Negotiation basics in 5 minutes! #negotiation #chrisvoss #persuation #psychology

Category – Psychology

Reading time – 5 minutes

Whenever a baby is born, everyone wants this baby to cry. That’s all right. They need to learn to cry, before they can earn their laughs. Who wants to be at a place; where everyday is pelted with difficult negotiations.

Negotiations mean, a mutual discussion in an effort to reach an agreement, which both parties find appropriate.

Humans are partially illogical. You got to negotiate with a lots of them daily.

Every life is a series of negotiations. Every day is string of negotiations to get a better place in resource limited biosphere.

So guys, it is of utmost importance that we know what’s up with this negotiations thing.

Neither you can stand there like a banana tree, nor you can punch people in faces. You got to be diplomatic, when it comes to dealing with breathing people.

So, let’s discuss some basics of negotiations.

Disclaimer – These might not work with your wife, but they may help you to tackle little less complicated situations.

Things to be kept in mind –

1. People are irrational. They work at emotional level, especially in difficult situations.

2. People want to be understood.

3. People want to be in control of the situation.

4. Seperate people from the situation. People are not the problem. Situation is.

5. People want things to be fair according to their own definition.

6. Keep your voice as calm as possible to keep emotions under control, so that brain can work.

Now let’s dig deeper.

Dont shout or exchange names or open your lid, kept on adrenaline and cortisol. Try to control tone of your voice. Take pauses. Be slow. Don’t overexplain. Try to listen.

It can be done, if you seperate yourself and person from the situation and see situation as the problem.

It takes yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Those are difficult things.

Then what is the next thing that you need to do.

Once you control your primal instincts and get hold of your emotions.

Then listen complaints and try to make out meaning of demands.

Then comes your next two big tools.

1. Tactical empathy –

It means understanding their position. Labelling it. Telling in calm voice, whatever you could understand about their situation. Vocalising it. Without judging at this point.

Like saying to an angry customer that,” I understand your discomfort”. “If I was in your situation, I will feel the same.”

  It calms the person in front and gives them feeling of control. ( Which they crave for)

2. Open end questions –

Ask a question that leaves opportunity for multiple possible answers from the person in front. Ask it and then throw a pause.

Let the person in front complete it or answer it.

This will give person in front, a feeling of control. It will give them chance to vocalise their concern. And it may bring out facts, which may help you in finding a solution.

Sometimes, even repeating what the person in front has said; followed by a tactical pause, can bring out a lot of facts about the reason why that person is upset.

After you have stopped surge of anger with tactical empathy and found more facts by open ended questions, then keep that voice calm like Morgan freeman and try to reach a solution which is win -win for both parties.

These are time tested skills practised by best real world negotiators. So they are going to be useful in normal life scenarios.

Things that help.

1. Instead of saying No, ask open ended question starting with how.

Like if you don’t want your rent to increase. Ask, “How I am going to afford this increased rent?” Throw a pause and hence make this problem, a problem of the landowner.

He has to tell this solution, how you can afford or tell alternative possible solutions. Saying, ‘No’ would not lead to any such results.

2. Watch your body language. 50% of the message is conveyed by your body language. Show concern about opposite party.

3. Give surprise gifts or non monetary benefits in a business deal.

4. Don’t fear,’ No ‘. No is starting point of a negotiation. Welcome a, ‘No’ from opposite party and start negotiations from new set point.

5. Create deadlines or urgency. Like limited time deals. Limited time offers.

So these are few good things that will always help you in difficult talks.

And don’t mind if you fail sometimes. Afterall failing is all too human.

Inspiration – Never split the difference by Chris Voss
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Correct way of doing work! #deepwork #calnewport

Category – Personal growth

Reading time – 5 minutes

You need such solitude to connect deeply with your work.

We all need to work. Not only to earn money but also to keep us purposefully engaged and have satisfaction of contributing to the society.

But great work needs focus. It is not produced by anxious multitaskers with fleeting attention. Great work needs solitude and extreme focus with prolonged slots of distraction free time.

This is called deep work.

Greats like Carl Jung, Woodey Allen, JK Rowling all went into solitude to work on their main projects. Bill Gates takes thinking break once a year to envision future projects. Adam Grant who is bestselling author of the book, Originals goes into self isolation shutting himself away from social media.

As world becomes overburdened with data and job profiles change; old skills are rapidly outdated. You have to be a lifelong learner to stay in the race of everchanging industries. Due to advent of online work culture you have almost whole world competing for same online works. Hence level of expertise needs to be worldclass.

On the contrary to to availibilty of attention destroying social media apps and emails; it is increasingly difficult to have a deep focus on any task. But busyness is not equal to productivity.

Shallow work is easy but is useless. Deep work is dificult.

JK Rowling went to hotels to write in solitude.

What you can do!

Isolation from distractions. Focus on goals.

Try to do meaningful moderately difficult work that puts you in state of flow.

Work hard for a fair amount of time and then reward yourself with a treat like walk in woods or music.

Choose location that inspires and provides you your peaceful workplace. Go to hotel like Rowling or to island like Alan Lightly. Avoid open office.

Go to areas where exchance of ideas can happen like clubs. In MIT there is famous building 20, where scientists go to have coffee and multiple specialities interact with each other.

Focus on important things.

Act and measure progress.

Set accountability on failing to act.

Take break from your main work and indulge in different and attractive work for sometime.

Think about your task while walking.

Give time for self projects. Get enough leisure time to restore energy.

Stay away from social media during most of the worktime. Do not waste too much time on emails.

Inspiration – Deep Work by Cal Newport

how future leaders should be working? #simonsinek #leaderseatlast

Category – Business

Reading time – 5 minutes

I am not a big fan of leadership books. They are all little bit skewed in their content. They are either very superficial or they paint too idealistic picture of a leader.

As mankind has progressed, rules have changed. We need new type of leadership for future businesses and organisations. Good old paternistic bosses, who wagged their tongue as a whiplash are useless in a generation of individualism.

Leaders of present times need to carry a smile and graditude on their faces and every employee commands a certain degree of respect and freedom. Time and again different studies have confirmed that happy employees lead to happy customers and hence a happy balancesheet for the company.

Few perks and freedom to feel control over their job; leads to more productive workers. This feeling of control erodes away any feeling of insecurity that is prevelent in present job system, where health benefits and pensions are literally absent.

Employees in small teams who trust each other and are free of interteam competition; is a dream of every manager. After 1980, individualism became an accepted theory and fences started appearing between people. This created a dehumanised society; which focuses on profit before environment or poor people.

Rich pay less taxes. They find all possible loopholes to evade taxes. This leads to ever increasing inequality and rich finally end up in such a strong position that they lobby strongly against any change in tax laws.

Self employed and salaried people pay significant part of their income in taxes; as they do not posses knowledge and resources to use tax system loopholes.

So at the end of the day, employee feels good if he had a decent treatment in office. A respecting boss and cordial working environment that permits few human mistakes will make them forget all the odds stacked against them.

So we need leaders who have respectful way of getting things done by their workers and who are ready to handover some control to their workers; so that they feel that they are driving a part of this company.

We need more of oxytocin surge; which leads to feeling of friendship and generosity and lesser levels of cortisol.

Inspiration – Leaders eat last by Simon Sinek.

How innovation works – part 1- Basics #business #disrupt #startup #innovation

Reading time- 2 minutes

Category – Business


As we progress further; average life of a corporation is decreasing.

In last century it was 50 years, now it is roughly 10-15 years.

Disruption is speeding up. Big guns fail fast.


This happens ?

One big reason is lack of innovation.

Companies that don’t innovate fall behind.

Whenever a disruptive innovative idea surfaces in market, it kills many behemoths.


When Amazon came, it killed bookstores.

When iphone came, it disrupted camera and music industry.

So innovation keeps organization healthy and long lasting.


What is innovation actually ?

“Innovation is anything that adds value to organisation and solves problems.”

It is not same as invention.

Not same as discovery.

Types of innovation-

1. Empty – Not very useful. Adds very less value or no value.

Like Segway which was presented as revolutionary transport device. But still it is struggling to make a mark.

2. Incremental

It is small improvement in already useful technology or process.

It adds value over long time. It is also called horizontal progress.

Like improvements in delivery and storage services by Amazon over time.

Improvement in smartphones in each subsequent model.

3. Breakthrough –

It is significant improvement or addition but not disruptive to other existing companies or businesses.

Like Face ID of apple.

Falcon rocket of Spacex as it created reusable technology for space travel.

Wandy Parker online glassess company which changed the way glasses are bought by customers.

4. Disruptive-

It is rare.

It is genre killer. It kills many businesses.

Uber for taxi business.

Netflix for cable tv.

So, in few articles I will try to share internal workings and intestines of innovation.

In the process let’s try to gather few important insights.

I will share what I have learnt by reading some great Books about ideas and innovation.

Inspiration – Innovation mandate by Nicholas Webb
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Why it is not always a great idea to throw your job away! #entrepraneur #linkedin #business #money.

Category- Business

Reading time- 2 minutes

We commonly hear succes stories.

Hero of our story is a badass. He kicks away ( metaphorically) his college professor or his old boss and goes to do his own business.

He leaves suddenly one day and bravely survives inspite of constrained finances.


But we should be sceptical about it.

Studies show 90% of new businesses fail within three years.

Reason may be anything but such massacre happens.

Either you are immature, or you have non accepting market , wrong niche, wrong product or insufficient finances.



Then if you have a job, however ugly it may be you should not throw it away suddenly.

You should cling to it a little longer. Let it suck your soul a little longer.

And you should leave when you have one foot stable in new arena.

Studies have shown that people who keep their jobs while starting business have little more chance of succeding in their effort.

Don’t gamble bro.

Assess, polish, judge, secure and then raise the curtains. Wait before you scold your boss.

We have got proof from real life also.

Steve Wozniak co founder of Apple, kept working in hp for one more year after tinkering for Apple.

Google founders waited to complete their PhD before starting internet search engine.

Queen guitarist Brain May kept his studies going while performing at band.



Scott Adams who made Dilbert comic, jet working on his job.



Stephan King didn’t become Full time writer for seven years after he started writing.



eBay fonder Pierre kept his job while working part time on his website.

Spanx founder Sarah Blakely kept her job of selling fax machines, alongside her project.



Would they do that.



It is because human brain is hard wired to seek safety.

So, entrepreneurs being human and not being gamblers, first assess complete risk before burning their boats.

Thay modify the risk.

Who take blind risks, are likely to fail.

So, next time you get angry on your boss, just sip a glass of cold water and rethink over your future projects.

Make it a reasonable guess and moderate risk and go with complete set of emergency brakes.


.Take your plan A, B and C with you.

Inspiration – Originals by Adam Grant

How to get original ideas. #process #personalgrowth #business #money

Reading time – 5 minutes

Category – Psychology

Daily you get out of your bed with tired eyes and head to the same bathroom. By the time you have taken bath you work subconsciously. You don’t even realise that you have been in absent mindedness for an hour.

And then same scolding from your wife brings you to senses and worries of your office work slowly crawl on to you. You suddenly realize you have to take bath and eat breakfast in 10 minutes to be on time.

Next day same repeats.

You have developed patterns. You do and think in a same way day after day. There are no new or original ideas.

Your boss also snorts when in meeting you give the same idea that you had given in meeting two years back. Of course that is idea that is never going to work. You and boss both know that.


Now your friend who is himself lazy guy; tells you to be original. He tells you that you only live once and even if you can never get young again, try to be an original thinker to succed. Then you come back, finish your drink quickly and head towards same old bed.

But there are a few things that this guy we are discussing can do. Lets try to enumerate them.

1. Question status quo

See what you are doing. Identify wrong things. Question them as they are not written in our constitution. You can tinker with them. Even your boss will like if you could change a few bad things. Even your big boss ( Your wife) will like; if you behaved and acted differently. Try to change things for good. Till you don’t recognise defeciencies; how could you act on them.

2. Increase number of ideas

If a hen gives 10 eggs and 5 of them are good. Then it is highly advisable that she should produce more eggs. By increasing number of new ideas you can increase chances of finding a good idea. Swing your bat and you may hit the ball someday. Don’t restrict number of possibilities you may consider.

3. Try new domain –

Research has shown that professors who had diverse hobbies like gardening, arts, sports, music had greater chance of winning nobel prize. Learn new skills. Learn new language. In stead of accumulating fat in front of television; go and read something. When you expand field of your knowledge, number of original ideas increase.

4. Socialise out of your field

Meet people from different jobs, different ethnicity, different country and different religions. When you come in contact with new cultures you learn new facets of life. You may find a new idea in the process. Artists who visit different countries benefit from their experience. Same applies to authors.

5. Repeat

By repeating and discussing idea you become familiar with it. Alongside you tend to get to a little depth.

You can mix new idea with old famous one to succeed. Like King kong movie shows theme similar to beauty and the beast. Similarly Pixar’s toy story shows theme of friendship and sacrifice with use of common toys. Both movies were successful.

6. Start by analysing drawbacks –

Start by seeing weak aspects of your idea. This will make you more receptive of criticism. Also listeners of your idea will be hard pressed to find more flaws, when you have already found few common ones. It makes you sound honest.

Babble website is for children care and its founder Rufus Griscom used this trick to pitch Disney to buy his website. He told them five reasons why Disney should not buy his company. Disney bought it for 40 million.

7. Take mindful risk – When you have got a new idea. Analysis of risk profile becomes necessary. When you take risk in one domain of your life like your job, you must become more cautious in other domains like investing and family life. Don’t quit jobs or throw a gamble. Mitigate risk when you work on your original idea.

8. Feedback– In surge of endorphins you may fly a little high. You may not see obvious flaws in your plan. Make a original idea and get feedback from peers and mentors. They provide you with valuable insights. Use that insight to improve on your plan.

9. Be lazy sometimes– It is never a good idea to jump as soon as you get parachute. First check it for holes and check wind speed. Check for rescuers. As Stephan King said, ” No need to write an idea. If it is good enough it will stick.”

Give your idea an incubation time. Let the market become ripe and receptive. Ideas get fatty and more productive with time. Dont be super lazy but give your ideas some time.

Wao. You made till the end. That’s amazing.

Inspiration – Originals by Adam Grant.

Stuck in a miserable job- What are your options. #freelancer#personalgrowth

Category- Psychology

Reading time – 2 minutes


As we walk deeper into new century being an employee is becoming more difficult. Gone are the old days when one employee stayed in one company for many years and company provided regular growth and even health insurance and emergency leaves.

But now it is different. There are no pensions, minimum health benefits and if you are not delivering or mishandling of economy leads to an inevitable recession, you stand high probability of being handed over a pink slip.


AI and robots are on the horizon but even before that doing job is not very cool.



On the contrary if you are stuck in a bad job with a bad boss or may be poor growth potential; what are options that fall in your lap.




What on the earth a dependent employee lacking ng other income streams can do on earth if he doesn’t like face of his boss.


1. Exit-

Leaving the job. Saying some swear word and after watching few YouTube motivational videos; you can write an emphatic resignation.

You need to have stored , “f*c* you boss money” ; for surviving till you get next job.

Then you update your resume on all job sites and seeks motivation from family and friends and grow a serious beard and few layers of fat to face new boss.


It can be good or bad depending on situations. But this is also most radical solution.

All jobs have some inherent problem, but if new jobs helps you grow your skills and reach your potential and resonates with your principles , it is good to jump.

Don’t jump for slight pay raise or out of desperation.

Wait for some time to assess qualities of new job.




2. Voice-

If you are little brave , you can go to your boss and tell him in a diplomatic manner, how he and his company suck.

You can tell him to improve your condition and alongside tell that you will like to work in company for a long time, if conditions permit.

But these scenarios roll out only when , your skills are important for the company or you are a golden egg laying cuckoo in your department.

3. Persistence-

If you have particularly strong will and you know your boss never listens to good advice and your voice is going to land you in a firing line; you try to persist.

You try with all your soul to remain in the job, bacause it is not worth to move to another sick company.

You work extra hours, you try to be extra polite with your clients and even listen to people in routine meetings.

You listen sad songs and movies and cry sometimes in the pillow while your wife snores.

You watch survival videos on youtube and try to stick to the bread like butter waiting to be devoured.



4. Neglect-

If you are a normal guy with smartphone and Netflix connection, you will probably neglect. You will stay but do minimum work to prevent boss from firing you immediately.

You choose slow death for your association and you count hours and figure out ways to pass them in an enjoyable way.

You play games on phone and gossip with other neglecting colleagues.




Other options if exist, I am still to notice or read about them.



.Out of these of course quitting and neglecting are bad for business and company.


.Then what is best option,

it is a thing to ponder.



What expert say ; is that it is best to voice your concerns and alongside measure your options and risks. Then stay if things work out or stay ready to leave if boss is actually stuck on same place.


next time you face a difficult situation, try to figure out what you are going to do.

Inspiration – Originals by Adam Grant

Reinventing and rebranding my blog #newideas #psychology #business

Category – Reinventing my blog

Reading time – 1 minute.



Hi friends.

Thanks for being with me dear friends. It has been a really good journey.

Now from book reviews I have decided to shift to a more valuable theme for my posts. . Why another blog. Another blog doomed for obscurity. Another blog worth bypassing. Save our attention. It’s so precious thing that very less is left to volunteer.

Why I am here —

Whatever I read just slips over my duramatter, never to be retrieved.

Hence my brother ( younger and wiser) , advised me to write down stuff; so that my repellent brain can review the stuff I presume to be valuable.

“In process you may find something useful, a smelly idea. An idea which might be worth sniffing.”

And I promise it will consume lesser time than an average small coffee.

Oh, lord save our time and our attention. Save our attention for Netflix, twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

#newblogidea #psycholgy #money #brain

Book review Fly fly again #graphicnovel #kidsbook #comic #greenleafbooks

Title- fly fly again.

Author- Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson

Illustrations- Tamir lyon

Publisher – Greenleaf book club

Genre- kids fiction

My rating – 4/5



It is a wonderful kids book.

It is illustrated kids book about a girl who wants to make a rocket. She wants to fly.

So with her friends, she plans to make s plane.

She tries again and again till she succeds. Her friends help her.

Story is nice and simple perfectly suited for reading by kids. Captions hav we simple vocabulary. It is easy on eyes.

Artwork is excellent.

Use of colors is very good and clarity of pictures is amazing.

All the fine details in background are visible.

I read it to my son and he enjoyed it.

It teaches value of hard work.

A very nice kids book.

I recommend it to everyone interested in reading illustrated works.