August 29th, 2011
Refresh and Reconnect
Should old acquaintances be forgotten?
Each person in our lives leaves an energetic imprint on us. By reconnecting with someone special from our past, we ignite that imprint. It reminds us of our journey to now and allows us to be uplifted by positive energy.
This week, think about someone you miss and reconnect with that person. You deserve the refresher.
—Bruce D Schneider, MCC, Founder
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
May 6th, 2011
Alright, so in a previous post on How NOT to Negotiate in Today’s World, I might have been a little tough on our federal budget negotiations – but at least they did provide us with a model that leaves plenty of opportunity for growth.
I wanted to post a few alternative approaches to negotiation that come from a Coach Centric™ perspective. I’ve employed these approaches on countless occasions, in a wide variety of situations, and I’m always very pleased with how things turn out.
First, we need to start with the current perceptions surrounding negotiation.
Typically, you mention negotiation and people cringe thinking, “oh great, now we get to haggle” – as if you’re about to buy a car. Negotiation in this sense becomes a win/lose competition – who’s going to get the better end of the deal. If you like that approach, you’ll have a lot of fun while buying a car or going to a flea market, but when it comes to creating long-term relationships in business and in life, you may want to peek at the rest of this post, as I want us to get away from this antiquated approach.
Far away, actually.
Let’s start by redefining negotiation. What if you thought about negotiating as two or more parties collaborating to come up with the best possible solution for all? The vast majority of negotiating is about finding a beneficial solution for everyone involved. With that in mind, here are a few Coach Centric™ tips to set you up for your success:
1) Define the Purpose of the Negotiation – what’s our common goal? Be clear, right up front, about why both parties are talking in the first place and what you, as a group (a team even!), are trying to accomplish.
2) Transparent Agendas – the old rule was to keep your cards close to your vest. Do you know why individuals on both sides of a negotiation feel manipulated and think the other side is hiding something? IT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE (…if they’re following the old negotiator’s handbook)! Be transparent. Put your agenda and what you’re trying to achieve on the table. This makes it easier to understand where each other’s resistance and concerns are coming from, and can even put you on the same side in trying to figure it out together!
3) Acknowledge and Demonstrate an Understanding of the Other Parties’ Key Issues – know why those issues are important, significant, valued – don’t leave it as “assumed.” Acknowledge openly and out-loud what you’ve heard from the other party. Demonstrate that you understand what they’re saying AND why they’re saying it. List out the key areas that are most important to each side and identify why they’re important. Then, relate these issues to #1 above – the common purpose. All the issues should be related. Anything that isn’t related should be a separate conversation.
4) Clarify, Clarify, Clarify – and did I mention clarify? A quick way to stymie a negotiation is to leave questions unasked, statements unsaid, and key words and expectations undefined. Be curious and ask questions to confirm information and expectations, even if it seems obvious… because it’s often not as obvious as you might think.
5) Places of Similarity – close the gaps as quick as you can. If you have areas of agreement or similarity where agreement can be reached more easily, get that taken care of immediately and then, get it outlined and documented. Many negotiations don’t take into account that with a common goal, 70 – 80% of what each party wants overlaps and can be reconciled fairly quickly. Start with these agreements so that you can focus on the 20 – 30% where new alternatives are actually needed (and acknowledge to each other how close you actually are to a solution!).
6) Combine Ideas/Agendas Where Possible – in addition to similarities, use points/ideas from the other parties’ plan or perspective that help the overall agenda. It’s quite possible the other party thought of something you didn’t that may work quite well for all. Get those incorporated into the solution and close that gap even further, and give recognition to the other side for contributing the idea.
7) Identify Alternatives, NOT Simply Areas of Compromise – the focus should be on coming up with new alternatives and approaches, not on “giving in” or “making concessions.” When you make concessions – especially if it’s anything remotely important to you (and if it’s not important, don’t make it out to be important just for negotiation’s sake), then you’re reducing how bought in you could possibly be to the ultimate solution. If there are any remaining gaps, use brainstorming (with both sides involved) to see how many new alternatives you can come up with to bridge those few gaps.
8) Gauge Buy-In – don’t finalize everything until you can look at each party sitting around the table (or on the conference call, Skype, or otherwise) and hear back a confident affirmation that s/he is ready to move forward. If you hear trepidation or hesitancy, question it with curiosity and say, “I can hear you’re not totally there yet. What is it that might have you holding back just a bit from being totally bought in?”
9) Recap All Agreements and Actions While Still Together – don’t walk away from the conversation without recapping what’s been agreed to and the remaining actions to be taken. Make sure everyone is on the same page at that moment and then, follow it up in writing ASAP. You don’t want the energy to drop by re-discussing all the points that were already agreed upon.
So there you go. Use these Coach Centric™ tips and see what new solutions and progress you can make!
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
April 8th, 2011
In the spirit of the pending shut down by our government, I felt moved to point out what a wonderful job they’re doing in being role models for how NOT to make progress.
Now, please bear in mind, both political parties are using the same, traditional, negotiating handbook that’s been used for decades (perhaps centuries now). They’re following the playbook to the letter. But times have changed. Not sure about that? Pick up a copy of the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc., or any other publications covering the culture change that’s closing in on the business community.
Transparency, collaboration (not consensus!), open-minded solution seeking, and alignment/reconciliation (of values, agendas, perspectives) are key aspects of the new leadership paradigm, and the revised negotiating handbook – to which, apparently, politicians haven’t yet been exposed. (No doubt they’d benefit from some powerful coaching!)
So, without further ado, if you want to negotiate in a manner that erodes trust, entrenches other parties in their perspectives, and burns bridges to solutions, then please follow these steps:
Step 1: Make sure to use public pressure to paint the opposition as the problem and discredit their intentions whenever possible.
Step 2: Don’t let the other party find out your real agenda or key hot button issues.
Step 3: Be sure to add on issues that everyone knows are for show, only to use as “concessions.”
Step 4: Be sure to add unrelated issues to the negotiation to leave your opponents bewildered as to why those issues are even being discussed at this time.
Step 5: Make the negotiation about power and making your opponent lose, as opposed to seeking solutions that align the sides.
Step 6: Absolutely focus only on the differences and gaps in perspective and not the similarities and relative proximity of opinions.
Step 7: Ignore or discredit any solutions that “your side” didn’t think of.
There are many more we could add from recent examples… but this a blog after all, not a novel.
We’ll publish some Coach Centric™ negotiation tips next week – but beware, using them usually leads to win-win solutions, trust, buy-in, and results that get both sides excited.
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
March 15th, 2010
That’s what happens when 400 like-minded change agents, coaches and community leaders gather in a hotel in Morristown, New Jersey! On Thursday, March 4th, iPEC Coaching hosted S.H.I.F.T. New Jersey, an event which is part of a national consciousness-raising movement, as well as a celebration of iPEC’s 10th anniversary.
The keynote speaker was Bruce D Schneider, Master Certified Coach, founder of iPEC, who personally shared the transformational power behind “The Slingshot Effect,” a unique phenomenon that occurs when a significant amount of pressure builds up within and around us. By simply learning how to release this pressure, one can be at the cause of his or her life – and create a ripple effect of extraordinary results. Dr. Schneider invited all those in attendance to take the challenge of making a difference in at least one person’s life over the next 30 days. The crowd was more than excited to participate.
Other presenters included iPEC’s CEO, D. Luke Iorio, and other iPEC executives, Deborah Van De Grift, Cheryl Wilson, and affiliate partner, Ed Abel from Abel Business Institute, Network Plus, Powerful You!, and Affinity. Events have occurred in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Jersey, with additional cities being planned.
Listen to what some of the attendees had to say about this extraordinary evening:
“It only goes to show you the transformation power of iPEC and Bruce Schneider when they sell out a room to 400 people. The S.H.I.F.T. NJ event was an evening of inspiration, energy, motivation and it left a lasting impact! Bruce’s presentation was mindful and full of enlightening purpose. Definitely, do not miss the next S.H.I.F.T. event!!”
Ed Able, Abel Business Institute
“Thank you, iPEC, for the incredible evening at SHIFT NJ! You provided inspiration, motivation, and meaningful insights to propel forward anyone interested in improving their own life or making a difference in the lives of others. I am grateful to have experienced the power of iPEC and look forward spreading the word so others may benefit as well. I can now understand why Bruce D Schneider is such a well-loved leader.”
Sue Urda, Co-Founder of Powerful You! Women’s Network www.powerfulyou.com
“SHIFT is a movement emerging from these challenging, yet exciting times. We were thrilled with the reception of the New Jersey event, which, like all SHIFT events, was intended for professionals, leaders, and change agents who want to see positive change happen and seek support and ideas for new ways to progress. The room was filled with like-minded people who wish to seize and create opportunities, and make a significant difference in the world.”
D. Luke Iorio, CEO, iPEC Coaching
“I came to SHIFT because I always get inspired when I listen to Bruce speak. (and I did). It lifts my energy level and always gives me new and interesting things to expand my mind and therefore my business. The bonus factor of being at SHIFT that I did not think ahead about was reconnecting to so many people in the iPEC family. It is unbelievable uplifting to be in a room filled with people whose values, consciousness, and love of living and learning bond us together.”
Ivy Slater from Slater Success Coaching
“SHIFT New Jersey was an absolutely inspirational evening. The energy, the people, and the practical, down-to-earth information were all remarkable. And if that wasn’t enough, I found “The Slingshot Effect” was not only a fantastic transformational tool but a revolutionary “shift” in perspective that turns tension into triumph. Great stuff from start to finish!!”
Brett Ramsdell, Coaching Student
“SHIFT offers a powerful and concise reminder of the absolute necessity of being fully engaged as the leader of your own life, and making the conscious choice to affect others positively. Watch your world expand as you shift!”
Kimber Britner from Bright Life Coaching
March 3rd, 2010
In our society today, “connections” is a huge buzz word. If you are connected, you are someone who has access to and influence with the “right” people. The “right” people will vary depending on certain situations that arise. It is the connections you have and the amount of influence you have with them, along with your belief in yourself that will provide strength, security, and the means for creating abundance in all areas of your life.
Real and meaningful connections are those which you can call on at a moment’s notice. These vital connections provide non-judgmental support, assistance, creativity and knowledge. Being connected whether in business or personally, provides a sense of ease in your life.
It may be said that connections equal power. It may also be said that connections equal life.
As we know from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, one of the six basic needs is the need for socialization – love, friendship and comradeship. This is a need for love and belonging. This is a need for basic human contact. In fact, this is a need for connection.
The real beauty and value of connections is the way they make you feel. Connections provide security, freedom, opportunity, friendship and grace. Real connections make you feel capable, unstoppable and more expansive than you might otherwise feel as an individual.
Here are 7 tips for making and nurturing real connections in life:
1. Be yourself. Be real. Pretense in any situation can be dangerous. When you meet someone, simply be yourself. You may choose to put your best foot forward and be “your best self” and that is perfect. People who resonate with your personality and energy will be drawn to you. You will find that being yourself at all times, makes for a life filled with ease, grace, and less stress.
2. Be likeable. You know there is a part of you that is truly likeable, engaging and attractive. There is a part of you that people are drawn to and want to be around. If you take stock of how you are “being”, you will know whether you are being charming or uninviting. Always “check your attitude” at the door and choose to be the likeable you!
3. Express gratitude freely. It is said that you learn much about an individual’s character by how she speaks of others. Know that words have power. Any thanks or praise, that you can give about another person gives power to everyone in the transaction. Power is heightened for the individual you share it with, the individual you share it about, and also for you. It is always appropriate to express gratitude.
4. Be present. No matter where you are or what you are doing, give yourself freely to the people that surround you, the task at hand, and the individuals who will be affected by your actions, words, and presence. Put aside the chatter of your mind, clear your plate, and simply be present. Being present is a gift for you and everyone else touched in the moment.
5. Make new connections at every opportunity. Even if you think you don’t have time for another person in your life, think again. There is always room for someone with good energy, an open spirit, and the “right” connections. When you choose to expand the circles of your life, you are choosing to expand yourself. Expansion is exciting, empowering, exhilarating, and fun. You never know where a connection will lead, because you never know who or what anyone knows until you open up to them. The next person you meet may be holding the answer to your questions. She may be the perfect connection for you. Get connected.
6. Reach out and touch someone. The human touch contains more energy than any word, thought or material item. Touching someone makes an instant connection. They will pay closer attention to you, they will feel more a part of the conversation, and they will feel that you care about them. A touch can be a small gesture like a handshake or a hand placed on their arm or shoulder. A touch can also be a bigger gesture like a hug, a kiss or holding hands. No matter the length or intensity, a touch commits your energy to the other person and creates an immediate physical bond. This will create, enhance and strengthen your intellectual and emotional bond and supply meaning to the conversation, the topic and your relationship. Perhaps above all, touching feels good.
7. Use wisely your power of choice. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in each day. How do you use yours? Are you honoring yourself and your time? If you do not have a big, huge “why” for how you are spending your time and who you are sharing it with, and if you are not enjoying yourself, do something else. Seriously, find other people to hang around with, do business with and live with. Move if you have to. Physically move from your space, whether this means taking two steps back or moving to another community. The connections of your life matter. Find something and someone you completely love. Find something and someone who makes your heart sing. Find something and someone who inspires you. When you do, you will know the beauty and joy of real connections. Today is not a dress rehearsal. It’s your life.
Remember this: YOU decide who your connections are. YOU get to choose. Choose to create and nurture connections that serve you. Choose connections that make you feel good. And always, always, choose to enjoy the process. Now, that’s Powerful!
About Sue Urda:
Sue Urda is Co-Founder of Powerful You! Women’s Network, an Award-Winning Author, Speaker and Inspirer. She is a two-time honoree on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies and has learned the secret of living from her heart. Through Powerful You! Inc, Sue designs venues for women to connect with each other and themselves. You are invited to join Sue’s network, regional and national events: Women Living Consciously Conference, Transformation 2010 National Tour and Powerful You! Women’s Network. Visit Sue’s website at: www.powerfulyou.com