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Create your own path

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Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next 132 days, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

64 Initiative

Initiative is the dynamic impulse of an intelligent, creative, inquiring mind. It is a determined optimistic focus on creating new, innovative visions and finding effective solutions to challenges and problems. People with initiative don’t wait for someone else to tell them the answer or solve the problem. They don’t wait until they are cornered by problems to deal with them. They tackle problems and challenges as they arise with vigor and creativity. They are confident, proactive, intelligent, and persistent in their doing and in their thinking. They muster the energy, resourcefulness, and imagination to conceive and develop new things, new visions. They have the patience, determination, and power of persuasion to sell it in a marketplace.

Initiators often make excellent entrepreneurs and great negotiators. Some people think initiative is something you either have or don’t have – something you’re born with. In fact, initiative is a quality everyone is born with. A baby learning to crawl will try and fail, and try and fail, and try again, over and over, until he succeeds. And once he succeeds, he will crawl everywhere and nothing can stop him. The same thing happens when he learns to walk and to run. And, when mobility is achieved, when he sees something he wants, he goes after it relentlessly. He doesn’t need to be told to grab the shiny object and will not wait passively for you to give it to him. He doesn’t need to be told to investigate the world around him.

When he learns to talk, he wants to know what everything is, and asks ceaseless questions about everything he sees. This is initiative, and we were all born with it. But we don’t all maintain and develop it. Many of us lose the quality of initiative that allowed us to grow and develop from infancy at an extraordinary pace. Any lack of initiative is the loss of our original initiative, which was often suppressed, ignored, or scolded out of us.

Fortunately, initiative is a quality that can be recaptured and consciously developed. It is a mindset that can be practiced. The inner obstacles to initiative often appear as laziness, lack of curiosity, low self-esteem, fear, and addiction to one’s comfort zone. Developing initiative requires a strong intention and commitment to overcome these obstacles, and the adoption of a disciplined programme to enhance your initiative. Fortunately, this book is itself a curriculum which, if studied and applied, will develop your initiative, along with numerous other skills that will help you succeed in business and in life. Here are some things to do to develop the power of initiative. Examine your personal qualities, habits, and character. List your strengths, but also focus on your weaknesses and character flaws in the light of the concept of initiative. Then create a personalized. detailed programme of things to do daily, and weekly, to develop self-discipline and motivation, and to overcome your weaknesses and flaws.

An ideal programme would include the following practices:

  • Take up a practice of regular exercise that challenges you physically and forces you to stretch beyond your current limits and your comfort zone.
  • Read and study books or websites in your primary field of interest in order to acquire deeper understanding and working knowledge.
  • Take classes/workshops/seminars to learn new skills and improve your professional, personal, and even spiritual life.
  • Find a mentor in your field with whom you can check in and debrief, receiving feedback and support.
  • Be the one who puts his or her hand up to volunteer.
  • Spend time reflecting on problems and brainstorming solutions; practice experimental perspectives and thinking “outside the box”.
  • Be enthusiastic. Cultivate a positive “can-do” attitude. See problems as opportunities to grow and develop. Learn to say “yes” as often as possible.

  • Create a support network of one or more friends and coworkers in order to stay connected to others and creatively stimulated around your goals.
  • Eat a healthy, conscious diet.
  • Avoid mindless television watching slumped in your chair. Instead, for example, exercise while watching your favourite TV program. Simply place a ball between your knees and squeeze or between your ankles and lift your feet a few inches above the ground.
  • Commit time each week to creative or service projects or activities that stimulate your mind, expand your perspective, bring you new life experiences, and feed your soul.

  • Give! Give a compliment, give a flower, give of your time to listen to someone, give a helping hand to those in need; become a giver of note.

Developing initiative is really this simple and practical. It is about using the initiative you already have to develop more. By taking initiative in all these ways and areas of life, you develop the quality of initiative as strength of character. Incorporating these practices into your life will exercise and develop your initiative, willpower, and self-discipline, while improving your physical and mental fitness and health. This will make you a better negotiator, and help you function at your peak in and out of the negotiation room.


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