Looking for a win-win situation?

 What do you think when you hear the word negotiation?

The first thought that pops into my mind is salary. Although, there are a variety of things you may find yourself negotiating during your working life.

You are either going to be a natural at negotiation or you are going to completely fearful by the approach and simply attempt to avoid it. Avoiding normally occurs when you start your first ‘real job’ as you are most likely to be grateful you have a job, and just take whatever you get without thinking twice.

Negotiation is vital and practice makes perfect! Opportunities can arise on a regular basis, so practice the following techniques. Negotiation can strike up during a daily task or maybe a more serious situation, such as your place of work. Your manager may even approach you discussing a transfer to another project, department or location!

It can be difficult to know how to deal with the situation, as it is regarding your job and of course your income. Therefore, it is extremely important that you do not just rush into things, you listen to the options, as it is YOU that will have to work under those negotiation conditions.

If you listen to everything you hear, not just the words, but what’s going on around them, you get a much richer picture.

By Simon Armson – Chief Executive, Samaritans.

Now let’s get to the breakdown of what not to do and how to get that win-win situation you’ve been looking for…

image taken from Google

Image taken from http://www.womensally.com

Do not become a ‘critical parent’ and start with the ‘I want this, I want that.’
It is important you control your emotions and tone your interpersonal communication.

The skills you will need: Active listening, assertiveness, a strong presentation of your case and the use of skilful questioning. You need to hold your professional stance at all times, making sure you are always consistent. Remember you are the one attempting to get others on your side!

Ellis (2009) states in order to successfully complete a Win-Win negotiation, both of candidates should gain. However, remember you may not gain all you want, the heart of the process is about compromise and bargaining.

Now here are the three must-dos during negotiation…

  • Find the appropriate tone.
  • Build trust.
  • Express yourself..

Remember: Don’t be scared to ask for what suits you, it’s all about compromising!

That’s negotiating! I’ll leave you with the amusing ‘Edge of Reason’ image and a question…

Have you ever had to negotiate a difficult situation, how did you approach it and what was the outcome?

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How many times do you think you’ve been stereotyped?

What do you think when you hear the word stereotype?

I would say that normally people think of the way someone looks, whether it is racial, or just the way someone  physically portrays themselves. A typical example – A blonde girl wearing fake tan is most likely to be thought of as a ‘ditsy blonde’ or just plain ‘fake’ which has been the classic stereotype for years. This judgement can occur anytime anywhere, whether you are just walking down the street and someone is simply observing the way you look. But the question is what happens when you are being stereotyped at work?

paul 1998

The definition of stereotype according to the English dictionary:

‘Widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing: the stereotype of the woman as the carer sexual and racial stereotypes.’

It is only human for us to stereotype, once a person has heard something negative regarding a person, they will automatically relate it with future observations.  Whether it is said out loud or just thought of, it will still go through your head, as we are just wired that way.

Have you realised that the country you come from may be giving you a misperceived reputation?

Image taken from creativereview.co.uk

Image taken from creativereview.co.uk

Here are just some of the most publicised stereotypical opinions I have come across, through both discussing the topic with people and analysing survey results.

The Germans – Controlling and demanding.

The French – Cold and find it hard to take orders.

The Americans – Exaggerators and loud – ‘Who came first the chicken or the egg….the American’

The Arabs – Lazy and money orientated.

British – Talk like the Queen, lazy with bad teeth.

Chinese – Hard workers but never shake hands to greet people.

Spanish – Always partying, so they need a good siesta.

It is completely unethical for people within a workplace to immediately make assumptions of co-workers because of their heritage. Not only do problems occur when we alter our own behaviour to fit our theory, (which may or may not be correct) but we also start making decisions about observations made. The dilemma is we miss the opportunity to let someone in and create a human connection, which marks a barrier when it comes to effective teamwork and relationships.

‘Familiarity corrects stereotyping. The better we know someone, the more we see the person as an individual.’ Marylin S. Kelly

Remember: Think before you judge, if you are English you would not like co-workers to assume you were just a lazy tea drinker with no ambition.

Lastly, have you ever been stereotyped at work? If so, how did it affect you?

Does bullying still even exist when you’re an adult?

If you thought bullying only happened at school, then think again…

You will be surprised to know that 40-50% of people say they have been bullied during their working life.

Image taken from www.soulation.org

Image taken from http://www.soulation.org

Shocking isn’t it?

Especially as the number of victims to this abuse is increasing. It is worrying that these issues are not properly dealt with and subsequently just brushed under the carpet.

Bullying doesn’t have to be just physical; if it is happening in your workplace then speak out. It could be that someone is constantly criticising your work, belittling you, making you feel inadequate, embarrassed or shameful.

Although, the outcomes of bullying are continuously publicised, the act of abuse is almost seen as trivial. Here is an example of one of the many tragic bullying cases.

Image taken from gawker.com

Image taken from gawker.com

David Orr a 21 year old began working full time at BT after successfully completing an apprenticeship with the company. After several bullying incidents from the management team and failed actions taken regarding his concerns, sadly, he committed suicide.

Before his death during October 2011 David had stated that he was being bullied by management. However, his worries were ignored. With his mother Michele Millar finally speaking out, she has said BT Openreach continually failed to respond to his concerns.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is in BT or any other workplace, I don’t want any other boy and their family to go through this. I would say to anyone who is being bullied, speak out – tell people about it until somebody listens and somebody does something about it.”

Michele Milliar

With these tragedies heightening, it is important that victims know how to address the issue. If you are being bullied or know someone who is follow encourage them to follow this five point plan.

  1. Acknowledge the problem.
  2. Inform yourself.
  3. Confront constructively.
  4. Keep a diary.
  5. Seek help.

It is important to not forget that a bully is normally jealous or threatened of skills and attributes, they are the ones that are insecure, therefore determined to undermine others. Actions may seem subtle, and it may lead to believing you are just overreacting.

Remember: When conflict arises at work, it should be healthy and creative.

A question for you, have you or someone you know ever experienced bullying as an adult? If so, how did you personally deal with it? Did you speak out, and was action taken?