How to get what you want with negotiation

give and take

Negotiation is a necessary life skill – it could mean the difference between being underpaid and getting the salary you deserve; between getting your kids to do some of the chores versus raising lazy kids; or unfairly paying for a portion of your friends’ restaurant bill versus trying your best to save money. Negotiation is not just for people with jobs in accounting who need to get the boss to spend less on wining and dining clients and more on training employees, but it is for everyone who is trying to carve out space for their self-worth.


Rule number one for negotiation

The first rule of negotiation is to value yourself and to appreciate the things you want. The basis for this value is to realize that it is okay to want things, especially if it means better compensation for what you are doing, instead of persistently compromising for others.

Rule number one for negotiation

What you need to be a better negotiator:

Give and take

Negotiation is not about making demands on another person (or other people) – it is about informing them that you would like your voice to be heard and your values respected. Asking your boss for a raise does not mean telling him to “show me the money!”, However, rather signaling to him that you think the extra work you have been doing and the time you have been committing to your job make you eligible for higher compensation. When he asks you for proof of your time and commitment, have the reports and figures ready to show how you have benefited his company and bottom line.

give and take

Don’t take it personally

Negotiation is making a deal. If you approach someone to negotiate, you have the goal in mind to get what you want. How you feel about what has led up to the negotiation is irrelevant – feeling short-changed, left out, betrayed, or passed over for promotion can all be dealt with after hours, as long as it does not affect your negotiation skills.

dont take it personal

Come prepared

As in the example mentioned above, it is best to come ready to a negotiation table. You want something out of this negotiation, so it is not a stretch to understand that the party you are negotiating with also wants something in return. Making a compelling argument in your favor takes work, and if you can back it up with reliable figures and proof, the party you are negotiating with won’t be able to fault you for subjective value.

Come prepared

Go in asking for more than what you want, knowing that the other party will try to negotiate down. In the end, make sure you get what you want.

7 Tips on how to start your day at work

Get organised

Whereas most of us would love to live our lives idly on an African safari, work is a fact that we have to deal. If there’s one thing that will determine how your day goes, it is likely to occur at the start of your day. Fortunately, you have a way of controlling whether you have a good day, bad day, stressful day, or lucky day. How you start your day can determine your level of productivity, your creativity, and your ability to stay mentally alert until you clock out. Here’s a list of ideas on how to make the most of your day based on how it starts, which can be particularly useful for people in high-stress work like finance jobs, tech support, call centers, or executive level.

1. Get to work on time

If you arrive late, you can spend your day feeling like all you are doing is catching up. If you are on time, you will feel more in control of your productivity, and it makes a good impression.

Get to work on time

2. Breathe and visualize your day

You might be stressed because of your morning commute into work. When you sit down at your desk, take a deep breath (while your computer is booting up), close your eyes, and gently visualize the outcome of your day. Prepare yourself to get everything was done that needs to get done.

breathe easy

3. Ease into it

Before you are rushed upon by colleagues, ease into your work day. Take a moment, drink a cup of coffee, and start attending to emails and other communications that may have come in overnight.

Ease into it

4. Wipe the slate clean

Even if you are dealing with ongoing projects, start each day’s work afresh. Leave yesterday’s action quota in yesterday and start the new day’s work in an organized and novel way.

Wipe the slate clean

5. Get organised

Scan through your emails to prioritize them into high, medium, and low priority. Don’t answer any communications just yet. Make a to-do list and block out your day with what you need to get done. Even high-level organizing can provide you with a realistic mindset about how much you can achieve in your eight-hour work day. Organize your desk – starting work in a nice space also provides your head with a bright space in which function.

Get organised

6. Connect with your colleagues

Check in with your partners to find out what they need to achieve for the day – and sharing your goals – which should give you an idea of any potential pitfalls you may need to resolve during the day or week.

Connect with your colleagues

7. Respond to communications

Working with a priority, the early morning is an excellent time to tend to those emails and make those phone calls. Morning conversations are a lot more useful because the respondent is also starting out his or her day and won’t be at a point where they are too busy to reply to you.

Respond to communications

Stick to your to-do list and if you feel like you are falling behind, delegate some tasks to resources with capacity. What other morning rituals or practices are an excellent way to start your work day?


Tips for adhering to business meeting etiquette

How to Listen Attentively

business meeting etiquette
Business meetings can be formal or informal, catered in a boardroom or executed over a quick cup of coffee in the office canteen. However, if you are going to be attending a formal business meeting and have been invited as a guest, it is important to adhere to proper etiquette as a show of respect and to ensure the success of the meeting. Whether meeting attendees are in executive level positions, engineering jobs, finance positions, or in a support role, everyone should take cognizance of the following meeting rules:

Etiquette for Effective Meetings


Proper planning

The meeting organizer should send out a meeting agenda at least a week before the meeting day. The plan provides a framework for the purpose and progress of the meeting; sending it out in advance gives all participants the opportunity to voice their concerns or to contribute towards the agenda before the actual meeting. No plan means no real planning and the actual chance of wasting time.

proper planning

Arrive on time

All meeting participants should be at the meeting location at least 10-15 minutes in advance. Being punctual is the first sign of respect, and it allows members to find their seats and get settled (pour refreshments and enjoy snacks) before the meeting begins.

Arrive on time

Be prepared

If you are meant to present or contribute in the meeting, don’t just try to “wing it.” It is easy to see when an individual has not put any effort into his or her preparation, yet appreciated when a participant makes a meaningful contribution to the outcomes of the meeting.

be prepared

Dress code

While attire may not be mentioned on the meeting agenda, it is safe to assume that you cannot go wrong dressing business-smart for a boardroom-based meeting.

Dress code


If participants are making presentations in the meeting, only talk when they open the floor for comment, or in the manner in which questions or comments are invited. Never interrupt when someone else is speaking.


Listen attentively

Very often, any questions you may have about a particular topic will be answered by the speaker. Listen carefully and take notes while they are speaking – be 100% present in the meeting.

How to Listen Attentively

Tech equipment

Laptops and iPads are accepted as in-use in a meeting, but if the agenda specifically calls for no technology, then respect that provision. Switch your cell phone off or at least turn it to silent. Let the meeting chairperson know if you are expecting an important call, then leave your phone on silent or vibrate. If your call comes through, exit the room as discreetly as possible to receive it.

Tech equipment

Behavioural noise

If you have a nervous habit or repetitive behavior like tapping your foot, clicking your pen, or making noises with your mouth, be aware that these behaviors will be very disruptive to the meeting. If you are attentive to the meeting content, then these behaviors should be avoidable.

Behavioural responses to noise


The Stages of a Business Cycle

business cycle idea

Fluctuation in the economic activities including a real boom or collapse of the economic growth over a period is termed as stages of a business cycle. It is the time of expansion or recession. National Bureau of Economic Research using quarterly GDP growth-rate determines the business cycle. NBER uses many other factors to determine the economic cycle such as real personal income, employment, retail sales, consumer spending and industrial production.

Business Cycle

What causes business cycle?

There are different opinions from monetarist where they tie the business cycle with credit cycle. The Keynesian approach suggests volatility in investment, changes in demand are responsible for cycles. Irving Fisher contradicts here by arguing that there not be anything as such in equilibrium which is why business cycle exists.

Business Cycle cause

The business cycle could vary in different ways depending on how long they last but typically business cycle has four phases and each phase is dynamic. Primarily there are two phases in a business cycle- Depression and Prosperity, however, there are four main intermediary steps- Expansion, Peak, Contraction, and Trough. Moreover, they are characterized with recognizable indicators

Expansion- It is considered as the default mode of economy. In this phase, there is an increase in various economic factors. Certain economic indicators including production, wage, profit, demand, and supply of products, employment shows an upward trend. Debtors are in sound financial state and creditors can lend money at the high-interest rate which leads to an increased flow of money.

Peak – Here the expansion slowly transitions into the contraction phase. While the beginning and end of a business cycle are hard to predict. An industry peak is at a stage when the business cycle reaches its maximum limit. Economic production factor including employment, profit, sales, are at the highest level but will not increase any further. Due to the price increase of the input, there is a slow decrease in demand for different products.

Contraction – Economic growth slows down and is the opposite of the expansion phase. Economic factors that went up during development phase will start dropping. All economic factors, production, investment, prices trends down. Initially, this stage is considered as small fluctuation, but over a period producers stop investing in production elements such as labor, furniture, and machinery. This further leads to the reduction in price factor which results from the decrease of output as well as demand for inputs. Employees will start laying off the workers from payrolls.

Trough- During this phase, the economic activities go below the average level, and the growth rate of the economy is negative. National income and expenditure show a rapid decline and possibly the economy is ta the lowest level of shrinkage. While the GDP is down during contraction as compared to expansion or peak cycles- at trough phase it touches the lowest point. Unemployment is high, and people do not invest in stock markets.

business cycle idea

Policy makers and economists study business cycles very carefully. If cash is available or interest rate high or low and whether companies and consumers can borrow and spend on good and services affect how businesses react. Knowing about the different phases of business cycles and understanding the patterns of the past helps economist forecast trends in the future.