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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Negotiating for a Pay Rise, the Three Stages of Negotiation

We all want our bosses to pay us better. That is certain. However, if you do not communicate your intentions for better pay, your boss may not get the message.

You will have to take matters into your own hands and negotiate for the pay rise that you deserve.

But how do you do this? You will first have to understand some aspects in the negotiation process. Recall in a previous post, i gave an introduction to negotiation.

What is negotiation anyway? How is negotiation defined?

Well, negotiation is defined as a process between two or more parties in which they consider alternatives to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution(s) or reach mutually satisfactory objectives.

We need to treat negotiation as an agreeable process. Without it, you cannot do or achieve what you want.

View negotiation as a process. Without the other party, you cannot achieve what you want.

Treat negotiation as an opportunity to work together to achieve a mutual goal that would have been impossible for either one person to achieve alone.

Now, let us look at the three stages of negotiation. They are,

Preparation, Interaction and Agreement.

1st Stage - Preparation

In preparation, the situation is established such that both parties understand the entire situation.

2nd Stage - Interaction

In the interaction phase of negotiation, both parties establish rapport, verify assumptions and information about the situation and work towards establishing a mutually beneficially situation.

Rapport is important as it is important to establishing a positive relationship between both parties.

3rd Stage - Agreement

In this final stage, the parties come to an agreement.

Sound simple, it is. Let us see how this is applied to a negotiation for a pay rise.

Negotiating for a Pay Rise

In stage one, you will have to know your objective. Know how much to ask and how much to settle for before hand. Find out if you are able to throw in any sweeteners that you can throw in on your part such as offering to take up additional tasks or responsibilities.

Finally, do find out the hiring limitations that are imposed on your boss. For example, your boss may not be authorized to give pay increases, but may be authorized to dispense other benefits such as additional paid leave.

In the interaction phase of stage two, know beforehand what to say before you step in to the office. Perhaps you could schedule a meeting to discuss the review to ensure that your boss has the free time and will be mentally prepared to discuss the situation in an objective manner.

Have material ready to verify any assumptions that your boss might make. Have quantifiable evidence to justify your achievements over this period.

The final agreement phase, you will discover whether your boss is ready to meet your requests.

Strive to agree. If your boss denies your request, do find out what is the limiting factor and agree to review the situation in a few months time.

I do hope that the next time you negotiate for a pay rise, it will go well for you!!! Do bookmark this article if you found it useful.

If you are interested in this post, do consider checking out the related posts in the negotiation mini series.
- An Introduction to Negotiation
- Negotiation Tactics - Part 1
- Negotiation Tactics - Part 2

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Presentation Tips

Just imagine. You're presenting the results of your technical analysis to a group of managers. What do you do?

Please select the appropriate choice.

Do you...

a) Give a detailed, drawn-out elaboration about your recommendation, how you arrived at it, leaving out no details, including every technical tidbit hoping to impress everybody with your meticulous attitude.

b) Give a simple and to the point presentation of the results together with a basic outline. Hoping that your simple and clear presentation brings the message across.

The answer? ......

It depends on the audience!!!

Every presentation should always be centered on the audience. Do profile your audience before you prepare your presentation.

If your audience is a group of technical managers who are really into technical details, by all means, go wild with choice A.

On the other hand, if your audience is a mixed group of managers from many external departments with limited technical knowledge about the subject, avoid boring them with lengthy details.

Provide them with just enough background information to give understanding. Focus on their objectives for attending this presentation. The recommended approach here would be choice B.

Its that simple...

If you enjoyed this post, do bookmark it or subscribe to the feed. Many thanks.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Introduction to Negotiation

Negotiation skills are essential in everyday life.

Nope, i’m not talking about the struggle with the used car salesman. I’m talking about our daily everyday lives. We negotiate everyday without even knowing about it.

Take for instance you are with a friend and you feel like having pizza for lunch while your friend on the other hand, wants Mexican food. It is up to you to negotiate a win-win situation.

So, this being an introduction to the different aspects of negotiation, i will now compare and contrast the various aspects of negotiations.

Firstly, lets look at bargaining.

This is the most obvious form of negotiation know to us, such as the used car salesman example mentioned earlier.

It occurs when a buyer interacts with a seller, and the objective for each party is to maximise each individual’s maximum gains.

However, this case presents a zero sum game to the buyer as well as the seller. A party’s gain is the other party’s loss.

If the salesman manages to convince the buyer to buy at a high price, the salesman wins but the buyer loses. It is a zero-sum game.

The second type of negotiation is the auction.

In this case, the buyers bid against each other, with no interaction between seller and buyer. It is a form of reverse bargaining where the buyers are trying to out-do one another to get the highest price.

Finally, the last form is negotiation.

Negotiation is a form of corporation, and not a confrontation. The unique thing about negotiation is that additional values can be created to provide a win-win senerio, and this distinguishes it from bargaining.

Let me illustrate this point with an example. In bargaining, when the car salesman and buyer haggle over the price, one party has to lose for the other party to win.

However, in negotiation, each individual can create additional pockets of value to sweeten the pot. The car salesman could throw in some freebies such as rust protector coating while the buyer could offer to pay upfront in cash. These allows a win-win situation to be created more easily.

Negotiation is a process between two or more parties in which they consider alternatives to arrive at mutually agreeable solutions. Do consider alternatives when trying to influence people to get your way. Be a better communicator, today!

If you are interested in this post, do consider checking out the related posts in the negotiation mini series.
- An Introduction to Negotiation
- The Three Stages of Negotiation
- Negotiation Tactics - Part 1
- Negotiation Tactics - Part 2

Sunday, June 15, 2008

10 Attention Grabbers for Better Public Speaking

A good speech will definitely make use of attention grabbers. In public speeches, the audience will generally have rather short attention spans.

Hence, in long speeches that are 2 hours or more, there is a need to have more compelling attention grabbers in order to capture and maintain the audience’s attention.

Let us look at some features of an effective attention grabber.

- Firstly, effective attention grabbers are sometimes unexpected

- Secondly, audiences usually have their own worries and troubles on their minds. Does the attention grabber break the pre-occupation that is pre-existing in their minds?

- Next, does it generate curiosity in the minds of the audience?

- Finally, does the attention grabber relevant to the message of the speaker? Does it create a positive relationship?

With these factors in mind, let us look at 10 commonly used attention grabbers.

1. Ask a question – Asking a question challenges the mind of the audience, putting them in a thinking active mode instead of a receiving passive mode. A question is easy to ask and also serves as an effective tool to buy the speaker time to think about the next point.

2. Use an anecdote or story – Everybody loves a good story, so why not tell a good one? This story can be anything in the real world that is related to your topic.

3. Give a definition – This technique is good for speeches at scientific conferences for instance, and helps to clarify ambiguous terms within the speech.

4. Use a quote – A quote, when used appropriately, can easily be used to motivate, inspire or enthrall an audience.

5. Use an analogy – This technique involves likening the topic of subject to a more understandable frame of reference that the audience can understand. It is useful when describing certain features or benefits.

For example, you could say; “Finding the correct job ls like finding the correct pair of shoes, you know when you have found a perfect fit.” By using an analogy to relate your focus to a more common image, this will allow the audience to relate to your message more easily.

6. Use humor – It is common knowledge that audiences enjoy funny speeches. However, the trick to a good attention grabber is to use humor that is relevant to the topic.

7. Relate a personal experience – Personal experiences shared under this context must firstly, be interesting. Secondly, it has to be related to your message. The audience must be able to make the link between your story and your message or else what you will be doing is merely to tell the audience a story about yourself.

8. Give a demonstration – Conducting a demonstration helps people who like to absorb information visually. It also helps provide variety to your speech and serves as an interesting distraction to a tired audience.

9. Do a survey – A survey involves a question posed to the entire audience with the intention of determining their response as a group based on a show of hands. This allows you to count the response and will give you a rough idea of the situation.

10. Give a quiz – A quiz is similar to an actual test where questions of a more specific nature are posed to each member of an audience. It is generally not used for presentations of a more formal nature and is more appropriate for training-type workshops.

Attention grabbers are an important aspect to a successful public speech. It grabs and holds the attention of the audience allowing you to deliver your message with impact. Use attention grabbers to communicate better, today!

If you have found this post useful, you might be interested in the following
- The 3 Simplest Steps to a Better Vocal Presentation
- Control your Presentation Fears
- Give Better Oral Presentations

You might also be interested in
How to Give Your Best Speech or Presentation Ever: A Step-by-Step Manual for Speaking in Public

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When a Wedding Invitation becomes Bad News

Imagine receiving a wedding invitation and groaning in dismay. Can’t imagine it? Well, South Koreans can.

I will have to fork out USD147 to attend 3 weddings,” lamented a 25 year old South Korean clerk, who earns about USD$1750 a month.

A recent report in the local newspaper highlighted the plight that many South Koreans face. Currently, South Koreans have a tradition of supporting one another by giving money at each wedding occasion.

According to their National Statistical Office, each household gave out an average of USD505 last year. (Average monthly household income is USD 3,509 as of 1Q 2007 according to the Korea National Statistical office)

According to a market research company, 90 percent of South Korean workers reported to be “stressed” by the expenses incurred during such occasions.

South Korea is an example of a typical society which places a greater emphasis on connections. Such practices are essential in maintaining a person’s social networks and are essential if reciprocation is expected on your own special occasions.

For some people, the practice of giving money at a wedding is an opportunity to highlight a person’s relationship with the family of the newlyweds. This has implications even in the business world as well. When children of important business leaders get married, many unfamiliar faces often show up with such gifts.

The act of being generous with your time as well as your money is an important aspect in being a people person. Most successful businessmen are known to be generous with their money when it comes to entertaining.

To become better liked, perhaps you should consider adopting a more generous mindset. Give and you shall receive. It is part of removing the focus from yourself and focusing on the needs of others. Only then will you be able to relate better to others and achieve the happiness that all of us crave as a result.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Conversation Starters

Are you looking for conversation starters? How does one start a conversation anyway?

Don’t you admire people who waltz into a room and immediately find themselves immediately sharing jokes with someone, while you’re standing alone, all self-conscious, hoping for something to happen?
The thing is, we all feel nervous when encountering strangers for the first time. We all wait for someone to come and talk to us.

Take the initiative and talk to someone. Chances are, that person will be relieved that you did and you would have gained valuable experience as well as an increased sense of confidence.

Starting a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, but the rewards can be great. Here are some conversation starters that can help you start a conversation.

Greet and introduce yourself – The most basic technique available. All you need to know is the word “Hello” together with your name.

State a fact – This is something that is known as small talk. If you’re seated in the audience waiting for the show/speech to start, you could turn to the person seated beside you and say: “Lots of people seated here today.” or something to that effect, just to try to break the ice.

Make an inquiry – This is an easy one. Just ask someone around you a question. Everybody likes to feel important, and asking them a question is a way to say: “I think you are knowledgable and I want to hear what you have to say.”

Use a leading question – A leading question is one which attempts to guide the respondent's answer. Leading questions which lead the conversation to a certain topic could easily serve as a good conversation starter, and will depend on the situation at hand.

Ask open ended questions – Open-ended questions are questions that encourage people to talk. They help in establishing rapport and helps gathers information about the speaker. These questions avoid simple brief response such “yes” or “no.” which may easily kill off the flow of the conversation. These include questions such as “Tell me more about yourself.”

Pay a complement – This is something that will definitely endear you to the other person fast. Everybody likes to be complemented, and as long as it is done sincerely, from the heart, there is absolutely no drawback.

Look for items on the person to comment – This technique is usually used in tandem with paying a complement. When you look at a person, immediately identify something nice which that person is wearing and mention it.

John Maxwell, one of the world’s leading experts of leadership, has a 30-second rule. He advocates saying something nice to each person you meet 30 seconds upon meeting them. If each individual in this world follows this rule, the world will indeed become a better place to live in.

The above are proven conversation starters that can be used to help break the ice with a stranger.

When employing these conversation starter techniques, do remember to employ the basic techniques of interpersonal communication such as practice active listening as well as becoming genuinely interested in the other person. Follow the five techniques of good interpersonal communication.
This will not only allow you to get the conversation started, but also to get it moving as well. Start talking and practice better interpersonal communication, today!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Entrecard Self Improvement Drop List

There are a lot of entrecard drop list around. However, most of them feature sites of a random nature. What if you could do your daily drops and improve yourself at the same time?

Now you can with the

Entrecard Self Improvement Drop List

featuring fast loading Self Improvement (health and self development) sites. (Last Updated 16th July 2012)

Here are the sites

1. Better Interpersonal Communication
2. Life's Journeys
3. Wonder Wealth Wisdom
4. livelife365
5. Modus Vivendi - Art Therapy
6. My Dog Ate My Resume
7. Therapy Home
8. Using Humor
9. Losing It - Getting Fit
10. Lazy Bear Blogs

11. Peace, love & happiness unto the whole world
12. Art by Tomas
13. How To $urvive A Layoff Blog
14. Thoughts From MY Cluttered Mind
15. I Empower Myself
16. Tomas' Sketchbook
17. Blessings For Life
18. Your site here

Other Recommended Self Improvement Sites

If you would like to add your site to the list to receive more drops on your entrecard, here are the necessary requirements:

- Your site needs to be related to self improvement. (Health, Psychological, Self Improvement tips etc...) Anything that improves a reader.

- At least 1 month old with at least 10 posts. (Exceptions can be made for reasonably designed sites with interesting posts)

- Your entrecard needs to be above the fold (visible when your page loads without having to scroll down)

- A compulsory reciprocal link to this blog on your site (Using either one of the code provided below) - This helps to promote our drop list!

- Stumble, digg or reddit this page to help me promote this list. (Optional)

The more popular the list becomes, the more drops for you!

That is all. If you meet the following qualifications, leave a comment here (Or message me at Entrecard) with your details and I’ll add you to the list.

This code was designed to blend below or above your entrecard widget

Entrecard Self Improvement Drop List
Copy the code below

Entrecard Self Improvement Drop List
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I will be creating an Entrecard Self Development Easy Bookmark and may also be holdng a contest to promote this list once it is finalised, so do stay timed for that.
Finally, do contact me if you have any comments or suggestions. Thanks

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Magical Formula to Stop All Worry Situations


Our fast paced lives are plagued with worry, from worry over our health, to our finances, to other small stuff. Worry is a part of our lives. What if someone were to come up with a magical formula specially designed to abolish the problem of worry from our lives?
The following magical 3 step process on how to stop and handle worry situations, as mentioned in the book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie, comes from Willis H. Carrier, founder of the famous Carrier Air Conditioning Corporation.

Step 1: ASK yourself, ‘What is the worst that could happen?”
Analyse the situation without fear and in a truthful manner and figure out “What was the worst that could possibly happen?”

Step 2: Prepare to ACCEPT it if you have to.
After figuring out what was the worst that could possibly happen, you should reconcile yourself to accept it, if necessary.

Step 3: Calmly proceed to IMPROVE on the worst.
Finally, strive to devote your time and energy on trying to improve on the worst which you have already accepted mentally.

Let us apply this 3 step process on a real life business example. Take the fear of presentating an important proposal to the senior management of a company for instance.
Instead of wearing yourself out worrying about the situation, apply the 3 step formula stated above.

Firstly, ask yourself, what is the worst that could possibly happen? Maybe your proposal will be rejected and you will be fired, or your company will lose a million dollars as a result.

Next, accept the worst. If you are fired, one can always reapply for another job. It might be a new opportunity to try out new things or explore other exciting opportunities. If your company lost money, accept the lost. At least you gained some valuable experience from the incident.

Finally, having accepted the worst, you are now likely to be in a better mental state and more ready to be able to handle the problem.
In our example, the presentation has not taken place yet. You can devote your time and energy to improve on your presentation so as to perform to the best of your abilities. The calmer mental state as a result of accepting the worst case situation will surely be able to improve your presentation.

So, as the popular Bob Marley song goes...

Here's a little song i wrote,
you might want to sing it note for note,
don't worry, be happy

in every life we have some trouble,
when you worry you make it double
don't worry, be happy

Don't worry, be happy. Follow the above 3 step formula to stop and eliminate all the worry from your life... :)