I have done a lot of personal development over the last decade and, as such, I decided I should write a book to share what I’ve learned with the world. That was over two years ago. Every year I would set a New Year’s resolution to finish the book but, as with many New Year’s resolutions, I broke it. However, I realized that I was missing something when I made the resolution that I have since fixed. It was actually a lesson I learned from being a negotiator. Now I’m making tremendous progress on the book and am scheduled to finish it this year (finally!).
Before I share what I fixed, does this situation sounds familiar to you? A New Year’s resolution that went awry or was not finished? The idea of a resolution is great - resolving to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve our lives. The concept is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.
Once the magic is gone, it rarely works. A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. Resolutions feel more like a “nice to have” rather than a commitment to change. That was my problem.
The first thing I did last fall to rectify the situation, was to reflect on why I wanted to write a book. I needed to uncover whether this was a “vanity” project or something that I really cared about. If it was a vanity project, the likelihood of me doing it was small. However, when I connected it to how I wanted to share my learnings and help people at work and in their life, I found a real connection and commitment to change.
The next step was to challenge whether my goal of completing my book and have it ready to publish in 2019 is realistic? It may sound obvious, but if the goal is not realistic, we can easily get discouraged and quit.
Lastly, I stopped listening to my ego telling me that I could do it alone. Success is rarely a solo endeavor. We all need help in achieving our goals. Sometimes it’s just emotional support from those around us, or it’s technical support to fill in knowledge gaps. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help and getting it. For me, my ego was telling me I could do this alone. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Besides helping with the process of writing a book, the most important part of asking for help was now I had someone to help keep me accountable.
From a negotiator’s point of view, setting resolutions can be like setting objectives for a negotiation or for ourselves from a development perspective. If we don’t understand why the objective is important to us, we will often disregard it, and we’ll rarely achieve it. If the goal is not realistic, we run the risk of offending the other party or having to move from an unrealistic position in ways that could cause issues for us when we make realistic demands. This would impact our credibility at the table. Lastly, our experience shows that negotiating in teams and getting help for your negotiation dramatically increases your chances of having a successful negotiation.
Just as with resolutions setting, follow the same advice for negotiating:
- Understand the motivation and reasons for what you want.
- Make sure what you want to achieve is realistic.
- Stop listening to your ego! It’s ok to get help and support.
One last thing, research also shows that we are more likely to reach our objective if we share. So, I’m sharing with you today my 2019 commitment! (Please buy my book when it’s done!)
Need Help With Your Resolutions?
Let us help you with your New Year’s Resolution to be a better negotiator! We can be your advisor, your coach, and your trainer. Whether you bring us in to create your strategy, or help you prepare, or develop your team’s negotiating skills - we can help you win at the negotiating table.
We’ve been consulting and teaching our proven negotiation methodology for over 40 years. We know the process, we can identify the skills required, and we have the techniques to negotiate better deals for you. Call us and let’s discuss what we might be able to do for you.