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What Every Introvert Should Do to Live a Great Life

What Every Introvert Should Do to Live a Great Life

An introvert by definition is a person who is predominantly concerned with his own thoughts and feelings rather than external things. Introverts possess characteristics seen as shy, reticent, and are often assumed to be self-centered.

Introverts are people holding a treasure that is worth discovering. They are not people who hate people, but they prefer to be alone rather than to be in the crowd surrounded. There are positive aspects to both introverts and extroverts, and this article will explore the positive aspects of life as an introvert, and how you can embrace the different parts to live a happy life.

1. Confronting part (internal)

As some people prefer to be around others–introverts– some people like to be left alone with their own thoughts–the introverts. Confronting with oneself is the most important part of being introvert. If you tend to enjoy more time alone then be more alone. If you force yourself to go in the crowd just to pretend to be someone you are not, you are going to experience mood failure.

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Before making someone else happy, we need to have positive energy to share that happiness. If we go against our happiness, it’s bad for our health, happiness, and the environment.

Energy is flow–every atom vibrate at any given frequency, which proves that we have waves of positivity or negativity to share, depending on our mood status. Do not go against your own self because that’s the destructive part and trouble maker.

2. Cope with public (external)

Okay, let’s not confuse some things. Being an introvert is not a person who hates people and would rather be swaying in the corner, sitting alone in the dark room, than to be present in a bright room full of people.

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Coping with the public is cheerful for everyone. Introverts need less time with people, but they vitally need that part. Sharing our thoughts and having someone to understand us is always a must. Introverts have fewer people they can open up to. That means introverts external part is a must, but the number of people they open up is few. They prefer smaller entourage, rather than bigger one.

Some imagine introverts as Will Smith from I Am Legend, which is a common misconception. They are happy having a small, close circle of friends rather than a crowd.

3. Accepting part (internal and external)

The part where the flow of the chemistry with oneself combines is the part where we accept ourselves as the person we are.

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After confronting, we need to accept and live by that rule our whole life. It’s something like having a code. Introverts live by the code expressed by the quote “I’m rarely bored alone; I’m often bored in groups and crowds.”

Having fun and enjoying with oneself is a gift that needs to be embraced. Lot people I personally know, and many of my close friends, can’t be left alone. They seek someone to hangout and must be around the crowd. That states them as extroverts and they accept that.

Extroverts have one funny quote which describes them perfect “When people assume something’s wrong because you don’t feel like talking.” Usually, if we don’t assume that is wrong, there is quite big possibility that they are introverts because the mind speaks all the time, either we share that voice with people or we keep it to ourselves. Even when we sleep, we often dream. “That thing” up there never sleeps.

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We have to confront ourselves, combine with our feelings, see what makes us happy, and accept that we are the way we are.

Featured photo credit: Happy Girl Hopscotch in Strawberry Free Creative Commons/Pink Sherbet Photography via flickr.com

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What Every Introvert Should Do To Live A Great Life

What Every Introvert Should Do To Live A Great Life

As an introvert, I understand how life seems quite overwhelming. Constant anxiety and nervousness when engaging with people, especially those who are out of our comfort zone, feels inhibiting. Moreover, one gets misunderstood on many levels by extroverts, and this adds to our frustrations when trying to communicate. The below tips help in alleviating some of our woes, so that we introverts can live great and fulfilling lives.

1. Fit in.

Fitting into a social gathering or a party may seem exhausting for introverts. Bring in a friend or a colleague with whom you are comfortable. Alternatively, come early to the party when the crowd is thin to identify and meet people who share your interests. This way when the party gets loud and the room gets crowded, you are already in your comfort zone.

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2. Over-communicate.

Man is a social animal, and seeks constant communication and feedback with anyone he encounters. For introverts, this is not something that is easy to internalize. To compensate for this lack of understanding, always over-communicate. Acknowledge anyone you meet. The acknowledgement need not be verbal; a smile on the face or a pat on the back works well too. Similarly, when communicating your feelings and emotions with others, don’t be shy about your feedback. Be assertive, and, if necessary, repetitive in getting the message across.

3. Focus the conversation.

As introverts, we do not like meandering around endless conversations. Such conversations seem pointless and a waste of energy. Rather than getting frustrated in the cacophony of noise, one should focus the conversation with objective, reflective, interpretive and decisional questions. This helps to maintain our mental equilibrium, to add meaning to the conversation, and, if lucky, to bring the conversation to a logical end.

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4. Prepare.

Prepare in advance before you attend a social gathering, or a meeting. Have some topics of conversation ready. Be ready with what you want to share. If possible play out in your head how you would like to steer the conversation. Think of all the diversions and how would you tackle them. This may seem cumbersome at the start, but once you have a standard script ready, it is easy to customize for just about any occasion.

5. Know your limits.

Understand your limits, and do not push them without reason. It is OK to say “no” if you are not comfortable attending a social event. Even at the workplace, although it may not be possible to say “no” all the time, one should give subtle hints if one is not comfortable engaging in certain activities. Moreover, instead of getting intimidated or overwhelmed by people around you, try to adapt. For example, if you have a chatterbox as a colleague around you, then it would be wise to invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones.

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6. Invest your energy wisely.

As Introverts, we have a fixed amount of patience and energy to deal with social engagements, be it personal or professional. It is important to invest our energies wisely. For example, if I have a big marketing event to attend in the evening, then I will try to have a peaceful and quiet morning. In addition, I rarely schedule exhausting social interactions on consecutive days. Try to pick and choose your social events, instead of attending every event that comes your way.

7. Breathe in; meditate.

There are days, when life gets overwhelming. We tend to freeze up. Taking the next step seems like a chore. Sometimes we get worked up over trivial issues, and small issues snowball into huge panic attacks . In those times, understand that it is all in your mind. Take a deep breath, and meditate on what is bothering you. Once you identify it, try to do a mental pro-con list and objectively analyze if makes sense to spend any more energy on the issue. If yes, make a note of it and decide to come back to it at a later time. If no, take another deep breath and move on.

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8. Write.

Journaling day-to-day activities is a great way to understand your emotions and feelings. It allows you to come back to issues or conflicts that are bothersome. Having a dialogue with oneself, through journal writing, helps to arrive at surprising conclusions, ones that could never be reached while ruminating the same thoughts in your mind again and again. This extends to writing on blogs or writing books. If blogging helps you to establish a presence in the online world, and then extend those relationships in the real world, then all power be to you.

9. Schedule some “me time.”

As Introverts, we need our time and space to recharge ourselves. It is fine to stay at home to clean your apartment or room of all the unwanted clutter. In this way, we make sure that our environment is safe and nurturing for us. Similarly, one can go out for a walk or a run. This provides the needed solitude required to recharge, along with the added benefit of releasing endorphins that make you feel great. Do whatever works for you, and make sure that others do not encroach on your “me time.”

10. Be yourself.

We introverts have feelings and emotions to hide away from everything and everyone around us. Part of the reason might be that we do not like to explain ourselves or our actions to others. However, these are not healthy feelings. At best, they work contribute to ostracizing ourselves from the world. And for most of us, this is not our final aim. Instead, one needs to understand and celebrate the traits that make you an introvert. Sooner rather than later, you should realize that the traits that made you seem out of place earlier are the ones that help you to be successful in life.

Featured photo credit: Mark J Sebastian via flickr.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.

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.

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.

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.

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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