Tag Archive for Communication

Negotiation tips for women – how to tackle negative feedback

Nobody likes to receive negative feedback and be judged for every little mistake they make; unfortunately, it’s a fact of life we can’t do anything about. Every now and then, we get constructive criticism from the people around us. This form of feedback is meant to improve our abilities, our skills and our perceptions. Experts agree that women get more negative feedback at the workplace than men. Why is this happening? Probably because a couple of centuries ago the work space was not meant for a woman, and whether we like it or not, some business fields are still made of 80% men and 20% women.

Negotiation tips for women

Ironically, women are not that sensitive after all. Some are tougher than men; and since modern society believes in equal rights between men and women, it’s now easier than ever to tackle negative feedback through negotiations. As long as women have the nerve to fight back, their negotiations techniques can help them ward off bad evaluations. Determination is everything you need to make yourself noticed.

Maintain control

Do yourself a favor and don’t start to cry at the office. Rather than make others pity you, it’s best to accept whatever they said and move on. Maintain a professional attitude – that will hurt them more than if you had burst into tears. Unlike men, women struggle to control their emotions. Although negative feedback can hurt, you have to be tough. In some circumstances, your boss might want to test your strengths to see how much you can take. If you get upset or defensive, the whole situation might worsen.

Every meeting should be seen as an opportunity to learn, and if your boss or supervisor is criticizing you, maybe you should revise your attitude. It’s really important to take notes when someone gives negative feedback. Accept whatever they have to say with dignity and don’t show any signs of weakness.

Negotiation tips for women

Why did you get negative feedback?

If your boss is giving negative feedback, it’s probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever’s necessary to fix it. There’s no shame in messing up, so just because you’re the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn’t mean you’re responsible for everything. Speak up and don’t let anyone assume you’ll start to cry. “What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I’m better than this”.It’s really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that’s fine. Embrace it and move on.

Prove that you’re valuable

Although it’s not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it’s not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you’re most committed person he’ll ever meet. “I’m going to work harder to prove you wrong”, “I’m driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better”. When a supervisor or manager observes you’re eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Why did you get negative feedback? If your boss is giving negative feedback, it's probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever's necessary to fix it. There's no shame in messing up, so just because you're the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn't mean you're responsible for everything. Speak up and don't let anyone assume you'll start to cry. "What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I'm better than this".It's really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that's fine. Embrace it and move on.  Prove that you're valuable Although it's not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it's not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you're most committed person he'll ever meet. "I'm going to work harder to prove you wrong", "I'm driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better". When a supervisor or manager observes you're eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Negative feedback can lead to success

It’s never easy to receive negative feedback, regardless of your career stage. Both men and women get upset and defensive when someone criticizes their work. Surprisingly, negative feedback is a great opportunity for you to learn, grow and surpass your boundaries. An employee who can take bad feedback with pride will probably become an excellent leader someday. It’s important to take risks if you want to succeed; he who has never taken a risk in his life can’t move forward because he can’t move pass his mistakes.

Usually, when a manager gives negative feedback, it’s because he cares. He sees something in you that you can’t. Young employees take bad feedback negatively; women in particular, often feel attacked and insulted. It’s wrong to assume that your boss has something personal with you. Rather than complain, did you ever think to negotiate? Bargain for what you believe in, let your boss know you’re the best and that his negative feedback will help you grow and make a name for yourself.

Comvort Professional post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Listening – a must-have skill at negotiations

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Negotiating deals and doing everything that needs to be done for the success of your company can be a dreadful task. The key to having a thriving business is to bargain – as an entrepreneur, you should master all the basic techniques, and also find a way to build a personal style. Listening is one of the smartest ways of winning negotiations. For some, it’s just a trait that shapes one’s personality; for others, it’s a golden tool that can do miracles when used appropriately.

How come listening is so important at negotiations and what can people do to develop sound listening skills? First of all, thriving negotiations rely on the continuous exchange of information. Because we’re talking about “a process”, it may take awhile to develop. CEOs and entrepreneurs in general, shouldn’t expect counterparts to reveal everything up front; at least not in the first 15 minutes.

Listening MarCom Negotiations- Comvort

Listening in MarCom Negotiations

The key to having a fruitful negotiation is to ask questions and be an excellent listener. The information obtained from an opponent must be used wisely. Write down everything they say, underline allegations that should be backed up by solid evidence, and don’t hesitate to ask for clearance. Active listening helps people create options; ergo, it will be easier for them to compromise and land a win-win deal.

Be polite, don’t interrupt

A good listener must not interrupt when the other party is speaking. In case you want to clarify some things or ask a question, it’s best that you write it down. Concentrate and give the other party your undivided attention. When they’re done, feel free to address your questions. It can be extremely dicey to stop someone from speaking because they could reveal valuable information.

Speak with your body and let them know that you’re listening. Nod your head to approve, maintain eye contact, smile and remain calm throughout the entire negotiation. This will prove to the other party that you’re paying attention, which means they feel comfortable in your presence – they might even reveal some more information.

Have an open-minded attitude

Active listening skills and an open-minded attitude are both necessary for the proper process of negotiation. Let your opponent finish his presentation and be ready to offer feedback at the end. Ask for clarifications about points you didn’t understand and think in the best interest of your business, too. By understanding the speaker – who can be an investor, employee or a client – you understand the reason that lies behind certain choices. This should permit you to talk about negotiations, without fearing that some of the information is wrong or wrongfully perceived.

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Steer clear of conflict

A negotiation doesn’t have to be about getting what you want in proportion of 100%. It’s impossible to persuade an opponent to give you everything and remain with nothing. Bargaining for something should be about working things out, making concessions, and finding mutual ground. The resulting deal should benefit both of you equally. For that to happen, business individuals must be willing to listen. Let an opponent gauge your attention, and use the information received to your advantage. Don’t engage in conflicting relations as nothing good can come out of a stressful negotiation process. In order to become the best negotiator, use the following tips:

  • Assess your communication style – self-awareness helps people leave a long-lasting impression
  • Attentive listening to the speaker – nod your head to show that you’re being attentive, and find a way to earmark thoughts that are being distractive. Ignore outside factors like noise and focus on the words and body language of the speaker
  • Let your body language speak and use it to prove that you’re listening as well
  • Don’t interrupt and be respectful
  • Turn to negotiation training to hone your skills

While it’s certainly a good idea to listen to opponents during a business negotiation, you are not advised to take for granted everything they say. The information should be accurate, so be sure to check dates and numbers, too, just to be on the safe side. Wait for your turn to speak, share ideas and talk about compromise. Win-win solutions doesn’t just mean that you’ve landed a good deal; it means that you’ve got yourself a business partner too, someone who may be able to help you in the foreseeable future.

 

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Emotions – how to use them perfectly at negotiations

Emotions and empathy play a vital role in negotiations, whether in business or in politics. Emotional awareness can steer prejudices and it can also give self-control. Sometimes, classic negotiation skills fail, and to demonstrate poise and control, one must use inner emotions to land a good deal. Experts argue that emotions have no place in negotiations because they make people seem weak. However, it is possible to control emotions and use them to your advantage. Many people fear negotiations, and rather than finding a way to deal with their inner feelings, they clank up. Here are some excellent guidelines to help you put emotions to good use in a negotiation.

Nervousness – a feeling that can be controlled

Believe it or not, nervousness is a feeling that can be controlled in a negotiation. Make your anxiety become curiosity by attentively listening to your opponents. Pay attention to everything they say, as body language, words, and variations in their vocal tone can help you make an opinion. An observant negotiator is able to spot opportunities for mutual agreements, so it’s certainly a good idea to ward off your concerns and focus on the facts. According to some experts, when you’re deeply attentive, the mind “forgets” about feelings such as nervousness and concern. For a negotiator to attain emotional balance, he must ward off all his fears by focusing on the speech or presentation of his opponent.

Take a break

Experienced negotiators know how to cool off when things heat up in a negotiation. Taking a break is one of the most effective ways of dealing with your emotions. There are times when deals don’t go as planned, and although you are not nervous in the beginning, you may start developing some feelings of angst as things move forward. Skilled business people have the capacity and the expertise to intimidate an opponent. They can throw your confidence out the window in a matter of seconds. In this scenario, it’s best to ask for a recess. A short break will help you calm down; your team should be there for moral support, too.

Emotions

Anger can be an asset

Provided that you use anger strategically, it can become your strongest weapon. Some people are more productive when they’re angry; they have better ideas and they’re not afraid of dealing with unpredictable circumstances. In some scenarios, anger can be used as an indicative of your toughness. An attitude that’s hard-hitting may intimidate an opponent, and therefore your persuasion abilities will be greatly improved. As much as we want to believe that anger can be an asset in negotiations, it is important to know your limits. We’re talking about a feeling that can scare business partners and associates when it becomes too extreme.

Anxiety – the perfect recipe for success in business

Anxious people usually end up losing negotiations. Why? Because it’s simple for an opponent to sense that you’re afraid. Fear leads to a wealth of other unpleasant feelings, and in the end you may agree to a bargain that can’t possibly benefit your company. Don’t let your nerves get the best of your when negotiating, and use your anxiety to reap great benefits. Generally speaking, important decisions entail increased levels of hesitation, and trying to come up with a mutual agreement may lead to apprehension. Be lucid and don’t let emotions interfere with your logical way of thinking. The best way to make your anxiety help you win negotiations is to forget it exists.

While anxiety, anger, and nervousness are perfectly understandable emotions people feel in a negotiation, we can’t say the same thing about fear. Ironically, fear is more common than the other three, and it usually has dreadful effects on your self-esteem. Do you usually feel your heart pounding at the mere thought of bargaining with someone? You may be afraid of negotiations, and this unpleasant emotion won’t help you build connections and close good deals. If you can’t control your emotions when dealing with employees, investors, and customers, you might need some negotiation training; the best way to control emotions is to block them out of your system. Fear is a useless emotion in business. There’s absolutely no reason for you to be afraid of your opponent. Rather than let fear affect your judgment, focus on the facts and be rational.

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

How to create a newsletter that is a good read

Whether it targets customers, colleagues or other interested parties: an e-mail newsletter can be an extremely effective communication tool – provided that it is opened and read.

However, for a newsletter to be opened and read, or even – in the best case – to be looked forward to instead of just flooding the inbox, there are two important basic rules:

1) You shall not bore!

2) You shall not spam!

If put into practice, this means that a newsletter is not a waste product of old, existing texts; there needs to be an editorial staff in charge! Its contents need to be tailored to its reader’s interests and the topics covered should be both, informative and entertaining for the recipient.

Effective Newsletter

To ensure that the newsletter is a success, the first step is a precise definition of the target group.

Who do I want to reach, who should be receiving information?

Who should know what about the organization, the company?

In the second step, there are two questions to be answered – which, admittedly, is not always easy:

What are the target group’s interests?

Which content will provide additional benefit to the readers?

What will entertain or amuse the target group, which contents should be included in the editorial plan?

Lastly, use a proper style of writing and an appealing and reader friendly layout (a no-go is bright font on dark background, for example), and there is your newsletter that is a good read.

P.S: Integrated links provide additional benefits. Also, readers like to be entertained – however, please do not (!) desperately try to be funny.

Dr. Annegret Haffa

Dr. Annegret Haffa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
Click here to access the Agency Blog

Localizing instead of Translating: How to make international press releases work

Multinational companies often face the challenge to distribute news from the headquarter based in foreign countries e.g. in the USA in other markets “with other languages as well. However, running the English piece through google translater and brush up the language a little bit, won’t do the trick. For making an adaption work properly, it needs to be way more than just a simple translation. Obviously the language is very important, but also some other aspects have to be kept in mind:

1. Topic: Before adapting the press release one question needs to be answered: Is this news really relevant for my market? Spreading news from the US headquarter does not always make sense, because not all topics are also relevant in markets like Germany, and sometimes a solution is just not available outside the US .

2. Structure: US press releases often start off very “softly” before getting to the point. These introductions “platitudes, trend-analyses or the like“ in the first paragraph(s) can be quite deterring for the German media. German journalists spend very little time on deciding whether a news piece is interesting to them or not. A press release which does not get to the point quickly won’t catch the attention of a German journalist and falls through the cracks. Therefore, in German press releases don’t waste any time and space: What’s most important, comes first!

International News

International News

3. Marketing-Talk: In a professional environment, Germans in general present theirselves more reserved than for examples US-Americans. The praising of products and services with superlatives is a taboo to German media. Every provider or manufacturer claims that his innovations are “unique” and that its success will be unprecedented. The challenge lies in stressing the actual benefits, without turning the German message into sweet talk oder adulation.

4. Quotations: US press releases often contain a lot of quotations that basically all say the same. For a successful localization, it is more useful to offer not more than one or two quotations (which cover all important messages) coming from a regional (!) speaker.

5. Customer References: The best testimonial of a satisfied customer is worthless, if the corresponding company is completely unknown in the target country. Therefore it makes sense to make use of less, but local references “ in Germany from the DACH-region or at least from internationally well-known companies.

In Germany, claiming to be “the leading provider” of anything should be proved. Because this is a rather difficult undertaking (e.g. because of lacking evidence and information) it is more secure to position oneself of being “one of the leading providers. On another note: There is no need for (registered) trademark references and legal disclaimers in Germany.

If you want to know why uniform communication does not work have a look at my colleague’s blog post covering examples of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The rules for the “DACH” region or for the US also apply to other countries. Despite the geographical proximity, press releases from France, Italy or Spain cannot simply be translated into German “at least, if you want to get positive attention from a maximum of journalists”.

Markets can be compared just as little as you can compare apples to oranges. This is why PR professionals should not try to capture the attention of the local press with news that were obviously written for another target market. Hence, for adequate localization not only perfect foreign language competence is absolutely crucial, but also detailed knowledge of the local markets and industries.

Annegret

Dr.Annegret Haffa

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
Click here to access the Agency Blog