote?
  14. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? Do you have a plan to get there?
  15. What messages have you internalized?
  16. What inspires you?
  17. If you could only speak one word today, what would you say?
  18. When was the last time you took some time to be alone?
  19. If you could spend 15 minutes with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Why?
  20. Did you say “I love you” to the most important person in your life today?
  21. What step can you take today in order to fulfill your deepest desire?
  22. How have you educated yourself today?
  23. What did failure to reach your goal teach you about yourself?
  24. Did you read a positive or uplifting book today?
  25. Are you holding on to any past mistakes?
  26. What habits are holding you back from success?
  27. Are you feeding your fears or your hopes and dreams?
  28. What gives you peace?
  29. How do you challenge your assumptions?
  30. What is the biggest frustration you’re facing now?
  31. Are your goals and dreams written down?
  32. What is your relationship with money?
  33. How do you keep a sense of perspective when life gets difficult?
  34. Are you a good listener?
  35. What gives you meaning?
  36. How often do you keep in touch with family and friends?
  37. What is the source of your procrastination?
  38. How much time are you spending on social media?
  39. Are you able to say no, even when it makes you unpopular?
  40. Who are your professors in the school of life?
  41. Do you bring your work home with you?
  42. When was the last time you had an exciting idea that kept you awake most of the night? Are you pursuing that idea today?
  43. What are the top 2 compliments you hear from people about yourself?
  44. When someone sees your name on caller ID, what thoughts and feelings do you want them to have?
  45. Have you ever invested in yourself financially? Why or why not?
  46. If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
  47. What books have influenced you the most?
  48. Who are the people under your influence?
  49. Do you trust your own instincts?
  50. Do you choose happiness or leave it to chance?
  51. Are you open to experiencing something outside your comfort zone everyday?
  52. What small habit can you change today?
  53. What’s your favorite exercise routine?
  54. Name one psychological barrier in your life? What is it holding you back from doing?
  55. Do you fear rejection? What are you doing to overcome this fear?
  56. Do you follow through on commitments?
  57. How many times a day do you check your email?
  58. Are you content? If not, what is the source of your lack of contentment?
  59. If you could eliminate one things from your life today, what would it be?
  60. Who are you becoming?

I encourage you to go through the questions again, slowly and deliberately. This list is not exhaustive, so I hope it inspires you to ask more thought provoking questions and inspire you for the better.

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Featured photo credit: hahanriji via pixabay.com

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More by this author

Cylon George

A spiritual chaplain and blogger who writes about practical spiritual tips for busy people.

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear People Who Live Better Than Others Are Well Aware Of These Harsh Truths 34 Things You Can Do Internally To Prepare For External Success 15 Signs You Are Too Busy And Should Stop 60 Thought Provoking Questions That Will Change Your Perspective On Life

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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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