Pillars of Success – Embrace The Present

As we progress through the journeys of our lives, careers and businesses, we often stop to reflect on where we are at a given point in time. Like mapping any trip, we have certain expectations of our progress along the way. Similarly, setting timelines for our goals make them more tangible and urgent. What happens, however, when we find ourselves at a place other than where we expected? A typical reaction is to explain, excuse or perhaps even criticize. The mere fact that we see ourselves as not being “as far along as we should be” passes negative judgment and sets the stage for the world of scarcity thinking. The situations where this kind of scarcity thinking can creep into our psyche are numerous. Here are some examples that may be familiar:

A person begins something that is new and uncertain and finds themselves in a group situation such as a class or educational program. Immediately, they start compare themselves to other and begin to think that “everyone else is so much more qualified or further along” and wonder how they will ever catch or keep up.
A corporate professional thinks their career is passing them by. They see themselves passed over time and time again for recognition, leadership opportunities or promotions. They wonder how it is that they are so stuck where they are and others are moving ahead of them
A new entrepreneur who is sure that they have done all the right things still hasn’t achieved what they thought they would by this stage of their business. Like the professional, they see their peers moving effortlessly toward greater success. They may try new and different things, grasping at this idea or that but become more frustrated or despondent that they are still stuck.
In each of these examples and in others like them, the constraints of scarcity thinking become apparent. What is focused on with laser intensity is “WHAT IS NOT”: what skills are deficient, what career progress or entrepreneurial success is not attained. The Present reinforces our sense of failure as seen through the lens of our own expectations or our assumptions about someone else’s journey.

Step back for a moment and imagine that whatever your circumstances, whatever your present situation, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Where we are at any point in time is the cumulative effect of each of the decisions, actions, external events and our responses to them. Thus, while we may not be where we expected to be, we are where we are supposed to be. By embracing the present, we allow ourselves to discover the unique opportunities that are available to us right here and right now. Instead of beating ourselves up for not being somewhere else, we can identify the options that may have been overlooked otherwise. Perhaps instead of being “stuck”, we are where we are because there is knowledge or information that we need to gather before taking our next steps. Finally, consider the possibility that we are where we are because we need the chance to step back, catch our breath and enjoy things that may have been pushed to the side in the pursuit of our goals.

Our goals and objectives are like stops or progress points on a trip. We set a target for where we would like to be at a certain point on our journey. What would you do if you find yourself in Flagstaff at the end of your day’s travels instead of Albuquerque? Do you “fire” yourself? Do you cancel your trip or give up and go home? Do you keep driving relentlessly to make Albuquerque before you stop? Probably not. Instead, you likely consider the circumstances that brought you as far as you are, reassess your journey and plans and then go out to discover the surprises of a place that don’t know very well. The same approach works for our life and professional goals as well. It’s your journey, and each stop along the way is an important part of the map that will guide you where you want to go. Enjoy where you are. You are supposed to be here.

How To Use Good Questions To Win More Negotiations – Negotiation Tip of the Week

What thought do you give to the questions you’ll ask during a negotiation? Do you consider how you’ll deliver the questions and the impact that will have on how the question is perceived? Good questions, posed at the appropriate time in a negotiation, can be the teller that determines if a negotiation will be successful or a dud.

You can definitely win more negotiations by posing the following informational gathering and insightful questions.

Why would I do that? (The response gives you insight into the other negotiator’s thoughts as to why the point/deal offering should be perceived as beneficial to you. You can use the point against him by asking if he’d accept it. If there’s equity in it, that will also give you insight into where he is mentally and physically (i.e. starting to possibly tire of the negotiation or revving up).

What would you ask to get more information? (Gather insight, and possibly new ideas, about what else can be done to overcome an impasse and/or advance the negotiation).

How can we make this a win/win outcome? (This gives you insight per what he perceives to be a winning outcome for both of you and allows you to glimpse the direction he’d like to see the negotiation take).

What part of the story/offer needs to be clearer? (Seeking his specific perspective and understanding of what’s been discussed that my need clarification).

Where does your keen interest lie? (This question can be used when you’re being questioned and want to take control of the negotiation – the person asking the questions is the person in control of the negotiation).

What deal would you want me to offer you that I would accept? (This is a very powerful question because it calls into play the sense of fairness. The response will also give you a sense of how fair the other negotiator is, or is willing to appear).

To add power to the delivery of your question(s), display the appropriate effect to make it more impactful (i.e. wincing, speaking faster/slower, learning forward/backward, etc). Such nonverbal cues will add more meaning to your words. Also, when posing such questions, if the opposing negotiator is slow to respond, wait! That could mean he’s going deeper into thought mode. If you sense he’s having an ‘aha moment’, dig deeper. Ask him what thoughts came from your question, or what thought(s) he just had. Sensing such nonverbal gestures is where reading body language enhances your negotiation efforts. The point is, when an ‘aha moment’ occurs take note of the body language emitted at that time. As additional insight, leaning away can imply moving away from the question to give it deeper thought, while leaning forward can give insight that he’s ready to address the question head-on. In any case, note what the body language was prior to the question (i.e. relaxed, stern, contemplating, etc), and what became of it after his response.

While some questions can be used to obfuscate the opposing negotiator, be careful when doing so. There are times when the appearance of your superiority is appropriate and other times when such will appear to be ‘speaking down to someone’. Know the difference, based on the circumstances at that time, when it’s appropriate to use questions that position you in one stance versus another. The point is, make sure such position serves you… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Debt Negotiation – 3 Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of people who were in debt because of the current economic situation. This is unfortunate but it is not the end of the world, you can help yourself out of debt with good sound economic advice, a bit of education, and of course learning how to negotiate your debts. Here are some frequently asked questions about debt negotiation.

1. What is the first thing I should do if I need debt negotiation?

The first thing that you should do is to start taking account of what you are spending. If you need debt negotiation then you are obviously spending too much money, more money going out than there is money coming in. So you need to sit down and write a list of all the money that you owe to your creditors. Then you need to make a list of the essential purchases that you need to make every month. Add to this list the essential bills that you need to pay every month. Take your expenses from your income and you have a fairly accurate figure for the monthly amount which you can use to pay off your debts.

2. Are there different methods of debt negotiation?

There are debt negotiation companies who will be able to help you negotiate with your creditors. This can sometimes involve setting up a trust fund, where enough money is saved until the company can begin reasonable negotiations on your behalf. You can also attempt the negotiation yourself. This will involve you calling up each of your creditors and letting them know that you are having financial problems. It is in their interests to help you.

3. Is there anything I should be doing after debt negotiation?

After your debts have been negotiated, you need to seriously start thinking about why you were in debt in the first place. This means that you should embark on a course of debt education. This will involve improving your budgeting skills, and help you to realize that you can lead a very happy and fulfilling life without spending lots of money.