Baby Shower Gifts – Presentation is a Plus!

Are you invited to a baby shower? Then you must bring something special for the mom-to-be. Presentation is a plus when giving gift to a dear friend. Before you wrap the gift, you have to know first the sex of the upcoming baby, or if it is intended for the mom, wrap the gift in a way that she would surely appreciate. To cut down confusion, here are some ideas on how to wrap baby shower gifts creatively.

If you are going to a baby shower but pretty unsure if the baby is going to be a boy or girl, wrap the present in a gender-neutral color such as white, green, silver, or yellow. Instead of using one ribbon on the wrapped present, make it two. You can use two colored ribbons, in neutral colors of course, that will make two different colored bows on the top of the present.

To add another cute topping to your baby shower gift, you can use some cute baby accessories and toys such as rattles, teething toys, baby mittens, socks, hairbow, or small picture frames. Or if the party will going to be held sometime during the holiday season, you can use Christmas ornaments as additional decoration on your baby shower gift. Such items can easily be fastened by tying them with a ribbon – and these extras can also be used by the baby.

There’s a lot of creative ways you can think of when wrapping a baby shower gift, one of which is a teddy bear gift wrap. To make this kind of gift wrap, of course you will need a wrapping paper that has teddy bears on it. There are so many wrapping papers that come in teddy bears themes, however, if can’t find one, you can use cocoa colored gift wrap instead. After wrapping the gift with a teddy bear themed wrapping paper, you can put a cute teddy bear on the top of the package together with a nice white or brown bow. Alternatively, you can use teddy bear rattles, or teething toys instead of a small teddy bear.

For a baby girl shower gift, consider a pretty floral look. You can use a wrapping paper with floral prints or even just plain but colored paper, and then simply add a nice green or purple ribbon and tie it in a bow. If you prefer plain colored paper, it would be best to add some fresh spring flowers on the package to enhance its look. Make sure to cute the stems of the flowers short and then just add them before you to the party. This way the flowers would still look fresh for your baby shower gift.

Is there an older sibling? A baby shower gift doesn’t always necessarily need to be for the baby nor for the mom. If there is an older sibling, your gift could be something for him/her. You can think of wrapping a toy, board game, piggy bank, school bag, or a nice children’s wear. Baby gift baskets that contain a variety of cute baby gifts can also make a wonderful package for the baby shower. Get creative and imaginative when making such wonderful basket that the mom would definitely love and remember from you!

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.

Salary Negotiation Tactics – 6 Practical Tips

I firmly believe no matter what the circumstance is for your initial job offer, you should negotiate for more (as long as you do it right)! It does not matter whether the economy is booming or not, once you get a job offer – negotiate.

Just two months ago, a friend got an 20% increase in his contractor rate after he negotiated. In this case, his client low-balled him as many would do during the recession because it’s an employer’s market. Many people are so thankful that they were offered anything that they forget to ask for a fair compensation. It’s still smart and okay to negotiate even in a tough market.

Here are four salary negotiation tactics that have worked for me and my clients over and over again. There are also two tips on what not to do during salary negotiation. Being tactful is key.

Four salary negotiation tactics

  1. Be creative with what you negotiate. Your compensation is much more than just salary. There is also signing bonus, performance bonus, moving expenses, car stipend (if you have to drive far for work), 401K matching, title, vacation time, or pay grade. For example, even if the company can’t pay you a good salary now because of caps set in place due to the economy, if you have a higher pay grade setting, then your future salary and increase could be higher.
  2. Be specific and reasonable - tell the company what you actually want (a 10% increase, a guaranteed 5% bonus based on performance, a VP title, etc…) and make sure it’s not ridiculous. I was hiring someone who actually asked for 30% more in her salary when I know she was already getting a 15% increase from her last salary. We almost rescinded her offer.
  3. Tell them at least one and preferable two plausible reasons why you are negotiating for more. It’s no good and could even be offensive if you just said you want more money and can’t say why. Some good reasons are:
    1. you have a better offer (whether you want to bluff about this is up to you as just like Poker, there is a chance they won’t call you on it);
    2. your market rate is higher (meaning the average paying rate right now for this level is X% higher than your offer);
    3. your current offer is a big step down from past compensation;
    4. sometimes the sympathy card could even work and say “I have a new baby and I am just trying to make sure I can get by and 10% more could really help!” You would be surprised at what you can leave on the table if you don’t ask.
  4. Express your enthusiasm to work for the company when negotiating. No employers wants to give you more unless they know that you are almost certain to take it if they agreed. Also, it doesn’t hurt to convey that you have very good reasons (other than compensation) why you want to work for the company.

Two things to avoid during salary negotiation

  1. Don’t ever give an ultimatum – or anything that could be construed as an ultimatum. Salary negotiation is an art form and takes practice. Don’t ever back yourself into a corner because you most likely still want to take the job if they said no.
  2. Don’t be arrogant or an a__ when negotiating: Remember the person you are negotiating with is mostly likely your future boss or someone who can influence your future boss’ opinion of you. This salary negotiation should be a good experience for both sides

More people have been surprised at what they can get when they used the right salary negotiation tactics. It doesn’t hurt to ask if you do it right. With that said, there is no guarantee anything will change with your offer. If the company declines your proposal, be sure to thank them for their consideration and make your decision on whether to join based on existing offer. Either way, you would have gained more experience on how to approach negotiation in the future. We will change jobs many times in our careers. The experience you gain in mastering these salary negotiation tactics will pay off again and again in the future.

Good luck out there! I am always in your corner

- Lei