Expert advice from professional negotiators.
Originally Posted Mar 04, 2015
Whether you are dealing with a grumpy teenager, putting up with a boss that makes your life miserable, or engaging with a difficult person in another context, knowing some of the techniques employed by successful negotiators can help you steer your encounters in the desired direction. That would be a better result than feeling out of control, wouldn’t it?
When we lose control, we go into crisis mode. We swing between anger and hopelessness. We get frustrated and we fall hostage to our negative and disempowering emotions. That’s not a state of mind you want to be in. There is little to gain when a situation controls you, rather than you being in control. You are better off if you have a method that helps you to author your life, even when it gets tough.
Let’s examine 4 secrets employed by successful negotiators to reach agreement with difficult people:
1. Know What You Want.
Clarity of purpose is key for any successful negotiation. Often, we experience emotions that put us down because our mind is clouded and we are unable to understand what’s going. We wonder what our next step should be. Our mind is fogged. We lack clarity. By the time a negotiator sits down at the table, he or she has already identified specific and desired results the negotiation has to produce. So, ask yourself when confronted with a tough situation:
What is it that you really want to achieve? What are your goals?
Having a clear, concrete and measurable answer to this question (which might include clarity about what you are not ready to accept and tolerate) will assist you greatly in dealing with a difficult person or situation.
2. Know The Other Side.
By this I don’t mean only to know what the goals of the other party are or what it is up to. Nor do I mean only to collect information that will help you to bond with the other person in a more sincere and meaningful way. Of course, the more information you have, the better. But what I mean by “knowing the other side” is the importance of identifying what basic human needs the other party is trying to satisfy—even through a behavior that might even be harmful and destructive. As Tony Robbins likes to emphasize, there is always a positive intention behind someone’s behavior—that is, there is always the intention of satisfying a need.
Recognizing that we are moved by positive intentions and learning how to identify the need someone satisfies with a negative behavior had a great impact on the quality of my work.
In fact, whenever I am able to identify if an individual, by means of a particular behavior, is looking for recognition, or a deeper connection, or is simply scared and searching for security, I am in a better position to connect with the basic needs of that person, and take care of them. In fact, once the need is identified, what needs to change is the strategy to achieve it. Knowing this, together with the other person, I can explore alternatives.
So, what’s the positive intention behind the behavior of your grumpy teenage child, or your impossible boss? Is it recognition? Security? A deeper connection? How can you help the other to meet his or her need in a more constructive way? What alternatives exist?
3. Prepare Options for Mutual Gain.
If you know the other person and you have identified his or her needs and interests, then you can come up with a menu of options that benefits both you and the other. In other words, ask yourself: What arrangements might take care of your own needs and those of the other?
If you focus exclusively on your own needs and interests, you make a poor negotiator, and the conflict you are facing is destined to escalate and to become intractable. Instead, once you have clarity about your preferred outcome and have identified the key need of the other, you can become creative and come up with solutions that are mutually beneficial.
Rather than seeing in the other an opponent you have to defeat, see in him or her a partner with whom to collaborate.
In fact, even if there is tension and disagreement, when we belong to a family, an organization, or a community, we are entangled in the same web of relations. Becoming aware of this web helps you to perceive the other person not as separated from you, but as part of your life and reality.
There is no skill more powerful and transformative in a negotiation than listening. Listening is opening the space that allows for an encounter with the other. Listening engenders the conditions that allow the other person to express his or her own needs and interests.
Moreover, listening doesn’t only provide an opportunity for the other to express himself or herself; it also offers a chance to gain insights into the experience and perception of the other.
In listening (and not telling or talking down) rests the first powerful step towards change and transformation.
Finding ways to implement these four secrets of successful negotiators will increase the effectiveness of your communication, deepen your relationships, elicit unimagined solutions, and turn problems into opportunities—and the quality of your life will experience an upgrade.
If you are interested in exploring all 8 Secrets of Successful Negotiators, get my infograph here(link is external).
Aldo Civico(link is external) brings to the table 25 years of experience in conflict resolution. He has worked globally with countries, communities and organizations embedded in protracted and violent conflicts. To organizations as well as to individuals, Aldo today provides training and coaching in conflict management, effective communication, emotional intelligence and negotiation. He served as a director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University and is the founder of the International Institute for Peace at Rutgers University, where he is a core faculty member of the masters in peace and conflict studies.
Please click HERE for link to original article from Psychology Today
Via Laura Proberton Oct 19, 2015
Every single moment you live—awake and aware inside your life—is another tiny (or huge) opportunity for healing, even your moments on Facebook.
I recently opened up a discussion about this topic in one of my favorite healing groups on Facebook. In a virtual room full of healers and people doing healing work, you’re bound to get a treasure chest of ideas, information, opinion and experience. It turned out as awesome as I had imagined, until I was triggered—big time.
Awareness opens the door for curiosity, perspective and shift—the very things you need to change your thoughts and your life.
Being a warrior inside my own life has meant looking at the things that trigger me, anger and frustrate me, wound me, hurt me and depress me. It doesn’t sound like fun, but I’m here to tell you it’s life-changing to choose this journey of healing. Every step brings me closer to my purpose, a true feeling of what I was born to do.
“Without awareness there is no choice.” ~ John F. Barnes
My teacher’s quote floats around my notebooks and my brain, constantly asking me to go deeper. Unless I’m willing to feel it all, even the really crappy stuff, I have no choice but to sit stuck with my old thoughts, beliefs and behaviors.
Just when I think I’m awake and really have it going on—ready to share my wisdom with others—life takes me to a new level of understanding. It’s not about the criticism I receive, it’s about how I respond to it. It’s all about me. But not really.
I sat at my computer, reading the comment from my colleague and allowing myself to feel three. My tiny, cowering, bad little girl showed up and I instantly recognized that even Facebook was testing my discipline that day. I had a choice to let the feeling of fear paralyze me, or use the awareness to do something more healthy. I chose the latter.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” ~ Anthony Robbins
I’m done with identifying with my past, the thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that keep me stuck, without choices. I’m ready to feel free, even if it means I first work through the layers of shit that cause me to feel like I’ve been punched in the gut when someone criticizes me.
Instead of frantically typing out a defensive reaction I sat and read the comment several times. I felt into it. Both the energy it was written with and the energy I felt reading it. I noticed that much of this energy wasn’t mine. I’ve learned how to tell the difference by practicing being mindful of the sensations my body sends in the moment.
The ability to stay awake for these moments, especially the moments you aren’t particularly happy to be in, is crucial. It’s the key to growth, change and healing.
In the middle of your awareness inside of these moments is the choice. When you feel a moment inside of you, allow the feeling to be there, and take all the story out of it, it’s just another sensation. When you observe yourself like this, you give yourself the biggest gift. You can choose if and how you’ll respond that very moment.
I chose to apologize and let this person know how I felt. I was able to step into the power of my current day warrior woman and respond from my truth, my heart and my soul—which is the place you connect to every single time you wake up.
Imagine how our lives would feel if we did this all the time. I do. Every day. I make this my practice. This is what it means to be a warrior.
My amazing colleagues creating this tribe of warrior healers are struggling with how to teach their clients these keys to healing. They tell me about people who come to be fixed, those who have a difficult time with deeper conversations about awareness, and those who don’t know what it means or feels like to be in their body at all. They are building trust with their peopleand slowly educating them. They are trailblazers—walking down the path with their torch on a journey into their own bodies and souls, and helping their clients to be brave and start their journeys.
Those of us who have started the journey to passion and power through awareness are facing these challenges every moment, every day. It doesn’t matter if we’re dealing with our own painful struggles, treating a client for theirs, or engaging in a discussion online, it’s all about feeling. It sucks sometimes. And it’s the most rewarding, fulfilling, soul-nourishing tool that exists.
Here are Five Healthier Ways to Practice Awareness When You are Triggered:
1. Zip your lip. Don’t react right away. Don’t speak, or write a reply until you’ve had a chance to feel and reflect.
2. Step into the person’s shoes. We’re really all one. Use the interaction or feedback you get as a learning tool. Allow yourself to understand where the other person is coming from and that nobody has to be right for things to work out.
3. Notice the feelings. If you practice feeling what’s going on inside of you when you’re triggered you’ll usually notice that you’re creating a mental story to go along with the sensation. Separate the two and just bring the feeling into your heart.
4. Don’t take anything personally. It’s never about you. Ever. Realize that someone’s feedback or comment about you is coming from their own unique lenses they watch the world through. It’s just another way to look at things. It doesn’t have to be personal.
5. Respond from your heart not your head. If and when you respond in the instance where you’ve been triggered, make sure it’s only after you’ve done the first four steps, and that you’re responding from a heart-centered place. Why? It’s all about love baby. If we want it we must give it, no matter how someone is judging us.
The planet depends on the evolution of our awareness. Wake up—even when you’re hanging out on Facebook. It matters.
Please click HERE for link to original article on Elephant Journal
Find out what you can do to foster your child’s emotional strength at any age.
By Lorraine Allen
When life throws us punches, a get-right-back-up attitude will help us bounce back and move on, and not grow depressed and despair. To help kids develop this sort of emotional strength, parents need to promote resilience, starting right now. Resilience can be reinforced and encouraged at any age, and some studies have shown that the earlier kids learn it, the better it will serve them. These three elements have been shown to help:
Lorraine Allen is a writer and mom to one spunky first grader and one squirrel-obsessed dog. You can follow their allergy-friendly cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her — that meditating can literally change your brain. She explains:
Q: Why did you start looking at meditation and mindfulness and the brain?
Lazar: A friend and I were training for the Boston marathon. I had some running injuries, so I saw a physical therapist who told me to stop running and just stretch. So I started practicing yoga as a form of physical therapy. I started realizing that it was very powerful, that it had some real benefits, so I just got interested in how it worked
The yoga teacher made all sorts of claims, that yoga would increase your compassion and open your heart. And I’d think, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m here to stretch.’ But I started noticing that I was calmer. I was better able to handle more difficult situations. I was more compassionate and open hearted, and able to see things from others’ points of view.
I thought, maybe it was just the placebo response. But then I did a literature search of the science, and saw evidence that meditation had been associated with decreased stress, decreased depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia, and an increased quality of life.
At that point, I was doing my PhD in molecular biology. So I just switched and started doing this research as a post-doc.
Q: How did you do the research?
Lazar: The first study looked at long term meditators vs a control group. We found long-term meditators have an increased amount of gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex. Which makes sense. When you’re mindful, you’re paying attention to your breathing, to sounds, to the present moment experience, and shutting cognition down. It stands to reason your senses would be enhanced.
We also found they had more gray matter in the frontal cortex, which is associated with working memory and executive decision making.
[Related: You’re missing out on your experiences: A meditation expert explains how to live in the moment]
It’s well-documented that our cortex shrinks as we get older – it’s harder to figure things out and remember things. But in this one region of the prefrontal cortex, 50-year-old meditators had the same amount of gray matter as 25-year-olds.
So the first question was, well, maybe the people with more gray matter in the study had more gray matter before they started meditating. So we did a second study.
We took people who’d never meditated before, and put one group through an eight-week mindfulness- based stress reduction program.
Q: What did you find?
Lazar: We found differences in brain volume after eight weeks in five different regions in the brains of the two groups. In the group that learned meditation, we found thickening in four regions:
1. The primary difference, we found in the posterior cingulate, which is involved in mind wandering, and self relevance.
2. The left hippocampus, which assists in learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation.
3. The temporo parietal junction, or TPJ, which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion.
4. An area of the brain stem called the Pons, where a lot of regulatory neurotransmitters are produced.
The amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear and stress in general. That area got smaller in the group that went through the mindfulness-based stress reduction program.
The change in the amygdala was also correlated to a reduction in stress levels.
[Related: Science shows that stress has an upside. Here’s how to make it work for you]
Q: So how long does someone have to meditate before they begin to see changes in their brain?
Lazar: Our data shows changes in the brain after just eight weeks.
In a mindfulness-based stress reduction program, our subjects took a weekly class. They were given a recording and told to practice 40 minutes a day at home. And that’s it.
Q: So, 40 minutes a day?
Lazar: Well, it was highly variable in the study. Some people practiced 40 minutes pretty much every day. Some people practiced less. Some only a couple times a week.
In my study, the average was 27 minutes a day. Or about a half hour a day.
There isn’t good data yet about how much someone needs to practice in order to benefit.
Meditation teachers will tell you, though there’s absolutely no scientific basis to this, but anecdotal comments from students suggest that 10 minutes a day could have some subjective benefit. We need to test it out.
We’re just starting a study that will hopefully allow us to assess what the functional significance of these changes are. Studies by other scientists have shown that meditation can help enhance attention and emotion regulation skills. But most were not neuroimaging studies. So now we’re hoping to bring that behavioral and neuroimaging science together.
Q: Given what we know from the science, what would you encourage readers to do?
Lazar: Mindfulness is just like exercise. It’s a form of mental exercise, really. And just as exercise increases health, helps us handle stress better and promotes longevity, meditation purports to confer some of those same benefits.
But, just like exercise, it can’t cure everything. So the idea is, it’s useful as an adjunct therapy. It’s not a standalone. It’s been tried with many, many other disorders, and the results vary tremendously – it impacts some symptoms, but not all. The results are sometimes modest. And it doesn’t work for everybody.
It’s still early days for trying to figure out what it can or can’t do.
Q: So, knowing the limitations, what would you suggest?
Lazar: It does seem to be beneficial for most people. The most important thing, if you’re going to try it, is to find a good teacher. Because it’s simple, but it’s also complex. You have to understand what’s going on in your mind. A good teacher is priceless
Q: Do you meditate? And do you have a teacher?
Lazar: Yes and yes.
Q: What difference has it made in your life?
Lazar: I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, so it’s had a very profound influence on my life. It’s very grounding. It’s reduced stress. It helps me think more clearly. It’s great for interpersonal interactions. I have more empathy and compassion for people.
Q: What’s your own practice?
Lazar: Highly variable. Some days 40 minutes. Some days five minutes. Some days, not at all. It’s a lot like exercise. Exercising three times a week is great. But if all you can do is just a little bit every day, that’s a good thing, too. I’m sure if I practiced more, I’d benefit more. I have no idea if I’m getting brain changes or not. It’s just that this is what works for me right now.
To find out more, Sara Lazar has put together lists of Frequently Asked Questions and how to find a good teacher. Click here.
If you enjoyed this story on Inspired Life, you may also like
Want to experience the deep, mystical sleep of our ancestors? Turn off your lights at dusk
Dalai Lama’s translator: Why being kind to yourself is good for the world
Brigid Schulte writes about Good-Life: work-life issues, time, productivity, gender and income inequality. She is the author of the bestselling Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play when No One has Time.
Please click HERE for the original article and video from Lazar.
Few things feel as painful as rejection. Regardless what form it takes—not being invited to a friend’s party, not being offered a position after an interview, having your actions criticized, or failure when you’re trying to sell your idea—every “no” indicates a door closed to us. Of course, the extent of the impact largely depends on the position of the individual receiving the rejection and the one doling it out, but most people struggle with finding the best way to regroup and recover.
Research tells us that not only does rejection give us a mental pause; it can also produce physical pain. Study findings published in Science magazine by researchers from Purdue University and the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2003 demonstrated that being socially shunned or turned down by others activates the same regions in our brains—the dorsal anterior cingulate and the anterior insula—that are associated with experiencing physical pain. Numerous successive studies have corroborated the similarities between rejection and physical pain. For example, a 2011 study(link is external) published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science demonstrated how pain experienced from hot coffee spilled on one's forearm is similar to the “pain” that they would experience from seeing a photograph of a former partner after an unwanted relationship breakup.
In short, it hurts.
Pain is not the only negative consequence of rejection; it can also lead us to feel moreinsecure in ourselves, our decisions, and our choices. Security is one of the most basic human needs, and when it is not fulfilled or is jeopardized by rejection, we start to doubt ourselves. Other aspects of rejection can include flagging concentration; increased levels of stress, irritability and aggression; inability to sleep and control one’s emotions; and gradual withdrawal from society, among others.
Not everyone copes with rejection in the same way: Studies show that people with a higher sense of self-worth, as well as individuals with more social power(link is external), handle rejection better than those with lower self-esteem and less social influence. There are salespeople who actually love cold-calling and think that every “no” just leads them closer to the next "yes."
People who highly value a sense of individuality also experience rejection less painfully than those whose need for being a part of the group is much stronger.
Similarly, self-confident people are able to use rejection to improve themselves(link is external), get more creative, and validate their beliefs.
Rejection is going to happen. It’s a fact of life that not all relationships and situations will work out well. With distance, we can often see that a rejection was a good thing for us but at the time, it doesn’t feel good. Developing more effective responses to rejection is an important life skill. If you find yourself unable to deal with rejection, you may need to work on building your self-confidence and your self-esteem and strengthening your social ties before addressing the anxiety, anger, and other issues that arise from being rejected.
Please click HERE for link to original article.
December 3, 2015
Telomeres are like aglets on the end of shoelaces. What telomeres protect from fraying, however, is the end of chromosomes.
Thus telomeres make sure that none of your DNA gets lost or messed up during cell division. Yet, every time a cell divides, some of the telomere “wears off” in the process. Once telomere is too short, the chromosome can no longer replicate.
Telomerase is an enzyme which helps to rebuild these protective caps on the ends of chromosomes. So, naturally, optimal health requires optimal telomerase production.
IN BRIEF: Why are telomeres the key to our health and ageing?
Telomeres, heart disease, and TMA new study just published in PLOS ONE found that the Transcendental Meditation technique and lifestyle changes both seem to stimulate two genes that produce telomerase.
The study was conducted at Howard University Medical Center with forty-eight African American men and women with stage I hypertension.
The choice of subjects was motivated by the fact that African Americans suffer from disproportionately high rates of elevated blood pressure and heart disease which are in turn aggravated by telomere dysfunction, psychosocial stress and lifestyle.
Half of the participants were assigned to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique, which is proven to reduce stress and benefit heart health and take a basic health education course. The other half of the subjects took part in an extensive health education program for 16 weeks.
The results of the study showed that the Transcendental Meditation technique and lifestyle changes both appear to stimulate the two genes that produce telomerase and reduce blood pressure.
More telomerase, better health“The finding that telomerase gene expression is increased, and that this is associated with a reduction in blood pressure in a high-risk population, suggests that this may be a mechanism by which stress reduction improves cardiovascular health,” commented Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, one of the co-authors of the study.
While the Transcendental Meditation technique has been previous found to lower high blood pressure, diminish occurrences of heart attack, stroke, extend life span and slow down biological aging, the new study sheds even more light on the mechanisms that might be involved in the process on the cellular level.
The research was part of a larger clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health — National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and by the Howard University College of Medicine General Clinical Research Center. Maharishi University of Management also collaborated on the study.
As John Fagan, professor of molecular biology at Maharishi University of Management and senior author on the study, pointed out: “The result is valuable new information, relevant both to cardiovascular disease and to the molecular mechanisms involved in Transcendental Meditation.”
Please click HERE for original link to article from tmhome.com
Tips to help you overcome the urge to use your acid tongue.
Posted Aug 15, 2015
There are times when you want to lash out at someone who makes your life miserable. Perhaps a work colleague or your closest intimate partner is being, for lack of a better word, mean. You feel attacked, outraged, and misunderstood. Worse, you feel that you've hit a brick wall and are not being heard or taken seriously.
Italian psychologist Francesca D’Errico and philosopher Isabella Poggi (2014) use the term “acid communication” to refer to what happens when people who feel angered and mistreated restrain themselves from expressing how they truly feel. As they state, “The person who performs acid communication is feeling angry due to some feeling of injustice and would like to express one’s anger, but cannot do so due to a feeling of impotence, both to recover from the injustice undergone, and to prevent the negative consequences of one’s expression” (p. 663). We might call this passive aggressiveness: You want to say something negative but because you feel you can’t (for whatever reason), you release your anger in indirect ways.
The acid speaker, D’Errico and Poggi point out, uses irony, sarcasm, insinuation, and indirect criticism through their words and tone of voice to “project the image of a smart and brilliant person” (p. 664). People can also use body language to accomplish the same goals through gestures, facial expressions, and movements of the head and body. We’ve all been guilty of this at some time or another: You feel attacked, don’t want to say anything, so instead you purse your lips or fold your arms, perhaps accompanied by an upward eye roll.
In a questionnaire study of 80 Italian young adults, D’Errico and Poggi identified:
The acid person doesn’t seem to be received well by others. Adjectives that participants used to describe such individuals included irritable, grumpy, arrogant, surly, rude, not helpful, and snappy.
Being an acid communicator doesn’t get you anywhere with others. What’s perhaps even worse, it may even put you in a bad mood about yourself. The result of acid communication, the Italian researchers found, include feeling guilty, among other negative emotions regarding your own role in the interaction.
The best way to avoid being an acid communicator is to express yourself directly in an open and receptive way. Ironically, you may fear doing this because you’ll be perceived as overly critical or argumentative. To get out of this bind, you instead need to find a way to engage in fruitful dialogues. Taleb Khairallah, Roger Worthington, and Ali Mattu of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) recently produced guidelines for people involved in “Difficult Dialogues.” With their permission, I’ve adapted 5 of these guidelines here:
1. Don’t dominate the dialogue.
A “dialogue” is not the same as a monologue. If you’re having a conversation, allow for sufficient give and take. As the APAGS authors suggest:
Show that all viewpoints are important.
This includes you.
Reflection helps bring psychological closure to a dialogue. Ask yourself the following questions after the conversation is over:
Please click HERE for link to original article.
A recent survey of first-year college students reveals that a majority felt emotionally unprepared for college, while more than 1 in 3 (38 percent) felt anxious most of the time during their first term.
The survey, a project cosponsored by the Jordan Porco Foundation, the Partnership for Drug-free Kids and the JED Foundation, questioned more than 1,500 first-year students at two- and four-year college across the U.S. this past spring (March and April).
The results, released in October, indicate that a large number of students have negative experiences during their first year at college, ranging from stress over expenses and staying in touch with family to drug and alcohol use.
Sixty percent of the students surveyed said they wished they had gotten more help with emotional preparation before college, while 50 percent reported their independent living skills “need improvement.”
Survey organizers defined emotional preparedness as “the ability to take care of oneself, adapt to new environments, control negative emotions or behavior and build positive relationships.”
Survey highlights include:
The full report can be downloaded at settogo.org
Counselors: Are you surprised at these statistics? How could (or should) it affect the work of counselors who have teenage clients in high school or college?
Please click HERE for link to original article
Evoking the relaxation response or a physiologic state of deep rest, helps alleviate stress and anxiety
TNM Staff| Monday, November 16, 2015 -
Practices like yoga, meditation and prayer can help curb the need for general healthcare services by almost 50 percent according to researchers.
A study done by Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)’s Institute for Technology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) reveals that evoking the relaxation response or a physiologic state of deep rest, helps alleviate stress and anxiety, while also affecting heart rate and blood pressure.
“Our study’s primary finding is that programs that train patients to elicit the relaxation response — specifically those taught at the BHI — can also dramatically reduce health care utilization,” said James E. Stahl of the MGH.
“These programs promote wellness and, in our environment of constrained health care resources, could potentially ease the burden on our health delivery systems at minimal cost and at no real risk,” he added.
By doing a comparative analysis of information available on Research Patient Data Registry (RPDR) of Partners HealthCare and data on individuals participating in the BHI Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP) from 2006 to 2014, researchers came to the conclusion that practitioners of yoga/ meditation/ prayer spent significantly lower than non-practitioners, on medical services.
The study also found that practitioners primarily benefitted from neurologic, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal ailments.
Please click HERE for link to original article -