Enjoy the Present Moment With Flow

Present moment is the only moment we have yet a lot of people miss the point and continue to live in past or future. With a little practice we can teach our minds to live in the present.

It is a universal fact that the only moment we have is the present moment yet lot of people live either in the past or in the future. Thus wasting a lot of their energy on the things they have no control over. The key to focus all our energy is to live in the present moment only. The best way to do that is to be involved in a “flow” activity. Flow is defined by the Psychologists as a phenomenon by which we lose contact of our surroundings and also our time. Our brain is quite and we are totally absorbed in that activity at that time. The good news is that it is very easy to achieve flow. It can be achieved from any activity that interests us a lot like reading an absorbing novel, watching your favorite TV show, enjoying your favorite hobby etc. It can be anything which is absorbing and which makes you forget anything. During that activity time just flies away and you do not notice at all!

Thus if you want to be totally present in the NOW, do some activity which creates flow. It can be any simple and interesting activity that absorbs you completely in the present and lets it forget you totally about the past and future.

How To Negotiate Your Salary As A New Graduate

So you’re a recent college graduate seeking your first full time job. As such, are you willing to accept any salary that a company offers you? You’re probably excited just to be offered a job and don’t want to rock the boat, right? I bet you’re thinking to yourself that you’re in no position to negotiate a salary. Well, you’re wrong.

Most people are too afraid to negotiate their salaries and while you may feel that it won’t affect you right now (you’re just happy to have a job offer, especially in the current state of the economy), not negotiating your salary can impact your salaries in future years. Having worked alongside hundreds of graduate job seekers the most common response I get as to why a new graduate did not negotiate their salary is because they were afraid the employer might take their job offer away. I can tell you that this cannot be further from the truth. The hiring process is a long and time consuming process (also a costly process – think about how many hours go into the selection process), and a company is not going to take back their job offer because you want to negotiate your job salary. In fact, employers actually expect to negotiate salaries and as such often offer lower salaries than what they can pay for the role.

My advice is simple. Don’t wait until you have been in the job for 1 to 2 years before you ask for a pay rise. Negotiate your job offer. You have nothing to lose!

Researching is the key to negotiating:

We all want to be paid as much money as possible. This goes without saying. However, the key to negotiating is to present a valid case as to why you deserve a higher salary. Before you begin your negotiation you need to know your market value. What is the market rate for your type of position? Using online salary tools is a great way to find out what other graduates in similar roles and similar geographic areas are getting paid. This is important as comparing your salary as someone who may live in a large city to a person living in a remote area will be different. In addition to using salary tools, use your own networks, speak with people within the industry, contact your career services office at your university and search forums and blogs.

When the time comes to begin the negotiations, be confident and be prepared to justify your worth. Back up your negotiation with examples. Most importantly, just be yourself. Remember that the interview process is not just about the hiring manager finding out if you’re a good fit for their organization, but it is also about finding out if the company is a good fit for you.

Negotiating can be an uncomfortable and frightening experience, but once it’s over and you have secured a higher salary you will be smiling all the way to the bank!

Making Negotiation Win-Win

Using current negotiation models, people feel they are giving up more than they want in exchange for receiving less than they deserve. As part of standard practice, negotiation partners going into a negotiation calculate their bottom line – what they are willing to give up, and what they are willing to accept – and then fight, argue, cajole, or threaten when their parameters aren’t met. People have been killed for this. But there is another way.

In 1997, Bill Ury and I had to read each other’s books in preparation for working together for KPMG. A week before our introductory lunch meeting in Santa Fe, I read his book Getting To Yes (where BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement – originated), marked the areas I disagreed with in red, and sent the marked book back to Bill. There was a lot of red: his book teaches how to get what you want (potentially win-lose) rather than how everyone can walk away satisfied (win-win). After comparing our models and a very interesting discussion about the different outcomes between a win-win and a win-lose negotiation, he agreed with me and we worked with KPMG using a win-win model.

BELIEFS

Win-lose is an incongruity. Using benchmarks for ethics and integrity, if one person loses, everyone loses – hence there is only win-win or lose-lose. Yet in the typical negotiation process it’s hard to find a win when the ‘things’ being bartered are not ‘things’ at all but representations of unconscious, subjective beliefs and personal values (termed Criterial Equivalents in NLP) without either negotiation partner fully understanding the underlying values these items represent to the other: a house in the country might represent a lifetime goal to one person, and just a place to live to another; a $1,000,000 settlement might illustrate payback for a lost, hard-won reputation to one person, and extortion to another. When much younger, I spent a fortune on a 14K gold waist chain, believing that this decadent indulgence defined me as ‘making it.’ Seriously.

It’s possible to take the negotiation beyond the ‘things’ being bartered, away from the personal and chunk up to find mutually shared values agreeable to both – and then find ‘things’ that represent them. So it might be initially hard to agree who should get ‘the house’, but it might be possible to agree that it’s important everyone needs a safe place to live.

FOCUS ON SHARED VALUES FIRST

Try this:

  1. enter the negotiation with a list of somewhat generic high-level values that are of foundational importance, such as Being Safe; Fair Compensation;
  2. share lists and see where there is agreement. Where there is no agreement, continue chunking up higher until a set of mutually comfortable criteria are found. A chunk up from Fair Compensation might be ‘Compensation that Values Employees’
  3. list several possible equivalents that match each agreeable criterion. So once Compensation that Values Employees is agreed upon during a salary negotiation, each partner should offer several different ways it could be achieved, such as a higher salary, or extra holidays, or increased paid training days, or a highly sought-after office, or higher royalties;
  4. continue working backward – from agreement with high-level, foundational criteria, down to the details and choices that might fulfill that goal, with all parties in agreement.

Discussions over high level values are often more generic, and far less likely to set off tempers than arguments over ‘things’: if nothing else, it’s easier for negotiation partners to listen to each other without getting defensive. And once values are attended to and people feel heard they become more flexible in the ‘things’ they are willing to barter: once Compensation that Values Employees is agreed to, it’s possible to creatively design several choices for an employee to feel fairly valued without an employer stretching a tight budget.

Think about negotiations as a way to enhance relationships rather than a compromise situation or a way for someone to win. There is nothing to be won when someone loses.