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This is what opportunity looks like

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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 few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

66 Intelligence and knowledge

Intelligence is the ability to understand, to learn, to apply knowledge, to problem-solve, to think abstractly and conceptualise, and to make logical inferences and intuitive connections. Intelligence makes learning and knowledge possible. But intelligence isn’t the same as knowledge, although people often confuse the two.

Knowledge is information memorised or understood. It is the content of understanding or skill learned or acquired through study, practice, and experience. Intelligence is the capacity to learn; knowledge is what you have learned. Intelligence sometimes makes up for lack of knowledge, and vice versa. If knowledge is a vehicle, intelligence is the driver; you need both to reach your destination. Great negotiators are intelligent and knowledgeable in their fields.

But a great negotiator doesn’t have to have encyclopedic knowledge. Intelligence is realistic, strategic, and practical. You can’t know everything. So, have knowledgeable people on your team or working for you in the background.

Knowledge is secondary; intelligence is primary. In the crucial points in a negotiation, when “the rubber hits the road”, intelligence must take the lead and apply knowledge strategically and effectively.

Some people are naturally more intelligent than others. But wherever you are in the intelligence spectrum, you can grow beyond your current level. The brain is an organ that can be exercised and developed, and the consciousness operating through the brain possesses unknown potential. This means intelligence, like knowledge, skill, concentration, and character, can also be developed.

You can develop your intelligence, knowledge, and concentration simultaneously. You do this by studying materials relevant to your personal or career interests. Your study must focus on three key elements: memorisation, comprehension, and practical application. Doing all three develops critical and creative thinking, or left-and-right-side, whole-brain intelligence enabling both the analytical and creative sides of your brain to function well. Practices like meditation and contemplation further develop and refine intelligence, awareness, and concentration.

Awaken the giantgiant trees

The popular saying that we only use ten percent of our brain is not literally true. Yet it may be true that we generally operate at ten percent of our full potential. The principle of “use it or lose it” applies almost everywhere. If we consistently challenge and develop ourselves in these ways, we can increase our intelligence, knowledge, awareness, and concentration.

If we do this with rigor and discipline, we will to some degree encounter another force, a mysterious X-factor, latent in each of us, waiting to emerge. This X-factor can appear in every field of human endeavour – in sports, the arts and sciences, and religion; in all the physical, intellectual, creative, and spiritual pursuits of man. It is seen in those individuals who suddenly awaken or come alive, developing and advancing in their chosen field at an inexplicable pace, and performing at levels far exceeding their previously apparent potential. Suddenly, unaccountably, everything seems to come together; the individual is seemingly transformed, gifted or graced with uncanny abilities, faculties, insights, and perceptions which even he or she cannot explain.

What such individuals often share in common is a deep desire and dedicated pursuit of the talents and abilities that later appeared in greater measure than anyone, themselves included, ever expected. This X-factor can also awaken the latent intelligence in each of us. The painter Paul Gauguin and the poet Walt Whitman both accessed this power that awakened their genius after leading unpromising lives of apparent mediocrity.

To be a great negotiator you must develop your hidden intelligence and potential by linking your passion for your purpose with hard work and discipline. Anyone can do this. But it requires an uncommon effort and persistence over time to which relatively few are willing to commit. Thomas Edison pointed to such ideas in these two observations: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

And “genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

The one percent inspiration accessed through that ninety-nine percent perspiration has always been the intelligent force moving our civilization forward. If you are willing to provide the necessary perspiration, you too can access an inspired intelligence that will give you an advantage in any negotiation.

World-renowned professional golfer Gary Player says, “The more I practice, the luckier I get”.


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