Mind Mapping For Business Negotiations

There is no doubt about it, negotiating effectively is a skill and one that needs to be mastered if you are going to be successful in business.  It is also a very good skill to have under your belt in daily life as well.  According to some negotiating experts, you could save as much as 10% on your household bills and shopping if you are willing to negotiate.  So it is worth investigating how you too can become an effective negotiator.  This article isn’t going to teach you everything about negotiating, in fact in won’t teach you much more than the basics but what it will do is show you how you can apply Mind Mapping to your Business Negotiations.  So this article is for you if you have some experience of negotiating and want to get a better handle on what you are already doing.

The process of negotiation can be divided into three broad areas: preparation, negotiation and follow up.  Each of these can be enhanced using Mind Mapping so I will take each in turn and explain how you could use the Mind Map.

1.        Preparation

This is probably where the success or failure of a negotiation is decided.  Preparation is such a key stage and the clich├ęs like “Fail to plan then plan to fail” and “Preparation prevents poor performance” hold true in effective negotiation as well.

During your preparations you will need to gather all of the relevant information to support you in your negotiation and of course using a Mind Map is a great tool to use for this.  These days it is likely that you will have multiple sources of information across different media types and by hyper-linking to those documents you can access them from one place.  This is one of the most useful features of great Mind Map software.

The other thing that Mind Mapping is extremely useful for once you have gathered all of your supporting information, is to review and consider your current position, the place you want to be at the end of the negotiations, your opponent’s position and where they are likely to want to be end.  Whilst you can never fully know where your opposite number stands and where they really want to be, thinking about that ahead of time will allow you to consider the various options and alternative stances you may need to take.

When you lay these various options out and explore them using a Mind Map you will start to see themes and connections and potential win-win positions that you may not have seen before.  I am aware of no other thinking tool that can handle multiple what-if scenarios and “if they say then I’ll say” options so well without you becoming overwhelmed or lost.

2.        The Negotiation Itself

During the negotiation itself, a Mind Map can be applied in a number of different ways.  It can be used for the meeting agenda to set things up.  You can use it to personally keep track of the twists and turns of the talks or you can create a shared Mind Map that everyone can see evolve and is used to capture what has been agreed.  Much of the groundwork for the negotiation will have been done in the preparation stage and so you may need to refer to the Mind Maps you put together before the meeting.  In more proactive and dynamic negotiations Mind Mapping can be used to present your position, consider alternatives and even generate new ideas and solve problems.  It is such a powerful tool that it only enhances the thought process you apply it to.

3.        The Follow Up

After a negotiation has taken place, it is important to follow up and ensure what has been agreed is actually implemented.  Keeping track using Mind Mapping is one way of doing this.  Sharing the maps generated during the negotiation is a good way of ensuring everyone has the same record of the meeting and the decisions taken.

Being Fully Present

Have you ever given thought to how effective you are when your attention is divided into many places at one time? I’m sure we can all relate to the feeling of discord or a pulling on the inside that tells us that we may not be making any significant difference at that moment, however that feeling is something that can easily be ignored. I mean it’s not like we have a thermostat or a measuring guide to tell us how much we are losing by trying to place our attention in two places at one time. Yet that is exactly what we are doing. It’s like were robbing Peter to pay Paul by trying to be in two places at one time. Of course there are different degrees in how this is done and in some cases it just can’t be helped.

No I’m talking about when you are out on a date night with your significant loved one and your attention is at the office, or you are on the phone and not at all in the moment, adding dimension to your conversation with that loved one you’re out with. Or perhaps you are guilty of being on the computer roaming the internet and posting things on social media sites whilst you are in a meeting or worse still with a client. You may not see it, but wherever you are meant to show up and you don’t show up by being fully present, people notice. That’s right they can see. Most of our communication is felt or seen before it reaches the verbal realm. You don’t have to be the brightest person to realise someone has left the conversation. It also doesn’t matter how we feel about being there, in other words there is no real justification for not being fully present but pretending to be. Our actions will always be about us and as much as we’d like to put it on others we are always in a state of becoming in every moment we act on our thoughts.

The questions we could be asking ourselves is what am I saying about me when I am not fully present in a place where I said I was going to be? Is this something I value and if so how am I showing up for what I say I value?

The truth is when we say we value something whether it is our health, relationship, our work or clientele and we step out on those things on a repeated basis then we are really stepping out on ourselves. Whilst it may appear as though we don’t value the thing we say we do or the person whom we say we value. The most harm is done to ourselves because we are actually stepping out on ourselves. Through our actions we are saying that we don’t need to be fully present because we don’t make any significant difference when we are present, so why be present.

On the other hand making it a practice to be fully present brings you compounded results of success and although every moment counts; those are the moments that will have the best impact. Those moments when we are fully present will be the moments that miracles are created. Those are the moments the universe will yield to us and become all that we hoped for.

As we define and redefine our values it would be good to take note of what our intentions are regarding those values if we hope to be successful at valuing them. Every model of success that has ever been achieved has in common the need for focus attention, for without it there would be no success. So understanding that we may want to amend some situations and perhaps let go of some of the things that we can’t give our fullest attention and become focused, because success is determined where we give our full attention. So let’s strive in all that we do to be here now!

“Showing up where we are supposed to and living in the moment and giving life and everyone around us our very best are the best moments we can ever live”. – Donniece Greene-Smith

Purchasing The Right Baby Presents

When a family is expecting a new baby there is a tremendous expense involved. Not just for the crib, stroller and other large items but for the small things that are needed as well. Fortunately, for many such families, there are usually baby presents that fill many of these needs.

Gifts for babies, that are on the market today, come in very attractive packages. There are matching girl and boy outfits, colorful blankets and practical things, such as feeding sets, bottles and diapers. When purchasing gifts for such an occasion there are a number of things one should consider. The size to purchase, for example, should be considered carefully.

With newborns, it should be remembered that they grow very rapidly. In addition, it is not unusual to have one weigh 8 to 10 pounds at birth. Newborn clothing, as a rule, is manufactured to fit up to approximately 9 pounds. This information will be found on the clothing packaging.

Considering the rapid growth, that babies experience in the first few months of their life, a ‘newborn’ garment would not be used for very long. This is why, in thrift store, one often sees brand new items of this size for sale. The baby can only have their clothes changed a certain number of times a day and usually some sort of a plain nightgown is used.

Therefore, to be practical, if purchasing clothing for a new baby, always purchase the 9 months to a year size. This will allow time for the baby to have their rapid growth spurt and then be at a size where the clothing will fit and will be used. Nightgowns are always appreciated as they often have to be changed many times a day.

Another very practical, and appreciated, gift is a basket of usable items. This would include such things as powder, safety pins, wash cloths, baby oil and other things that are needed daily. Of course, diapers for newborns are always welcomed as they will be used and a large number is needed. Crib sheet sets are not only practical but also appreciated as they must be changed on a regular basis.

If purchasing a gift for older babies one should always be careful regarding safety items. Small things that could be put in the mouth, causing choking, or any item that is dangerous should be avoided. Always be sure that the gift is ‘age appropriate’. This information is usually printed on the outside of an item purchased. Baby presents are fun to buy and are always something one knows will be welcomed and used.