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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Mummy with golden tongue. Mystery. #archaeology #mummies #afterlife #taposirismagna

Category – Science

Reading time – 2 minutes

If you are dead. You are almost free from wordly affairs. You can lie silently and rot by yourself. No morning alarms or killer deadlines. No bills to pay.

But that is not applicable if you were a king. And a king of Egypt. You need to surrender yourself to delicate hands of people in business of making mummies.

They will make you follow the myths you lived with even after you have stopped consuming oxygen.

Courtesy – Egyptian antiquities ministry

And they love to put gold everywhere around you. So that you stay rich and inflation free.

A mummy wass discovered recently in Egyptian archaeological site. It was lying silent with open month and in that month there was a golden tongue.

Mummy was discovered by scientists at evacuation site of Taposoris magna and mummy is believed to be 2000 years old.

What was the purpose of golden tongue is not clear and question is open for all sorts of speculations. Experts will guess weird things and lots of stories willbe made. Top news sites will copy paste from each other. Many eyeballs will soak the news with wonder for seconds, before some other attention catching photo or video clouds the attention again.

And our endeavour to make meaning of our current state by digging out remains of the past continues and strange ape called man still keeps amazing us with its wonderful and sometimes weird deeds.

Source – Egyptian antiquities ministry.

https://egymonuments.gov.eg/

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 Newporthttps://www.amazon.in/dp/0349413681

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.https://www.amazon.in/Leaders-Eat-Last-New-Chapter/dp/0670923176

What #calnewport has to say on career choice and #passion – my observations

Category – Business
Reading time – 5 minutes






Cal Newport wrote a book with title “So good that they cannot ignore you.”

As it is always with any self help book; there was very less new to describe. Afterall all the self-help works on well known and old few principles; which have been around for centuries.

Hence, you cannot create a new concept. So he did what was possible and he refuted a well established advice blurted by every self help guru that “You should follow your passion.”

That’s why he got attention of people who have always assumed that it is always right to follow your passion, even if final destination is not clear.

Newport argues that it can be a bad advice or even dangerous one. Let’s examine his reasons so that we may find something useful in this antitheory.

There are two types of people-
( Actually there are many types but we need to focus on these fellows here) –

1. Passion mindset– People who think that we should chase passion to be happy. World has to give us something. It owes something for our greatness.

2. Craftsman mindset – Be good at something and give something valuable to world and you will feel happiness.

How actually you can follow this path of,” loving what you do”.

It is like an Indian arranged marriage in which your parents choose your partner and you fall in increasing love as your marriage life proceeds.


Few things one can do according to Newport are as under

1. Develop a skill that is rare and valuable – It is your career capital.

2. And then negotiate with world to take control of how much you do and how you do. But keep in mind that skills you posses must be easily cashable and people should be ready to pay for it.

3. Do deliberate practice to improve yourself. Know that it will take time. But be So good they can’t ignore you.
Look for next minor improvements ( adjacent possible) that you can add to your skill set.

4. You need to differentiate between –

Job – pays bills.

Career – Progressive improvement in your skills and earnings

Calling – Things that have impact on World.

5. Don’t go out full throttle at once. Start small. Play small bets to learn what works.

6. You need to market your skills. Make it a purple cow as coined by Seth Godin.

A purple cow is an attention catching peculiar thing amongst heap of similar looking stuff. People identify it easily and remark on it. It is not one of those routine things.

A parantha ( Indian stuffed bread) shop is a Gray cow but a shop that offers biggest parantha in city is a purple cow.

7. Do right work. It is more important than finding the right work.

My observations

Nothing is new.
Everything has already been said in some other self help book.
It is true about all new self help books.

10 k rule is from Malcolm Gladwell.

Adjacent possible from Steven Johnson book, Where good ideas come from.

You must have good skills and must be patient and improve slowly as life passes, are well known axioms.

What author has done is refuted the notion of following your passion with few new stories about people we don’t know and analysing stories of people we know like Steve Jobs with a new perspective.

But there is no rule that is good for everyone.

If we follow Cal Newport world would be a little less pleasant and perfectionist; where every step will require tight scrutiny about risk benefit.

Humans are not built like that.
They need to express their stupidity, eccentricities, peculiarities, leaps of faith and senseless dreams.

We need both.passion of traditional self help tweakers.

And caution and hardwork of Cal Newport.




#business
#career
#followyourpassion
#calnewport
#selfhelp
#nonfiction

12 things that businesses produce – Basics of business – #business #money #productivity

Reading time – 3 minutes
Category – Business



If you have started a business. That’s a good thing. Congratulations for your efforts.

All businesses of World produce value, which they provide to the masses. This is the value for which people pay their hard earned money.

Here are various forms in which businesses provide value –

1. Product –

They produce a physical or digital product which solves problems of customers.

2. Service –
They serve to solve particular problem of customers like doctors, financial advisor, lawyers, coaches, teachers etc.

3. Shard resource –
Produces a durable entity that can be shared by multiple users.
Like marriage palace, gym, theatre, mall etc.

4. Subscription –
They have recurring fee for a service or product.
Like Netflix, editing softwares etc.

5. Resale –
Here we buy a product at margin and sell it on a profit.
Like retail stores, online stores etc.

6. Loan –
Money is given with predefined interest on loan.

7. Ticketing or licensing
For a particular fee a specific facility is provided for limited duration.
Like movie tickets, licence of guns, coupons, discount cards etc.

8. Insurance –
Transferring risk from buyer to seller after charging some amount.
You know there are so many of them around. They are continuously spamming your phone and emails.

9. Capital –
Purchase of ownership in a business.
Venture capitalists and investors.
You need to have good knowledge before you do that.

10. Aggregation
Potential buyers are aggregated in a common place to publicise and create some revenues.
Like trade fairs, conferences.

11. Agents –
They don’t produce themselves. They help produces to reach their customers. Like ad agency, PR agency, literary agents.

12. Lease
In it particular assett is given on a fee to use. After customer goes next customer uses it.
Like boat, castle, car, motorcycle etc.


So, whatever business you do try to know what you are creating.

Also it is very important to notice that we might be missing few more things. Will like to hear from your side.

Inspiration – Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman.
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#1- Why idiots are idiots- The Dunning Kruger effect #50brightideas #science

Reading time – 2 minutes.

Category – Psychology

You are generally well versed with excess of idiots around you. It is common habit of homo sapiens to assess IQ level of people surrounding them by observing their behaviour and actions.

So many of them. Some are actually there. Few we assume, as we don’t like them.

Some people are different from us, hence sound idiotic to us and vice versa.

But human population seems to possess the people fully qualified to be labelled as idiots.

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And there is one phenomenon, which explains why they are not aware themselves; that they are idiots.

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Congnitive dissonance or Dunning Kruger effect ( Dk effect).

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It was shown in a study by David Dunning and Justin Kruger that human beings overestimate their ability and that is proportional to their incompetence.

Expert may doubt themselves, but idiot never do that.

There is a fixed pattern, more incompetent somebody is, more competent he feels.

People are very bad at objective assessment of their own ability.

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As they become more competent their overconfidence reduces and they come to senses.

It may be explained, that due to low brain capacity; they are not even able to see themselves clearly.

Hence incompetence and overconfidence is a risky combo. Stay miles away from such people.

According to Duning and Kruger;

there are four stages of competence –

1. Unconscious incompetence-

Person is not aware of his foolishness. Don’t try to reason with him. He will accept any challenge and feels super competent.

2. Conscious incompetence

Gets aware somehow. Due to learning or experience or failures. This is stage of enlightenment. Somebody or some situation opens his eyes.

3. Conscious competence

Person becomes better but still knows there is a lot to learn. Hence keeps learning.

4. Unconscious competence

This is ultimate target. One is expert with little conscious effort.

He still knows that he has many limitation. Risk and benefit analysis gets better.

So next time you see a person you consider idiot; just imagine him being a victim of Dunning Kruger phenomenon. Let him be what he is.

Inspiration – Many books.

8 things you must watch out before starting a business #business #earnmoney #personalgrowth

Reading time – 2 minutes
Category – Business

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If you have caught the bug to be enterpreneur; you must start understanding business world’s inner workings.

First of all you should see the market in which you want to enter.

Before you start working on prototype, it is better to analyse product on strict criteria.

Here are few things that you should look out for.

1. Investment –

How much capital will you need. It depends on business. If you do electricity repair few instruments needed, but to build a factory much larger dough is needed.

2. Market size –

how many people use your product.

Everybody wears clothes but very few people purchase personal Jets.

3. Price of item –

How much can you charge for your product.

A pen is very cheap and a smartphone is costly.

4. Cost of delivery

How much will it cost to deliver the product or service.

Sending software is easy, while delivering food needs store and employees.

5. Cost of customer acquisition –

Amount of money you need to spend on finding customers.

A hospital on busy road gets automatic customers. But to sell a new FMCG product you need tv ads.

6. Uniqueness –

How unique is your product or service.

A pizza restaurant is common, while a private rocket ( Spacex) is rare.

7. Time in starting

How much time it will take to serve your first customer.

While coaching online is fast, but starting a hospital takes time.

8. Lifetime of product or service –

If you teach you have to teach everytime to get paid, while an app once famous can generate disproportionate revenues.

So after analysing these criteria further planning becomes easier.

Enter a niche which has demand and try to acquire it’s major stack.

Things to know before starting a startup #zerotoone #business #peterthiel

Category- Business Reading time – 5 minutes

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

A startup should focus on vertical growth in which new technology is produced. This is called zero to one concept. This happens in great startups. You don’t just increase a bit but you add a whole unit.

Hence startups work on modern rules

1. Sales matters alongwith product.

2. Take risks

3. Try to capture small niche and try monopoly.

Incremental improvement in existing technology is horizontal progress. As happens when we copy or slightly improve existing technology. This is seen during globalisation. Whatever new comes you can see a Chinese made copy of that.

Competition is two types

1. Perfect-

It depends on demand supply. Competitors wipe out profits of each other. Like most of the commodities. But paradoxically little successful players here show themselves as greatly positioned. Competition creates losses for both parties and opportunities for new disrupter like Apple against microsoft and Google.

2. Monopoly– Provides such service that no one can compete like Google in search engine business. But these companies generally hide the fact that they have monopoly. They show themselves being small part of big market.

So focus on monopoly by solving a unique problem. This drives progress and create profits.

See what is future cash flow of an Idea. Most of tech companies become profitable after 10-15 years. Like PayPal, LinkedIn, twitter are still to become profitable. But they provide value.

Ask if this business will be around after 10 years.

How to get monopoly in a sector

1 . Proprietary technology– At least 10 times better than closest competition. Otherwise it will be hard to attract customers.

Like books on Amazon were many folds better due to large inventory and ease of selecting. ipad was ten times better than hand held computers before it.

2. Network effect– It helps in rapid spread of a new idea. It also makes products of company available universally. Like Facebook has everyone we know on its list hence we stay with it..

3. Scalability– When fixed costs lead to exponential sales. Like Twitter, softwares. See if your business is scalable.

4. Brand– Brands attract premium from customers. Like Apple

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

So little bit about steps of doing it- Getting your Idea above the floor.

1.Start in a small market. Like PayPal connected with ebay sellers before it spread elsewhere.

2. After successful start expand your market laterally. add new categories and products.

3. Don’t disrupt. Stay humble and work on improvement. Don’t try to hunt down big players When Napster wanted to disrupt music industry single handedly, it was destined to fail.

4. Be last mover or create last improvement in a specific market.

5. Be indefinite optimist who believes future will be better but not sure how.

Always keep Power law in mind. Few things are more important than others and these should not be missed.

6. Look for secrets that are still to be discovered. Don’t loose faith in secrets like HP who instead of focusing on innovation; focused on affordable printers and lost its future growth in tge process.

If Andrew Wiles could solve Fermat’s theorem, 358 years of its creation; more things are possible.

Look how world works like Airbnb. Uber saw unmet opportunities. See where no-one is looking.

7. Good foundation is must as it can’t be changed later.partners should be happy to work with each other and it’s better if they have complimentary skills.

Ownership should be specified.

Possession means who runs day to day.

Control means normally a board. These things should be clear.

All should be full time.CEO should not overpay himself. Give equity to staff.

Specify work of everyone.

8. Customer life time value must be more than customer acquisition cost. See type of sales you need.

Personal sales or traditional advertising. Refferal program for existing customers helps.

Green tech companies like solar failed in 2012 because they didn’t see these basics.

Tesla succeed because it got these basics right.

Summary-

Before you start up ask these questions-

1. Engineering – can you get next breakthrough technology which is 10 times better.

2. Timing– Is time right for your product.

3. Monopoly– Can you get big share of a small market.

4. Do you have right team.

5. Your delivery system is ok.

6. Can you last 10 to 20 years.

7. Have you identified a unique problem to solve.

One side note- Founders are at extremes of normality.

Inspiration- Zero to one by Peter Thiel.

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Currently Peter Thiel is heading Planatir which studies big data to find patterns and hence helps in identifying frauds, terror attracts, Infections etc.

How innovation works- part 4 – structure of innovation #business #money

Reading time – 3 minutes
Category – Business

It is last part of series of four posts about innovation and it’s inner life.

Part 1-3 can be read here –

1. Innovation and it’s inner workings part 1

2. innovation and it’s inner workings part 2

3. innovation and it’s inner workings part 3

When ever somebody decides to do something, it is a daunting task.

If he can workout a plan then it’s better.

It is easier for brain to act, if it has a plan to act upon, instead of wriggling blindly in the universe

So if you are convinced that innovation is necessary, then dear you need to make a blueprint, a structure which can facilitate innovation.

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Here is a rough idea.

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1. Ask why innovate?

well if you want your company to grow white beard someday and grow wrinkled old, you need to innovate regularly.

2. Set precise vision

What you want to do in future?

3. your mission

What you want to do now?

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Define- what you want.

A service or a product or both.

Prepare pipeline of products.

That depends on what your company does

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Assess readiness….

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Train people

Tell them about innovation.

Invite new ideas from everyone in company.

Your people act as spark generator.

Promote cross department sharing of ideas.

Hire risk taking young talent.

Give them space to fail.

In short, be the non irritating sober boss.

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Now when you have got few ideas.

It’s time to filter them.

Do it fast.

Take into consideration future technology advances and public behaviour.

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Possible incremental innovation may be possible in your already available products.

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You can see these opportunities in your existing business and your new ventures

1. Plus –

Add one feature to your already successful product.

Like roof window in a car or new component in tooth paste or new colors in a device.

2. Digitalise it

Make a magazine available digitally.

E book of a paperback.

Online services of a bank.

Shop physical to online.

Library online from college.

Classess online by good teachers like Udemy, byjus.

3. Dynamic

New flavours of a good product.

New additions to already available services like Amazon started as online store. Now it has business in online payment, music, content streaming and Amazon Web services.

4. Minus-

reduce size and parts of a or complexities.

Like reduces size of recent hard disks and pen drives by SanDisk.

Thinner computer and tv monitors by computer makers.

Ear pods which are free of wires.

There are many opportunities available.

5. Connect-

One business is connected to other.

Like after a successful film earnings from merchandise and toys. I love those avengers merchandise.

Movie and games.

Cricket and virtual games.

Footballers and t-shirts.

6. Collobrative:-

It is quite common when two businesses coollobrate.

Like free bowl with Maggie noodles.

Free Paytm cash with commodities.

New product with already famous product.

Book authors generally promote each other by giving assertive statements on new book’s covers.

After all this research try to prepare a final plan.

There is a lot of space for tinkering and experimenting.

Inspiration- Innovation mandate by Nicholas Webb.

get your copy here