How to cut a path through stormy waters

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Love & Negotiation
Love & Negotiation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you start something new, an idea for a new product or service, a special project or a small business, it can be difficult to chart a steady course through troubled waters.

I have been trying to get a project off the ground which is taking longer than expected. These days you have more options than in the past to go about successfully launching your project and often there is conflicting advice. I can’t count how many times different people have given me their best advice but while it may be ideal for them, it doesn’t fit with my circumstances.

When you are tossed this way and that, how do you know which is the right path? What can give you clarity? How can you attain peace of mind?

That’s the most important thing, isn’t it? Peace of mind. It’s our most precious asset. Whatever is happening in the world, if you have peace of mind, then you have an extremely valuable gift.

Instead of going to bed at night still troubled by unresolved issues, heated exchanges and unfinished business, you can rest your head on your pillow and find the sleep that you need as an entrepreneur or small business owner. But when you don’t know how you are going to solve things where you are going, you become a troubled soul.

What I’m going to share with you might sound so simple that you could quickly dismiss it. The answer lies in having a clear mission and purpose. A mission and purpose can help you in any personal matter whether it be starting something new, a negotiation or even trying to change mindsets or behaviour.

But your mission and purpose needs an extra twist that is often absent. It’s what author and negotiation coach Jim Camp teaches: in every successful negotiation, set your mission and purpose in your opponent’s world, not in your own. “Focus on how you can help him realise that offering XYZ to you will be beneficial to him”. What is this mean? You need to know what you want to achieve but at the same time you need to know what your customer, employee or opponent wants.

It doesn’t involve insisting on or pushing your view onto someone else. Your vision or mission and purpose needs to paint a vision of the benefits that will accrue to the other side.

A mission statement, according to Wikipedia, is a statement of the purpose of a company, organisation or person, it’s reason for existing. The mission statement guides the actions of the person or business, spells out its overall goal, provides a path and guide for decision-making.

Before you start with any new undertaking or project or engagement with a customer or negotiation opponent, it’s worthwhile to spend a few minutes jotting your mission and purpose and that for the other side. Your own mission and purpose should include what benefits the other side can or will receive by dealing with you or owning your product or service.

When times get confusing having a clear mission and purpose will keep you on a steady course and help provide that precious asset peace of mind.

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