Monthly Archives: April 2016

Back-Planning and Pre-Planning: Small Moves, Big Results

Think back to your childhood. Before going to bed, what did you do?  In getting up and getting ready for school, what did you do? What about preparing to eat? What about the chores you were given?

Maybe you didn’t like the rules that your parents laid down about school and nap-times, and clean-up and homework, and about eating your vegetable and picking up your toys when you were done playing. But all that training served a purpose: you were being taught to think ahead and prepare the things you need ahead of time.

You were shown a model of behavior to copy when you were young, so that when you grew older, you would know what to do and do it by yourself, on your own and of your own volition. Most importantly, you were shown that you can do things even if you don’t feel like doing them. This installed a sense of discipline, self-regulation, and self-care for you. And bringing that all together is the fact that all of it is meant to instill a sense of organization meant to help you throughout your life.

Why are you organized?
To get what you need when you need it– no scrabbling around, no going on an expedition to find it.
To move efficiently and effectively,  saving time, energy, and effort.
To have order in your life — and structure too.

When we talk about productivity, there are certain key areas which where we need to be clear about because of the challenges we face today: Continue reading Back-Planning and Pre-Planning: Small Moves, Big Results

Why You Need to Learn Negotiation Skills

Life is all about negotiation. We do it every day in ways we don’t even recognize as negotiation. For instance, internally, we bargain with ourselves all the time. Five more minutes and then we’ll get up. Finish these last three pages and then we can go get coffee. We weigh our needs against our wants, and try to work things out to get the best possible result that we can out given the requirements of a particular situation.

Externally, we do this all the time. We just don’t think of it like the formal sort of negotiations we see in media. It could be as simple as asking if someone is available to talk to, for example, then suggesting alternative times or ways to communicate, like sending a follow-up email, or leaving a voicemail.  Basically, we ask if something is possible, then we find a way to work with the information and the reactions that we get.

The goal of negotiation is to work things out so that the people involved get what they need amicably, without feeling cheated or taken advantage of. Everyone with a stake in the proceeding gets to have their time, and during it, consensus and concessions are made and given.

At times the word “compromise” can come off in a rather bad way because sometimes we take it to mean “Everyone walks away unhappy, and not with all of what we want.” That comes from seeing all the dramatized negative spin in movies and popular media, and from how we’re socialized to believe winning is the only way to succeed, and for someone to win, someone else has to lose.

We have to understand that that’s not what compromise is about. Compromise is not ‘capitulation’, which is giving in. A compromise is the result of people coming to an agreement on the results they want out of the negotiation, where both parties can move forward.

Negotiation is an incredibly valuable  skill to develop and the more you practice it, the easier it gets .

Self negotiation and self-discipline — psyching yourself into doing something hard or uncomfortable now and rewarding yourself or enjoying the pay-off later, trains you to put the long-term good over the short-term boost, and the more impactful returns over shallower ones. Continue reading Why You Need to Learn Negotiation Skills