There is never any substitute for having an open discussion about a potential issue. Even if you do not like to argue, failure to discuss an important issue can lead to much bigger problems down the road.
Try to avoid form contracts provided by one side.
Try to avoid form contracts that will drive a negotiation towards a predetermined result that is based upon a contract provided by one party in the negotiation.
Read and understand any contract you sign.
Don't ever sign a contract that you have not carefully read and don't understand fully. Ideally, get a second opinion from your legal counsel or a lawyer before you sign it.
Keep a draft contract simple and to the point.
Any draft contract should be straightforward, easy to understand and 100% reflective of what was discussed during the negotiation.
Never be in a hurry to negotiate a deal.
Never be in a big hurry when negotiating as you will inevitably leave too much at the table for the other party. Moreover, never let the other party know that you are in a big hurry to conclude a negotiation.
Start negotiating from an extreme position.
If you aim above what it is that you hope to get out of the negotiation, you will more likely get what you want. In other words, start negotiating from an extreme position and work your way down to what you want and wht the other party will agreet to.
Focus on the other side's pressures.
Instead of focusing on the pressures you face during the negotiation, focus your attention on any pressure that the other party might be facing. In other words, anticipate what might force the other side to give into.
Get something in return for every concession.
Don't give up something that you want unless you convince the other side to give up something that they want. In other words, make every concession on your part a tradeoff on their part.
Never take things personally.
Never take the other side's behavior or anything that arises during a negotiation personally. Taking something personally will just get you sidetracked from whaterver it is that you are trying to negotiate.
Consider the other side's perception of your offer.
Don't forget to consider the other side's perspective. In other words, try to consider how the other side will perceive a deal and try to show them how your offer will satisfy them.
How to work around procrastination triggers
Procrastination can be a serious problem. Figure out why you procrastinate and work around these triggers. Once you have indentified triggers, develop a way to overcome them. This can be giving yourself a reward to make the task more pleasant
Break a large project into smaller ones
To counter procrastination, pick one big project you have been putting off. Divide that project into smaller tasks and set a block of time to accomplish each task. Before you know it, the entire project will be done!
Be more productive by being punctual
If you are looking to become more productive, you should aim to be punctual. Aim for punctuality not only in your meetings. Extend this to doing your own work by adhering to deadlines.
Take pride in the quality of your work
You may be looking to increase your quantity of work produced, but you should not neglect the quality of your work in the process. Take pride in doing the best work you can.
Examine why the quality of your work may slip
If you feel that the quality of your work may be slipping, you may need to examine why. For example, if you are too stressed out, losing interest in your job, or are too overwhelmed, then you may not be performing as well as you could.
Use your strengths to your advantage
In order to get the most out of your work, you should play to your strengths. For example, if you know what your talents are then try to get work where they can be put to best use.
Realize you don't have to do everything yourself
If you find that you are overwhelmed by your workload and everything else in life, you may need to say no to some things. You need to realize that you are human too and do not have to do everything.
Try to isolate yourself while working
Set aside a place where you can work. Try to physically separate yourself from other people in a room, but if that is not possible try to let people know that you do not want to be disturbed while working.
Brighten up your office, so you can work better
Try to transform your office into a place where you can work. Try to bring in bright, cheerful colors through paint or accessories. Make sure you do not make the place too busy though.
Keep reminders visible so you don't forget
Keep your reminders nearby in order to remember what you need to do. Try a dry erase board or post-its, so your to-do list will always be visible and at the front of your mind.
Answer emails in order of importance
If emails do not really require a reply, then do not bother replying. Answer your emails in order of importance rather than in chronological order. You may find you are wasting time on unimportant emails.
Archive emails as soon as possible
Archive emails as soon as possible in order to keep your inbox clear. This will help you focus on emails that you need to reply to and avoid distractions.
Save time by writing shorter emails
Write shorter emails. If you can answer a question or convey what you need to in fewer words then do so. This not only saves you time, but it also saves the recipient time.
Make use of email templates to save time
Make use of templates in order to create quick answers to emails. This is particularly useful if you have to give similar answers frequently in emails.
Set a specific time to check your email
Write shorter emails. If you can answer a question or convey what you need to in fewer words then do so. This not only saves you time, but it also saves the recipient time.
A good spam filter can save time
Make sure that your spam filter is working well. You do not want to waste tons of time deleting useless emails. Try an email that has a spam filter that improves with your input.
take care crafting your email subject lines
Take care writing the subject of your emails. This increases the odds of your email catching the attention of the recipient, so you get a quicker reply.
Take a break during the day to keep alert at work
Keep work enjoyable by taking a break during the day. Go out to lunch with friends or go treat yourself to something you enjoy. You might even just need a brisk walk outside.
How to manage employees without micromanaging
Being able to manage employees is a very important skill. Avoid micromanaging, but make sure you keep abreast of what employees are doing. Schedule meetings and let them know you are always available for help.
How to discipline your staff
Disciplining staff is often not easy. Try to discipline your staff in private. Instead of merely focusing on where they went wrong, point out how they can alter their behavior.
Traits needed for being a leader
In order to lead others, you need to have the confidence to make decisions both for yourself and others. Regardless of your personal leadership style, being able to make decisions and manage others are essential.
Leaders need to know how to work in a team
Teamwork is actually an important part of leadership. You have to be able to work with those you lead. This includes listening to their opinions and knowing the skills and weaknesses of your colleagues.
Do not ignore problems in your team
If you feel your team is having problems, you should not ignore them. As a leader, examine any problems and then address your subordinates. You may find that the issue is between certain members of your team or with a single person.
Recognizing and using talent in your staff
A good leader knows the strengths and weaknesses of subordinates. A good leader not only recognizes talent, but is also able to draw out this talent and focus it to get the most out of each worker.
Enjoy the little pleasures in life
It is important to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Take a moment to savor these all around you. They include sunsets, your favorite song, and the other little things you love.
Help your subordinates maximize their potential
Just because you are a leader does not mean you can control people. Allow your subordinates to exercise their own talents. Your job as a leader is to help them maximize their potential.
Cooperating and accepting others' weaknesses
Being able to work well with others is important in a leadership position. Knowing how to cooperate well requires knowing how to work with people's weaknesses as well as their strenghths.
Decision making is a leadership skill
Being able to make decisions is an important part of leadership. If you procrastinate over making decisions, realize why you are procrastinating. In addition to weighing pros and cons, you may want input from others.
Trust in your subordinates is vital
As a leader, you inspire and guide others, but there is a time when you need to let go. Trusting your subordinates can inspire them to do their best and grow. It also frees you up to accomplish other important tasks.
Being assertive may be necessary in some cases
Assertiveness is necessary in some cases. You need to be able to stand up for yourself and let your feelings be made known. It is not the same as asserting your will over others, and it may be necessary if your needs are not being met.
Seeking to resolve conflict
Being able to deal with conflict is an important skill. You need to discover the cause of the conflict and try to understand the viewpoint of the other party. Then you can seek a resolution to the conflict.
Focus on coveying your message
When communicating, your focus should be conveying your message. This also applies to conveying your feelings to friends and family. You do not want to risk someone mistaking your message.
Be courteous during phone calls
There is a proper way to communicate on the telephone. This include answering with your full name. Additionally, when you leave phone messages, be brief but let the person know who you are and how they can call you back.
Be polite when refusing invitations
There are times when you will have to turn down an invitation to a party or other event. Always thank the host but give a polite message explaining that you will be unable to attend.
Do not burn bridges when negotiating
When negotiating, you need to identify your own needs and wants in addition to those of the other party. Getting what you want is not the only consideration. Be careful not to destroy future possibilites during the process.
A lot is said through nonverbal communication
Experts say that people actually communicate more through nonverbal means than verbally. Improve your relationships by focusing on what people are trying to tell you nonverbally. Also be aware of what impressions you are giving others.
Keep organized with a to-do list
Failing to keep a to-do list is a common mistake. Done properly, a to-do list will not only help you remember what you need to do, but it will also help your prioritize tasks and eliminate unnecessary ones.
Eliminate unnecesary products
Recognize unnecessary tasks. You only have so much time in your day, and there are some things that you do not need to be doing. Eliminate the tasks that you don't need in order to accomplish the high priority ones.
Wake up an hour earlier to start work
Start waking up an hour earlier than usual. Use that time to get started on a large project. You are likely to be much more productive at a time when no one will be up to disturb you.
Keep a clock on your desk
Keep a clock on your desk at eye level so its hard to accidently lose track of time. A digital clock with large numbers makes it easy for you to subconsciously see the time pass by.
Keep an up-to-date to-do list
Get into the habit of creating a to-do list everyday and keep it updated. More importantly, carry your to-do list around with you at all times - either on a slip of paper or on your mobile phone.
Have a to-do list with deadlines
Have a written time frame for each and every item you intend to accomplish on a to-do list. It's also important to have a set deadline to complete each and every item.
Set accurate and realistic deadlines
Just as its important to have and set deadlines, its equally important to set deadlines that accurate and realistic so that you are not in a rush and do not waste your time.
Check email at set times - not continuously
Its better to check both email only at certain times of the day rather than continuously throughout the day. In that way, you can actually get your work done.
Check email only if you have the time to respond
Do not open or read any email unless you know for sure that you will have the time to take immediate action by resolving the issue or responding to the other person.
Let voicemail be your do not disturb sign
Let your voicemail or your assistant answer your calls for a block of time so that you can work without being interrupted for a set amount of time.
An Open-door invites disturbances
While its important to have an open door policy, its also important to finish your work. If you don't want to be disrupted from completing an important task, leave your door closed.
Take immediate action on email or pieces of paper
Try not to touch the same email or piece of paper more than once. In other words, take action by responding to it, filing it, delegating it or by throwing it away.
Keep your workspace and computer organized
Keep both your desk and the files on your computer organized so that you do not waste time trying to find something when you need it. In other words, keep your workspace organized.
Keep a clearly defined "in-box" on your desk
Make sure that you keep a clearly designanted "in-box" so that people do not take the liberty of cluttering up your desk with papers that can then become lost or missplaced.
Don't let your in-box set your priorites
When you return to your desk and find that someone has put something on your desk or in your "in-box," stick with your set schedule and to-do list. Don't let other people's priorities become your priority!
Cancel non-essential and routine meetings
Always build extra time into an important project in case you experience unexpected delays or problems. In other words, if something is due on Friday, get it done by Wednesday
Ask first if a meeting is necessary.
Before scheduling a meeting, first make sure that a meeting is actually necessary as it takes time to schedule and start a meeting. Just because meetings are part of a set routine does not mean that they are always needed.
Avoid non-essential meetings or portions of meetings.
If you do not need to be present at a meeting or for an entire meeting, try to get yourself excused from attending the non-essential portitions. It will likily mean that the meeting itself can move along faster.when only the relevant parties are present.
Delgating a task means just that
If you delegate a task to someone else, let them complete the task - unless you are actually responsible for the outcome or for overseeing the task. If its not your responsibility, all you need to offer is supportive encouragement.
Do the tasks you hate first and then the fun tasks
Schedule fun tasks right after you have completed any boring or unpleasant tasks. Moreover, do the hard tasks or the ones you hate to do the first thing in the morning when you are wide awake.
Downtime makes you more productive when you work
Remember to schedule some down time or time for relaxation in order to avoid burnout. Downtime like a vacation or a short holiday will ultimately make you more productive when you are working.
Avoid multitasking and complete one task at a time
Try to avoid too much multitasking as trying to do to much at one time will actually slow you down. Instead, schedule one task at a time and move on to the next tasjk when the first one is completed or has reached a certain mile stone.
Know the time of day you work best
You should have a thorough understanding of the time of day that you work best. In other words and if you concentrate better at night for certain tasks, schedule those tasks for then.
Saving small amounts of time can add up
Remember, saving time, even if its just eliminating 10 seconds from the amount of time it takes to complete a task, can quickly add up at the end of the day or week.
Break a big task up into bite sized junks
Break down a big project or task into much smaller bite size chunks. Not only will the project or task feel like it takes less time and it might actually take less time to complete.
Its ok to be slow at finishing unimportant tasks
For non-mission critical tasks, its ok to be a little slow at completing them. Just make sure that you have a thorough understanding of what tasks are mission critical and need to be done fast and what task can be done at a slower pace.
Make a shallow onramp towards starting a big task
You may think finishing a task or a project is a problem when actually the problem could be starting the task or project in the first place. In other words, make a shallow onramp that will get you onto the highway towards completing something.
You can't manage time, only yourself.
No matter how organized you are, remember that you can only manage yourself and perhaps others but you can never manage time itself nor get back any of the time you have wasted.
Make an effor to understand where your time goes
Try to understand and find out where you are actually wasting time. In other words, track your daily activities or routine and look for where and when time is slipping away.
Use the time you spend waiting to do something
Don't waste your time if you are stuck waiting in a line or if you are waiting for a meeting to start. With modern technology like blackberries and smartphones, you can always remain productive.
Stick to a healthy routine while on the road
In order to be more productive on the road, try to stick to a routine there as well. Try to wake up the same time every day and keep a healthy routine.
Carry your work with you electronically
When working on the road, keep everything with you electronically. This will ensure that you can still get work done without getting bogged down in paperwork.
Do simple tasks while waiting for meetings
When you have a few minutes waiting in an airport or for a meeting to start, have a list of simple tasks that you can work on. These tasks are routine things, such as filling out forms or answering emails.
Cache email so you can work without internet
Cache your email, so you can read them when you do not have an internet connection, such as on an airplane. Then you can even craft replies and send them as soon as you regain internet.
Never be afraid to ask a question or raise an issue.
Never be afraid to ask a question or raise an issue that you are unsure about. Even if you think you will not get the answer that you want to hear, it never hurts to ask.
Get what you want, without getting what you don't want.
A good negotiator will not be afraid to ask for everything that they want out of a negotiation. More importantly, a good negotiator will make sure that they do not end up getting something that they don't want.
Don't negotiate against yourself.
Don't negotiate against yourself by making an offer and then making another offer. Instead, wait for a response to your first offer before you think of another offer.
Use a response to an offer to prepare a counteroffer.
Always wait for the other party to make a response to your offer so that they are not encouraged to just wait for you to make a better offer. Moreover, you can use the response that you receive to make a counteroffer.
Always get it in writing to avoid bickering.
Always get everything in writing as written proof will be needed should the other party fail to live up to their part of the bargain or agreement. It will also help you and the other party to avoid bickering.
Get it in writing as you or they may change jobs.
Getting everything in writing and in the final written agreement will be important should the original negotiators (yourself included) ever change jobs or are no longer around to explain what was negotiated and why its in the final agreement.
Preparation, preparation and more preparation.
The three keys to a successful negotiation are preparation, preparation and preparation. In other words, learn as much about the other party and what they want out of the negotiation.
Know what you want and what the other side wants.
Just as important as it is to know as much about the other party and what they want, it will also be just as important to know and understand your own organization and what it is that you want out of a negotiation.
Know how much authority the other side has.
Try to determine just to what extent the authority is of the person you are negotiating with. If you are in fact negotiating with a key decision maker or someone with authority, your goal should be to reach agreement.
Someone lacking authority must understand your thinking.
If you are negotiating with someone who lacks authority, you will need to convince that person to not only agree with your position, but you must also make sure that person understands your reasons or rationale behind your position in order to convince their superiors.
Know your bottom line.
Know and understand just what your bottom line is so that you also know when to stop negotiating. This will prevent you from negotiating a deal that is not actually acceptable.
Always have a Plan B or a fall back plan.
Always have a Plan B or a fall back plan should negotiations fail. If you don't have a Plan B or a fall back plan, then you are likely to keep on negotiating and end up with an agreement that you find unacceptable.
The best negotiators are the best listeners.
Always listen to who you are negotiating with as the best negotiators are always the best listeners and the best communicators. After all, listening will help you pick up clues as to what the other side wants.
Ask thoughtful and openminded questions.
Rather than try to just cross-exam the other side, ask both good and open-minded questions. Moreover, be willing to brainstorm a solution with the other party and explore all possible options..
Always show empathy.
Show empathy as the person you are negotiating with could have his or her own internal problems to deal with. In other words, think of your negotiations as a mutual problem solving session.