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Quarantine Day 7

There are highs and lows in life. Today was a low day.

I really messed up a role play session at my Crucial Conversations training today. We were given a scenario and asked to play our assigned roles to practice applying one of the techniques for creating a safe environment to foster a mutual purpose. I wasn’t confident in applying the technique, so I skimmed over the scenario and spent more time understanding how the steps within the technique could be used. I did a terrible job at the role play. I had completely missed the premise that I was an HR professional trying to come up workarounds for a missed target, and my solution was to schedule a meeting with HR to discuss options. My role play partners were like, but you are HR! It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my professional life. I couldn’t believe I bombed it.

This incident led to a series of self-reflection, regrets and introspection tonight. I anticipate this feeling to linger throughout the weekend. I will make peace with it. I know I will, but it’s just too fresh right now. I need to learn from this mistake and get better. I need to bounce back from this and be better. I can be better. I can, and I will.

Quarantine Day 2

Today went by with some meaningful activities:

  • I finished the Ask for More book.
  • Mom and I cooked brunch and dinner together. Brunch was noodles with beef and dry beans, and dinner was a three-dish meal: fried ling cod, spinach, and beef, snap peas and red pepper stir fry.
  • A full body workout, followed with a Tai Chi lesson from Mom.

Tai Chi was fun. I’m hoping to keep that up throughout the quarantine.

Below are some of the good lines I enjoyed from the Ask for More book from Alexandra Carter:

  • We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. – Carl Sagan
  • When you ask the right questions, of yourself and others, you open a window to create value far beyond what you can imagine. Leading your negotiation with questions not only helps your bottom line, but it helps you connect to people in a way that can transform relationships, personally and professionally.
  • When you change your questions, you change the conversation.
  • The first negotiation in any situation is the one you have with yourself.
  • In my work, I teach that negotiation is any conversation in which you are steering a relationship.
  • Everything you see, hear, and feel helps you steer with accuracy toward your goal.
  • So what happens when you treat negotiation like steering a kayak? First, it means you don’t wait until the contract comes up to negotiate with your boss or client. You don’t wait until your relationship feels like it is in crisis to have a conversation. Instead, you are continuously piloting those relationships in every conversation you have. And second, you take in the right information to help you steer toward your goal. You ask great questions. You use advanced listening skills to get information that helps you shape your deals. In sum, you approach those conversations intentionally. You treat them all as part of your negotiation of that relationship.
  • “Tell me” is a magic question that opens up an entire world to your view.
  • The best negotiations, relationships, or client interactions start with you – a process of self-discovery that helps you get clarity on who you are and what you want to achieve.

The above are some of the highlights from the Introduction chapter. It’d be impossible to share everything I liked from the book. There are too many! Though I do want to share the last two sentences of the book:

  • When you stay curious in your negotiations and relationships, you’ll see that other people start looking to you as a model, and do the same. In this way, good negotiators become leaders – at home, at work, and in the world.

Here is a handy checklist of the 10 questions to negotiate anything by Alexandra Carter:

The Mirror

  • My definition of the problem/goal (What’s the problem I want to solve?)
  • My needs/what those look like (What do I need?)
  • My feelings/concerns (What do I feel?)
  • My previous success (How have I handled this successfully in the past?)
  • My first steps (What’s the first step?)

The Window

  • Their definition of the problem/goal (Tell me…)
  • Their needs/what those look like (What do you need?)
  • Their feelings/concerns (What are your concerns?)
  • Their previous success (How have you handled this successfully in the past?)
  • Their first steps (What’s the first step?)

Great book! Highly recommended.

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