How to handle the “death valley” in personal transitions?

(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

You may decide to take the plunge and move in a new direction but fear sets in and you find yourself trapped in “death valley”. This state has many different descriptions including depression, being immobilised or paralysed by your fears.

Digging yourself out can be difficult. Once you are inside “death valley” you are battling with your previous identity and trying to adjust to a new identity. Your stable, comfortable status quo has given way to a chasm of chaos. This is the most difficult part of personal transition. Continue reading “How to handle the “death valley” in personal transitions?”

When last did you take time out to get perspective on your business?

IMG-20130825-00539I’ve just come off the beach and have ordered coffee and breakfast at this beach bistro. It is warm where I’m sitting in the sun but down on the beach it’s windy and cold from the last days of winter in the southern hemisphere. Seagulls screech overhead.

On the beach a group of four young men are exercising, doing on-the-spot running, press ups and hand strengthening, for martial arts. A few runners are sauntering past, heading towards a long stretch of wet beach shining in the early morning sun. About eight young lifesavers are kitted out in wet suits with one of them swimming out into the icy breakers – they’re doing some practice exercise. Continue reading “When last did you take time out to get perspective on your business?”

Who ever heard such nonsense about negotiation?

Whether you run a small retail or manufacturing business, a service outfit or act as a solo consultancy, you must have at one time or another been personally involved in some difficult negotiation that tested your mental powers to the limit.

As you wracked your brain for solutions, thought up ways to secure the best deal for yourself and visualised solutions to protect your interests, it’s hard to argue that your imagination wasn’t being stretched.

I came across some research the other day about creativity not really playing a significant role in negotiation. I’m not sure I even understand these academics but in my experience and observing other business people locked in negotiation I’m absolutely convinced that creativity does make a difference in negotiation.

Before we see how creativity influences negotiation, let’s look at what negotiation means. In the real world, all the academic definitions of negotiation don’t make much sense. What’s more grounded in reality is that negotiation is really about finding some sort of agreement that is mutually acceptable. It might require compromise. But if you don’t like the envisaged outcome you can always say no and walk away.

Negotiation is important to all of us because we do it all the time. At home, at work, at play.

I recently participated in several role playing negotiations. What I was struck by was that the negotiations deadlocked every time for these reasons: The negotiation team members did not creatively imagine their opponents’ world. They did not fully understand the world of their customer or seller and therefore could not make a fully imaginative assessment of their needs, wants and desires. With more creative thinking, viewing the problem from different perspectives, they could have immersed themselves more fully in their customer’s world.

The other area where they could have used more creativity was to brainstorm and invent more options for mutual gain. And in instances where there was no hope for this, they could have walked away from the deal.

Making conditional proposals, so the other side can’t get what they want from you without you getting what you want from them in return, requires creativity. So does setting the agenda or order of business. Deciding what issues to discuss first and which ones to deal with later is a very creative act especially when the stakes are high.

These are just a few instances of creativity in negotiations. In these economic times it is crucial that you negotiate the best deal with your customers, suppliers and other business people.

Leaving money on the table doesn’t only leave a bad taste in your mouth, it also hurts your bottom line.


Stay inspired

Chesney Bradshaw