Monthly Archives: May 2014

Finding your Purpose

Do you know what your life Purpose is?  If you have difficulty answering this question, you’re not alone…most people can’t readily produce an answer.  It’s almost as if we are acting in a play written by somebody else.  However, it’s never too late to contemplate this question and seek a path to clarity.  Purpose is a big word with broad meaning… but let’s put some parameters around it and clarify that it is not neccessarily a quantifiable term.  Our purpose can be our journey, or rather a way in which we live our lives.  It’s not a destination or an unattainable goal; for that would feel defeating for most people.  Consciously reflecting on our purpose means discovering where our passion lies and how the two intersect in our lives.  Perhaps they don’t intersect, but the contemplative mind may long for that intersection and you may find yourself one step closer to living your passion with each "what if" thought… Then perhaps you will find yourself moving beyond "what if" and signing up for that class you’ve always dreamed of taking and the journey begins… The deliberation with which you seek and step will generate passion which in turns fuels your purpose… Knowing your life purpose will serve you in many ways, but living your life purpose is fulfilling.  Finding a way to blend work and passion is the goal of so many people.  We often find ourselves in jobs that reflect our experience, our skill set or accumulated knowledge.  They often do not reflect our passion.  Knowing your passions will reflect your purpose and aligning them with your work will give you great satisfaction in life.  It may involve taking risks and perhaps starting your own business, but living your purpose fully is the ultimate reward. 

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T. part 3

Our expolration of the acryonm R.E.S.P.E.C.T. now brings us to the final three elements and how they relate to successful Negotiations…

E. Esteem – Esteem is the state of one’s self-worth.  It can range from high to low for different people and while we may be aware of our own state, do we really consider others’ self esteem when we are faced in a negotiation of any kind.  Low self-esteem will produce fear and uncertainty which are sure to detract from a postive and progressive negotiating relationship.  Conversely, high self-esteem sets the stage for vibrant and uplifting interactions, so bear in mind the state of esteem in both parties.  Taking the time to notice your impact on others is critical for a win-win negotiation…Is your self-esteem helping or hindering the process?

C. Courage – Courage in this context means the ability to move through discomfort and uncertainty on behalf of positive outcome. The negotiation relationship is filled with emotions and pressures.  You may ask what the connection is between feelings and courage…simply put, you would not need courage if you didn’t feel fear or apprehension in any given situation.  Courage is then the ability to face uncomfortable feelings and proceed in a positive direction.  The expression of Courage will serve you both personally and professionally when dealing with other parties who are not as in touch with their emotions and will utilize unfair and beligerant tactics to control the situation.  The practice of developing Courage may take time, attention and practice, but it will serve you in immeasurable ways.

T. Truth-Telling – This concept is closely linked with Courage; Truth-Telling can be defined as the avoidance of lying, deception, mis-representation and non-disclosure.  Mistrust is byproduct of these harmful traits in any relationship.  Mistrust in a negotiation will inevitably turn it into a contest of wariness creating a certain win-lose outcome.

Approaching any negotiating relationship with R.E.S.P.E.C.T. will always serve the situation as best as is possible.  There are many intricate factors that play out in a negotiation, and the other party may be coming from an angle acute to yours, but using mutuality, proactivity and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. with integrity will always feel the best and generate the most positive outcome possible.

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T. in Negotiations, part 2

As we continue our series on the fundamentals of Negotiating Success, we will highlight the acronym R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  Please refer to our previous entry on R. for Responsiveness and E. for Empathy.

Let’s continue with S. for Service… What do you think of when you hear the term good Customer Service?  Positive interaction, attentiveness, authenticity?  These qualities are essential in the Negotiation Process as well and will yeild an agreeable outcome in the long run.  Negotiations thrive when the following qualities are present: respectfulness, honor, truthfulness, caring, and positive attitude.  All are factors of Service within the context of Negotiating Succcessfully.

P. for Perspectives.  What is a perspective?  It can be defined as a point of view, belief or opinion.  In Negotations, perspective is a key factor and both parties possess likely different ones.  Perspectives can either enhance the negotiation process or hinder it…when one’s perspective becomes their only way of viewing something, then it can bring the interactions to a halt.  The thoughts and feelings one associates with their Perspective will either serve the situation positively or hinder it completely.  The idea is to become aware that each of us in charge of how we view life and its circumstances.  And that also includes the points of view we adopt during a negotiation.  It is helpful to notice when our perspectives are moving the process forward or setting up roadblocks to progress.

It takes willingness to look for effective perspectives.  It also takes skill to invite them out so that both parties can peacefully select those perspectives best serving the end goal of mutual gain.

Our next entry will address E.C.T., so stay tuned!

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Negotiating with R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Interested in how to make every negotiation a win-win?  Despite our ingrained acceptance that somebody always has to lose in a competition, we can shift our mental paradigm to accept that in every negotiating relationship, a win-win outcome is possible.  Mutuality based negotiations are take into account not only what you get out of the negotiation, but what the other party gets
as well.  The principle of reciprocity states that when we serve others, they are more likely to be inclined to return that service.  This can be a powerful angle from which to view your next negotiation.  By embracing the principles of Mutuality, Proactivity and R.E.S.P.E.C.T., one can transform the way they approach negotiating with others both personally and professionally. 

Let’s look more closely at R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  This empowering acronym will provide insight into the way in which we engage with others and may have you rethinking your approach.

R. stand for Responsiveness.  This falls into the communication realm and is a critical piece of the negotiation puzzle.  Within an exchange of ideas, information or concessions, being responsive to not only the process but the actual pieces of information being exchanged is essential to a positive outcome. 

E. stands for Empathy.  The ability and willingness to understand and relate to the feelings of another.  In any negotiation, both parties bring worries, goals, personal needs and pressures to the table.  The ability to relate to the other party on an emotional level will increase the chances that you will arrive at an outcome that is agreeable to both of you. 

For more on this powerful acronym, stay tuned.

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The Present Manager

There are many qualities a great manager possesses…leadership ability, focus, determination, interpersonal skills.  However, a quality that is equally essential yet less spoken of is "presence".  One can say that effective managing can only happen when one is fully present in the moment.  Of course there are many variables to every moment and if you are managing a large number of people within a large organization, any given moment can feel full of chaos.  However, the practice of "presence" in a leadership role can have an overall positive effect on your entire organization.  Managing from a place of presence allows for deeper clarity and resolve.  Engaging your staff from this place also reaps benefits in the form of trust, understanding and mutual respect.  It also makes room for growth for when you view each moment as its own moment, then the possibilities and opportunities seem infinite.  The staff you are leading and the projects you are managing are always changing and staying present as a manager is about dancing in the moment knowing that each opportunity is a new one. This is a vibrant knowledge and it creates adaptability, resilience and awareness; qualities that separate great leaders from exceptional leaders. 

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