Negotiation is Not a Dirty Word


art-of-compromiseFor most of my life, my idea of negotiation was to simply walk away; in other words, I did not negotiate. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Detroit, where my exposure to negotiating was at a car dealership where the sales guy kept me in a room until I cried “Uncle!” and signed the papers.

I have an easier time understanding “compromise,” but I wonder if people hold the perception that compromise equates to weakness too. Let’s look at the finer points of the art of compromise.

Simply put, negotiation is a dialogue where two or more people or parties

  • intend to reach an understanding.
  • want to resolve a point of difference.
  • want to gain advantage in an outcome to produce an agreement.
  • bargain for individual or collective advantage.
  • craft outcomes to satisfy various interests of the people or parties.

Negotiation is intended to aim at compromise. Compromise is defined as the settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions. If this is true, then why does a negotiation often feel like there’s a winner and a loser? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Art of Bragging


art-of-braggingWe hear stories every day about how one company or another turned a deaf ear to the collective gasp of online consumers and media when they were guilty of making a major faux pas. Companies tend to recover over time. But, what happens if an individual makes a mistake? Is her reputation ruined for good?

Students are at a particular disadvantage because they don’t have enough life experience yet to understand that it’s important to set boundaries. Much of what they share falls into the “too much information” category.

One way to counter this tendency is to talk only about ideas, events or accomplishments that uplift you and by extension others. I recently attended a meeting entitled, The Art of Bragging, where the speaker outlined several opening statements that can help an individual speak without seeming arrogant. For example,

  • I’m proud to say…
  • I was humbled to be chosen…
  • I’m excited to report…
  • I’m thrilled to know…
  • I’m grateful for…

and you complete the sentence with some project or piece of information that tells the listener more about who you are and what you value. This technique also opens the door for the other person to expand on that theme, and you may actually begin a deeper dialogue. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Living in the Now Creates Your Future


focus-faith-feelingWith the nearly limitless ways to connect online, we sometimes forget about the importance of offline networking. It’s seems quaint, even old-fashioned. I was discussing with a colleague the other day how her daughter, a recent college graduate, secured a position in her field at a company whose name you would recognize immediately. Despite the lingering recession and the lackluster employment figures, she was hired prior to her actual graduation date.

How did she do it?

Focus. Faith. Feeling.

First, she had clarity. She knew what she wanted, and she took the actions necessary to create the outcome she wanted. For example, she attended a state conference for PR & Communication professionals where a representative of her target employer was speaking and introduced herself. From there, she secured a paid internship at the same company to add to her prior internships at two high-profile non-profits. She’ll graduate with a 3.8 GPA and a degree in Public Relations.

She laid the foundation for her success. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t Mistake Your Web Guy for an SEO



I laugh every time I recall my Web developer telling me that one of her client’s thought that she was a search engine. I know that those outside the online marketing and SEO arena feel completely in the dark when it comes to search engine optimization. I know because I talk to business owners every day. And, I suspect, they will never understand how Google works or the definition of an algorithm. Why should they?

Web developers the world over have over-complicated SEO. My experience with developers is that they like to throw technical roadblocks in front of us mere mortals. There’s an intellectual arrogance about many developers that smacks of elitism. My sense is that they’re basically insecure because the truth is THEY DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. And, neither do I.

What I do know is that when you make your client feel stupid or anxious, you are failing miserably, even if you have their website ranking for key terms. Read the rest of this entry »

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