How Leaders Should Negotiate?

Nearly everything, we do, involves a certain degree of negotiating. We negotiate, at home, at work, and during all our activities. However, perhaps, never is negotiating skill, experience, expertise, and ability, more necessary and needed, than, in being a quality leader. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly examine, consider, discuss, and explain, how and why, it’s so important, for a true leader, to negotiate, and why, it is a leader, who determines, whether negotiations are successful, or less satisfying.

1. Learn the skills and necessities: The first thing, one must understand and clearly, know, is successful negotiations, are not about, merely, winning, but, rather, the best results arise from a win – win, mindset, process and approach. While lying/ distorting, making over – stated claims/demands, might get immediate gratification, in the longer – term, results will suffer, unless/ until, both sides depart from the process, believing they have achieved, what they needed, to do, for the interests of their organization, etc. Begin by learning to effectively listen, and learn, what the other side, is needing, and stating, and gain knowledge, and expertise, from every conversation and experience. Do extensive homework, and seek, to create a meeting of the minds, by identifying mutual, cost – saving areas, concept, and plans, and realizing, when you create a new benefit, for the other side, there’s more, they might be able to offer you.

2. Examples: If you are negotiating, for example, with a venue for an event, which includes food, discuss ways to reduce the venue’s costs/ expenses, and ask for them to share those savings, with you. Think outside – the – box, and determine, how communicating, with integrity, from the onset, and clearly, explaining, what you need, and your limitations, and you will improve your results.

3. Don’t lie!: You need a meeting – of – the – minds, which requires mutual trust. Doing so, requires significant efforts, and time, to create, but, one lapse, will usually destroy your efforts.

4. Clarify and organize, using a Request for Proposal (RFP): Make yourself clear, from the beginning, by beginning the process, with a Request for Proposal, or, RFP, and make it, as thorough and complete, as possible! Pit one venue, against another, and select the one, which meets your needs, and budget. Know your budget, from the onset, so you might properly plan, and negotiate. The responses to the RFP, should be included, as part of the final contract.

Negotiate, like a leader, and do so, from strength, expertise, experience, and maintain absolute integrity. Are you ready to lead effectively?

Past, Present or Future?

Which one are you more inclined to live in?

We all will have one that we are best at living in, and one we are not so good at living in.

Time was once described to me as “endless moments of now”. And that is true because as soon as we try to think about ‘this’ moment… no ‘this’ moment… no ‘this’ moment… it is gone. It’s in the past and that moment in the future you are looking forward to – well it just became now, and as now became the past you can see time really is a wonderful thing!

When I coach people, one of the codes I am listening for is their relationship to time. Are they living in the past? Living in the present? Or living for their future?

None are correct or incorrect, and my belief is we need to experience all three, but the danger comes when we tend to live in one or the other for too long.

For instance – people that spend too much time in the past. The advantage and disadvantage of living in the past, is that are you get to re-experience an event over and over and over again. Now if that experience is a powerful, emotional, exciting time, that fills you will confidence, strength, love and happiness – rock on, live there for a bit and then use those lessons and that emotion to bring into the present to create a compelling future.

The only thing is…

Most people don’t replay over and over and over the events in their past that made them smile. The replay the fears, the sadness, the failures, and they take that doubt, that fear and that sadness into the present, and believe that is what the future holds.

If living in the past is dictating your future, it’s time to get out.

You should be using your past for lessons and as reference points of success – that’s it.

For people that aren’t as good as living in the past, you need to make sure you are still remembering your successes. So for me – I have become an expert in putting the past away. What has happened has happened, and I never think about the past. This means if an event has been very upsetting or something bad has happened, I find it very easy to get over it – give me 48 hours and it’s all good. But that also means when I achieve big goals and have huge success, give me 48 hours and I have moved on and can barely remember it.

So yes – it is very useful to not waste energy on what has upset you in the past, but you need to still remember your success. To do this I have a success page where every month I need to write down all my successes and good memories on the past I want to remember. I also write down the lessons I need to remember that I learned from the bad. But the actual bad memories I make very small and fuzzy and let them go – I don’t need them

Then we have the people that live in the present. This is an awesome place to be. The advantage and disadvantage of living here is it is only about now. You are focused on what you are doing, nothing else matters, you are completely experiencing everything in the moment and fully immersing yourself in it, rather than letting your mind drift and thinking about the past or the future and not enjoying the present moment of now. A lot of us need to learn how to be more present when we are riding – only thinking about riding, not what to cook for dinner, or the work proposal, time with our friends, family and loved ones – we want to fully engage with the horse or your instructor rather than having our mind split thinking about something else. Staying present and in the moment is the best gift you can give someone… and yourself.

The dangers of only living here though, is you never plan or look toward the future. If you only think about the present you could be ruining your future. i.e. – if in the present I want a chocolate cake and I only think about the present and keep eating chocolate cake… in the future I will be regretting my past of chocolate cake. I see this with people who don’t like to look in the future, they hate goal setting as in the past they have been disappointed by their future. So they refuse to think about it, and only control what they believe they can control – which is the present.

And for everyone who lives in the future! Hi!! That’s where I live! And that’s because the future is shiny and new and exciting, and we are constantly working on how to make it better and more exciting and more wonderful – we forget to take time out and just enjoy the present, enjoy the moment that was the future which has become now, and is now in the past.

So wherever you are in your life right now, enjoy it! Enjoy the present as the quote goes – “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift: that’s why we call it – The Present.” — Unknown Author

Use the past – it has plenty to teach you, but don’t live there, what’s done is done and it cant be undone. Use the future plan what you want, and set goals so your future can be as compelling and as rich and as exciting as you can make it, and enjoy each and every passing moment of now. In balance of all three you will have the peace, love and excitement you want.

To Your Past, Present & Future Success!

Software Testers – Past, Present and Future

Early during the last decade, software development companies were producing applications by the bucket-load to keep up with the incredible customer demand. The role of the Software Tester then, was to (in my opinion) detect the critical and major issues, and most minor issues were simply brushed under the carpet to get the product out of the door on time. For the Software Testers, it was (to coin a phrase) “A much simpler time”. During this time-frame the Software Testers actively working hard to get themselves recognized as a necessary part of the software development process, and not just some kine of ‘bottle-neck’ that delays a products release. Credit to the testers for actually achieving that goal!

Having worked so hard to achieve their aim, Software Testers found themselves under threat, a threat which in a way came from inside their own camp. The threat I am talking about was ‘Test Automation’. Loose talk around the offices focused on how ‘so much more useful’ this kind of testing was. Testing could be ran 24 hours a day and repeated many times faster than a manual tester could perform. The humble Software testers were considered a dying breed. But, hang on a minute…..we are still here!

Rather than migrating the manual testing over to automated testing entirely. The move was actually more of a ‘leaning’ instead. A typical software development company will include only ‘some’ automated testing. Just tests where automation would enhance the manual testing or save a bit of time. Some testers have switched over to becoming devoted to test automation and that is now their primary job.

So while the road of a Software Tester has been ‘uneven’ to say the least. They have in fact, now firmly established their role as a necessary part of the software development cycle. Once considered to ‘dying out’, the Software Testers have not only ‘beaten’ the threat of test automation, but actively use it alongside their own work to assist it and to enhance it.

So what it is store for the future of Software Testers? Well, software is still going strong and is now present on other platforms. The most popular ‘new’ platform has to be the ‘iPhone’. It pretty much came from nowhere and has now topped 250,000 Apps that have been developed. These iPhone Apps are just regular software applications designed to work on a specific type of hardware. Many software testers are realizing that their software testing skills can be transferred over to this new kind of software development, and are becoming iPhone App Testers. There now exists iPhone App testing companies that are dedicated to providing iPhone App Testers to improve the quality of this rapidly growing phenomenon.

The future looks bright for Software Testers and iPhone App Testers alike, and that’s good news for the people who want quality from the software they are using, whether its a PC application, web application or an iPhone App.