Focus For Success – How to Focus by Living in the Present Moment

If you have ever watched someone doing something they love you will notice how absorbed they are in the task, their complete focus given over to the activity. They are living in the present moment. Ironically, they are consciously aware of what they are doing by being in touch with the most creative part of their mind, the unconscious, where the intuition resides.

You may find it difficult to live in the present. You may be present physically, but entirely removed mentally and emotionally. You make a start then become easily distracted and your concentration lapses. All of these avoidance tactics soak up the energy you need to complete your task.

There are two practices, both drawn from Buddhist philosophy that will aid your concentration and focus. Meditation, practised each day, is the best way to experience present moment awareness. The body is stilled, the mind is consciously aware of the breath and of the many thoughts that arise. They are simply observed and then let go. If you can apply this same ‘letting go’ of unhelpful influences in your every day life this will aid you in working towards present moment awareness.

Mindfulness is the second practice; so that whatever you are doing, whether it be drinking a cup of tea or listening to a friend, you do it mindfully, that is you focus your whole concentration and energy on this one thing.

An added bonus is that living in the present has the effect of drawing you back to your natural centre, of quietening those nagging thoughts that you ‘hear’ because of habits you developed or experiences you encountered growing up. Many of these no longer serve you and will drain your precious energy.

Start now with practising meditation and mindfulness, even five minutes a day to begin with will make a difference to your focus. Soon you will notice how living in the present from moment to moment will move you naturally closer to creativity, growth and success.

Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully

When you negotiate, do you use a system? Do you haphazardly jump into a negotiation without any planning or thought for what you might do if you hit roadblocks? In order to negotiate successfully, good negotiators prepare before a negotiation.

The information that follows outlines seven steps you can use to negotiate successfully.

1. Gather Background Information: When gathering background information, include the style, values, ethnicity, culture, demographics (younger negotiators on/using twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and their way of communicating, versus those that are slower to use these mediums) and other information that’s pertinent to that particular session.

2. Assess your arsenal of tactics and strategies: The more you’re aware of how to use the appropriate tactic with the appropriate strategy, applied at the appropriate time, the more options you’ll have and be able to execute during the negotiation.

3. Create Your Negotiation Plan: Consider the overall strategy you’ll use for the negotiation. Break strategies into tactics. Assess possible strategies the other negotiator might employ. Take into consideration the use of red herrings (Note: Red herrings are items that have little to no value to you that you position as having value, but items that possess real value to the other negotiator). Also consider how you might apply pressure to points (leverage) throughout the negotiation.

4. Engage in the Negotiation Process: Observe body language and mannerisms. This can be done in person, via the phone, and in writing (e-mail, etc.). Note the style in which the other person negotiates (i.e. friendly (let’s get along), reserved (I’m not quite sure how this is going to go and I’m apprehensive), hostile (I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours – the only way for me to win is for you to lose – I’m in the driver’s seat; it’s my way or the highway).

5. Closing the Negotiation: Be on high alert for the conclusion of what you think is an agreement, that serves as the opening of the next phase of the negotiation; in some cultures, this is a common practice. If you’re unsure of the other person’s sincerity, put deliverables into phases of the negotiation.

6. Conduct a Postmortem: Dissect the negotiation. Assess what went right – What could have been improved upon – What you learned from that person about negotiation styles – What lessons should be taken forth into other negotiations – What went wrong – Why did it go wrong – What could you have done differently – What prevented you from using a better tactic/strategy to allow you to gain control of the negotiation).

7. Create Negotiation Archive: Create an archive of your negotiations and store them in a repository. Set up keywords to cross-reference sections, tactics, and strategies in your negotiation write-ups, to be used for the extraction of quick ideas and serve as a resource, for future negotiations.

Whether you’re a negotiation neophyte or a seasoned professional, by using the platform of the “Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully” as your negotiation foundation, you’ll be considerably ahead of the other negotiator… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

• When negotiating, seek advantages that allow you to exploit your strength, but don’t disparage the other negotiator in your enthusiasm to obtain victory.

• When a negotiation outcome is less than expected, learn from the experience. Commit to getting better. Increase your knowledge of how to use the right tactic, with the right strategy(s), aligned with the right situation.

• Make sure you observe and control your biases when assessing the person with whom you’ll be negotiating.

10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Power in Any Negotiation

At the end of the day, negotiating is all about power , who has it, who wants it, and what to do with it. You can read every book out there, you can attend every training class offered, you can even do your own field research, but ultimately what you will be trying to find out is how you can boost your power when you are in a negotiation.

I’ve got some great news for you , you don’t have to do all of that reading, attend all of those classes, or even do any field research. I’ve pulled together the top 10 ways that you can boost your negotiating power. Without any further ado, here they are:

  1. Set the stage to get a “yes” answer: This one is pretty simple , if you make the negotiating environment a positive one you are more likely to get the other side to agree to your proposals. This means that you need to provide plenty of food and drink and you need to take the time to get to know the other side on a personal level.
  2. Take Many Notes: : there is a whole lot of talking going on when you are negotiating and things can get confusing, pretty quickly. The great negotiators are always easy to recognize , they are the ones who are taking lots of notes. This is how they can remember who has made what concessions.
  3. How You Look Matters: : when you are negotiating, you need to dress as though you were at least two, maybe three, levels higher in the company than you really are. The way that you look is the way that the other side of the table will treat you.
  4. More Is Better: : never enter a negotiation by yourself. Make sure that there is always someone else on your side of the table. An extra set of ears, eyes, and notes can only help you do better.
  5. Bring Proof: : Often during a negotiation you will take a position and the other side will challenge you to change your mind in order to make a deal happen. If you have brought along published rules, regulations, or statistics than you can easily defend your position and the other side will have to leave this issue alone.
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice: : Always take the time to practice what you are going to say and how you are going to react the day before the negotiation starts. This is what the pros do.
  7. Keep Your Options Open: : don’t go into a negotiation thinking that you have to have this deal. Instead, do your homework before the negotiation starts and make sure that you know what other options you have.
  8. It’s Not Over Until The MOU Is Signed: : when the negotiations have finished, make sure that you are the one who writes up the final agreement , this is the most powerful role in the whole process.
  9. Keep Your Mouth Shut: : the more you say, the more ammunition the other side has to use against you. Make sure that you say as little as possible and your power will stay strong.
  10. Always Be Ready To Walk Away: :… and ready to come back to the table. The ability to get up and walk away from the negotiating table is a powerful tool. However, don’t be foolish , always come back and see if you can find a way to make more progress.

What All Of This Means For You
Power is a tricky thing in the best of circumstances. During a negotiation, it is even more challenging to deal with. Since it can’t be seen or measured, all too often negotiators decide that there is nothing that they can do about it, you either have it or you don’t.

It turns out that this is not correct, negotiating power is something that the great sales negotiators know how to grow and cultivate. There is no one thing that you can do to build up your negotiating power, rather there are a lot of little things that you can do.

Print out this list and bring it along with you the next time that you start a negotiation. Review it the night before the negotiations start and then put it somewhere where you can easily see it during the negotiations. You’ll be amazed at just how much power you find that you have after all.