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Four Reasons to Get Ready to Scale Up as You Start Up

Scaling your business may seem like a long way off. After all, you have concepts to finish, prototypes to create and money to raise. Why worry about scaling now?

I am sure I can share many more than four reasons to start now and I don’t want to frighten you. I do hope to inspire you and galvanize you into taking the right actions to prepare for scaling up. Here they are:

1. The mistakes you make when you are small have a greater impact on your viability than they will when you are a big organization. In large companies mistakes may go unnoticed, but when you are starting out every decision you make counts. The people you bring on board, even for sweat equity, the strategy you set, and every dollar you spend must be carefully strategized.

2. Once you have hired members for your team, some of which may be your college roommates or your family members, it’s really hard to make them “available to industry” later. It’s great to hire your brother-in-law as CFO, yet at this stage you only need a bookkeeper and offering the lofty title of CFO will no doubt present a problem later. Now it could be that your brother in law will grow into that position but if he doesn’t, then how will you demote him without hard feelings? At 10 million you will need a different level of expertise.

3. If you don’t lay the right foundation, execution of your big idea may make your dream turn into a nightmare. Planning and executing while at the same time dealing with all the unknowns that crop up, is the biggest challenge in business. Execution is about turning your revenue into profit. In order to execute well the disciplines of setting priorities, measuring performance and a rhythm of the right kind of meetings is important and this degree of discipline is extremely rare. Developing and executing a strategy that is balanced in both growth and profitability is a difficult and necessary task.

4. Chances are you’ll run out of money and you have no time for those kinds of lessons. You only have so many resources. You may have borrowed money from friends and family, and the dream you shared encouraged them to open up their check books to you. They believe in you. And now you have to perform. You know the funds were not a gift. Every entrepreneur believes they have the next great technology, service or product to change the world. What do you need to do to validate your idea? Do it first. Don’t spend all your time on writing a lengthy business plan for Venture Capital firms. Instead write a one page plan outlining all the processes, people and actions to take. Then get out there and validate that your target market wants what you are creating. Otherwise you’ll burn cash and just as in the game of Monopoly, when you run out of cash, it’s game over. There is time for the perfect pitch deck and business plan once you have validation.

Actions to take: Review your plan quarterly. Treat each quarter as a 13 week race to accomplish the goals you set. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, actionable and Time –Bound). Find a thought partner, a strategic thinking team, or a peer group. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. Look around you – who do you know that you can reach out to? Plan your scale up as you start up.

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The Simple Mistake That is Killing Your Online Presence

We’ve all experienced the online narcissist.  The person who is constantly sharing what they are working on, where they are going, who they are going there with, and what they are eating when they get there.  And we think, “I’m so glad that I’m not like them!”

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are.

It’s not always as extreme, but when I look at how professionals use digital platforms for business purposes, I find they do the exact same thing.  Salespeople brag about how good they are at hitting quota and the features of what they sell.  Executives have lists of their companies’ accomplishments and their rise through the ranks.  Everyone is talking about themselves.

Your Online Presence is Too Self-Centered

And while that’s understandable, it’s important to remember that the readers of your online profiles aren’t looking for your story.  Even though they are at your LinkedIn profile, or your website bio, or your Facebook page, they aren’t actually interested in you.

Your online visitors want to see if you can help them with a problem that they have.

They might be a vendor looking for a supplier, an employer looking for an employee, a business owner looking for a service-provider, or a host of other scenarios.  But they are looking to see if you can fit the bill of what they are looking for.  They are asking, “Can this person help me solve my challenges.”

If you spend your time online talking about how great you are, it’s very hard for them to find the answer to that question.  Would you spend your time bragging to a person if you were talking to them face-to-face?  Instead, it’s critical that you spend time talking about how you solve those problems for the people you serve.

Nobody is reading your LinkedIn profile because they couldn’t find your autobiography on Amazon.  Too often, we share what we share because it’s what we want to say.  We share what we think is important and what’s exciting to us.  That’s the wrong approach.

Your visitors need to hear about what’s important to them.

How to Approach Your Online Profiles

So switch your approach and instead of looking at your online assets as an opportunity to talk about what’s important to you, connect your experience, skillsets, and capabilities to the ways you serve your audience.  Stop thinking about what you want to say and put yourself in the shoes of your audience. What do they need to hear from you?

It can difficult to change this perspective because we are used to seeing the world from our point of view.  There’s a simple process that can help you get out of your own head:

  1. List out your professional goals.

What are you trying to accomplish right now?  Do you want a new job, a promotion, new clients?  The clearer you are about where you are trying to get, the easier it is to map out a course.

  1. Connect those goals to the audience you need to influence.

You will have many audiences online, and if you try to speak to them all, your message will be muddy.  Who are the most important people that you need to address?

  1. Imagine (or Ask) what that audience cares about and needs to hear.

If you had someone from your target audience right in front of you, what would you want to tell them?  What information do they need to engage with you?

  1. Decide where and how to share that message

The digital world can be a big place and you can’t be everywhere.  Does your audience spend their online focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc?  Figure that out and spend time in the same places.

  1. Share your message

Put in the effort to clearly share the message on the different platforms you’ve chosen.  Your audience can’t know anything until you share with them.  Construct your profiles, feeds, and pages to share the message that they need to hear from you.

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Perception – Does Being Right or Wrong Matter?

“Constantly test your beliefs. They serve as the foundation from which you view the world, those in it, and how others in turn view you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Too many times, people get hung-up on who’s right and who’s wrong. In reality that’s not what they’re really interested in. They’re more concerned with getting others to follow their lead. Being cognizant of that should allow you to focus more on the outcome you seek in a situation and less on how being perceived as right or wrong will make you feel. If you do identify your feelings as the source that motivates you to adopt one action over another, examine your thoughts to assess why that’s so; it could mean that you’re less interested in the outcome versus the way you feel about the outcome. If that turns out to be the case, you have a completely different ‘kettle of fish’ to deal with, one that’s in addition to the perception of right or wrong.

Once you can boil right or wrong down to its most simplistic form and still get others to follow you, right or wrong becomes immaterial. Recognize that you really don’t want to be viewed as being right or wrong, what you’re really after is to have others agree with your beliefs.

Going forward, when you’re engaged in dialog with others ask yourself, “Am I placing too much emphasis on being right or wrong?” Understand the source of motivation behind your actions to convince others that you’re right. That will be the real key to the impact you have on them … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

Every negotiator enters into a negotiation believing that her point of view should be accepted by the other negotiator; from her perspective, her point of view is right. If too much emphasis is placed on being right, she may overlook other opportunities to sway her counterpart to the real objective of the negotiation, which is to receive a favorable outcome for her.

Before you can shape someone’s perception, first you have to shape your own. You should have a firm understanding of how you arrived at your perspectives, the value they contain as viewed by others, to what degree they may contain unsubstantiated biases, and how you’ll position them to be viewed as most advantageous by the other negotiator. Once you’ve gathered those aspects, you’ll realize that it’s perception that matters, not who’s right or wrong. That will add a new dimension to your negotiation efforts.

What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

#HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions #Psychology #Truth #Perception

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Why Everyone Should Speak Like a Leader

In Machiavelli’s classic, The Prince, he weighs the relative importance of being loved or being feared as the best motivator of one’s “subjects.” In today’s workplace, those are not typically viewed as the default “either-or” choice regarding the most important qualities in a leader, but research shows that there are other, less intuitive factors that have been shown to inspire trust in leadership and cultivate a willingness to follow.

A recent study indicated that at the heart of all relationships, both professional and personal, are two factors: whether you are “competent,” and whether you are “warm”. “Warmth” is important because it implies a lack of intentional threat. And “competence” balances warmth because it indicates that you won’t accidentally cause someone harm either. The combination of both allows people to trust in someone’s potential as a leader. To me, it poses an interestingly defense-oriented approach to the perception of leadership.

But it’s more than whether or not you are warm and competent: the other half of the equation is whether other people believe that you have both of these qualities. If this is true, it begs the question of how these broad definitions of warmth and competence are recognized. This is where the ability to speak like a leader comes in becomes of critical importance.

What does warmth sound like? What about competence? We tend to think of warmth in terms of feelings and behaviors, and competence in terms of skills, but based on the above explanation of what warmth and competence represent, the way you communicate your intentions and executions will drastically influence your credibility on both fronts.

Let’s look at a few influential factors, to ensure that your communication style allows your warmth and competence to shine through.

Word choice

Of course your message needs to be factually accurate and true, but it goes beyond that. When you explain something, do you give more jargon-laden detail than the listener wants, needs or can understand? Does it seem like you are avoiding answering certain questions or omitting other details? These habits can undermine the perception of warmth because it seems like you don’t really understand or trust me, and if you don’t trust me, why would I trust you?

Alternatively, if you use lots of fillers like um, you know, I mean, or sort of, it seems like you lack confidence in what you’re saying, which erodes the perception of competence.

Using relatable anecdotes and clear organization, on the other hand, make it much easier for the listener to understand your meaning. This transparency allows them to see you as a more trustworthy leader.


Once you know what you want to say, the way the words roll – or stumble – off the tongue, will either help propel the listener along with you, or make them hit the brakes. Do you speak at a volume that is easy for everyone to hear, and at a speed that is easy to follow? Does your inflection highlight important words, indicating your personal interest in the topic and adding vocal interest for the listener? If so, all of these practices will reinforce your image of warmth and competence because it shows you are considering and prioritizing the needs of the audience. Mumbling, rushing, and monotonous, run-on sentences will all have the opposite effect.

Facial expressions

Tying it all up, your physical communication is, ironically, the strongest of the three communication modes when it comes to your appearance of credibility. No matter how much expertise you demonstrate in your content, and how strong or clear your voice is, facial expressions such as occasional eye-rolling, unintentional frowning when concentrating, eye contact (or lack thereof), or chewing on your lip can signal your deeper, underlying negative feelings about what you are saying, from arrogance and contempt to insecurity. Remember to smile when appropriate, make eye contact with everyone without staring them down, and keep a neutral listening face in order to reassure the audience of the sincerity of your intentions.

Regardless of the seniority of your position, bearing these points in mind will help you reinforce the impression of being both warm and competent, and come across as a natural leader.


Do you have other questions or feedback about effective leadership communication? If so, contact me at laura@vocalimpactproductions.com or click here to schedule a 20-minute focus call to discuss it with me personally!

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Join the Attention Revolution

Are you ready to join an ATTENTION REVOLUTION?

Are you ready to commit to paying attention to what matters most?

In today’s society, people everywhere are overwhelmed, overstressed and overtired. We receive information at a lightning-fast speed, challenging our ability to remain focused. As a result, I believe our society is suffering from an attention deficit crisis.

Research suggests our ability to remain focused is being undermined by social media, smartphones and other digital distractions. Many experts believe excessive use of technology is making us impatient, impulsive and forgetful. As a result, we spin our wheels staying busy while rarely making forward progress. We wear busy like it’s a badge of honor.

Attention has become the new currency as everyone and everything competes for more of it. Attention is EVERYTHING!

Did you know that according to the Information Overload Group, U.S. businesses lose $588B dollars (yep that’s billion) each year, from a lack of people paying attention! Imagine the success of your business if employees were able to tune out distractions, avoid interruptions and connect with the tasks that truly matter.

Now consider your personal life. How many times have you tuned out in conversation to check an alert on your smartphone? What about personal connections you missed because as you were reading emails after hours.

It’s time we become intentional with our attention and realize we have the power of choice. We can choose who and what gets our attention.

Intentional attention is about creating moments that MATTER. Here’s the caveat to that however: Intentional attention may mean reducing your social media time, putting away devices and noticing those around you, canceling unnecessary obligations and learning to say ‘no’ to others. While that may seem a little stressful – your life will be richer for it.

I promise, if you join my Attention Revolution, you will see:

  • Skyrocketing productivity,
  • Growth in relationships,
  • Boost to profits,
  • Extreme focus and clarity,
  • Targeted accountability; and
  • More time for what matters most to YOU!

Let’s join together to start a new trend, learn to channel our focus and accomplish more each day. I challenge you silence distractions, avoid interruptions and join the Attention Revolution today.

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Core Ideologies: The Heart and Soul of Scale-Ups

Core ideologies are a crucial part of the foundation organizations are built upon. They consist of two essential components of strategic thinking: core values and your purpose for existing, or why. There is nothing more important to your success than the people you engage with. They can be members of your leadership team, your board, employees, investors, or vendors. It’s alignment with your core values and purpose that will allow you to build a profitable and sustainable organization.

Codify your core values

Laying the foundation for your business begins with two key activities: understanding and codifying the core values that guide your business and your purpose for existing. I am not talking about the list of values that may be on a plaque in your office. We all know that Enron had integrity listed in their core values. Core values are deeper than that. They are the activities and beliefs that you act on every day. They are the guide for hiring the right employees and firing those employees who do not live your values.

Core values are considered aspirational when they are how you wish everyone around you behaved. True core values are always supported by the stories you can tell to demonstrate what you mean by each of them. When you can tell stories about how someone in your company lives that value, you’ll know it’s a real core value. If you like what a value means but don’t have a single story to share – I would call that aspirational.

Trevor is the CEO of a company that distributes goods to big box retailers. As I watched him struggle with naming his core values I reminded him how I have witnessed over and over how he has demonstrated caring for his employees. He recently interviewed a sales rep he really wanted to hire. The rep asked permission to snap a picture of the core values and shared that it was the values that made his decision to join the team an easy one – he was aligned with their values!

Teams often get stuck on getting the words just right. It might take a while to fine tune the wording but don’t let that stop you. That can come later. One of my personal favorites is Make Mama Proud.  Your mama would hate to see you on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for some nefarious deed! Too bad Enron missed that one.

Action to take to make core values come alive:

As employees congratulate some act of kindness, perseverance, an amazing customer experience or anything else they admire, send an email to them to honor them. Don’t stop there. Create a little book of emails and as you onboard new employees share that book with them. Usually new employees are immediately given the employee handbook, not what makes your organization a fabulous place to work.

Ask Yourself: Would you enthusiastically rehire all your stakeholders?

In answering this question for yourself, evaluate those that live your core values and at the same time are highly productive. If they do not live your core values, make them available to industry (i.e. fire them). If they do, but fail to be highly productive, first ask yourself if they are clear on the expectations for their position. Then coach them to be productive. They are worth saving. At every stage of your growth it is important to reevaluate your people. Having the right people in the right seats doing the right things is the most important ingredient for success. You can have the best technology and the best strategy but without the right people you will not be sustainable.

The second Core Ideology: Your Why, Your Purpose for Existing

Why does your organization exist? We all know that the purpose of business is to make money but that is not the right answer. There is some reason the business was started. There is some reason that you wake up every morning and keep on keeping on. Starting and growing a business is not easy – some days you might wonder why you stick with it. That’s your why or purpose for existing. Every member of your team should be able to deliver your why message.

Imagine an assembly line of people building rectangular glass boxes. You approach the assembly line and ask an employee what they are producing. The answer: I’m putting a door on this glass box. Then you approach another individual further down the line and get a completely different answer: with every door I put on this incubator, I save a baby’s life. Now which one of these answers gave you goose bumps?

Action to take to Find Your Purpose

If your purpose isn’t clear yet, ask every individual in your company to offer their opinion by secret ballot. See what they have to say and see which one of those gives you an emotional jolt. That’s what it takes. Watch Simon Sinek’s Start With Why TED talk for further inspiration. With more than 25 million views I can assure you it’s worth watching.

In summary:

Thinking about core values and purpose might seem soft. If you believe that alignment of team members is essential for success, then this is the place to start your foundation. Core values and purpose are the core ideologies that drive a company’s culture. Get it right, and you will have motivated loyal employees and a thriving organization.

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How to Be a Feedback Hero/Heroine: 5 Key Elements

What is a hero? It is a person admired for their courage and their outstanding achievements.  It’s someone who fights through their fear and accepts a challenge to achieve a worthy goal(s).

We are a bit obsessed with heroes in the USA.  According to IMDB.com (Internet Movie Database) there have been 86 superhero movies in the past 40 years (1978 to present day).  That is more than 2 superheroes saving the earth and standing against evil per year for 40 years.  Why are we so enamored by them?  I am not a psychologist, but I can guess.  It’s the drama.  It’s the battle between “good” and “evil”. Most of us want “good” to win and it most often does.  Even though we know “good” will win, we still watch.

In the workplace the manager is often seen as a hero. He/she is an all knowing being who solves problems faster than a speeding bullet.  Seeing our managers as heroes is unfortunate.  They are not superhuman.  They are not omnipotent even though we often expect them to be so.  However, it is useful to see a courageous leader serve others by providing effective feedback because that skill provides individuals with development opportunities and leads to employee engagement.  Employee engagement leads to improved customer experience and that leads to measurable financial results.

If a hero is an admired courageous person who achieves amazing results, we want them.  To become a feedback hero requires insight into 5 key elements.  Knowing and practicing these elements can make anyone of us a hero.

What is feedback?

Feedback can be a formal annual event, but it is more likely an informal and useful conversation.  If we are to attract the best talent, optimize their employee engagement, create a culture of trust, optimize innovation, and adapt to the speed of change, we must give and receive frequent fearless feedback.  It must become as natural as breathing.

A key insight for managers to become feedback heroes must include the clear distinction between feedback and criticism.  Feedback is data from a process for the purpose of learning.  Criticism is opinion or judgement.  Most managers don’t make this distinction and they often make things worse because they deliver criticism, but they think it is feedback. The person receiving the so called “feedback” rejects it because it feels judgmental and hurtful because it is.

Unsolicited criticism damages employee engagement.  The feedback discussion offers a better chance for positive change. Criticism is about the quality or character of the person.  Feedback is about the methods the person uses and methods can be changed.

Why is feedback needed?

There are six major reasons why effective feedback is needed.  Feedback helps: (1) improve performance; (2) accelerate learning and innovation; (3) people make decisions to more easily and naturally adapt to change while minimizing loss of productivity; (4) create accountability to certain desired behaviors; (5) to improve employee engagement; (6) improves customer experience. In other words, it is a key for us and our organizations to develop toward high performance.

According to a Harvard Business Review Journal article, 72% said they thought their performance would improve if their managers would provide corrective feedback.

Furthermore, 92% of the respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”  12% were Baby Boomers, 50% were members of Generation X, and 38% were in Generation Y

And finally, 70 % of employees indicated that “My performance and possibilities for success in my career would have increased substantially if I had been given more feedback.” (Flokman, 2014)

Some additional insights from the Harvard Business Review article are:  The willingness of a manager to provide feedback to employees is a powerful way to increase employee engagement and commitment. In addition, those employees who receive the least are the least engaged. Receiving corrective feedback from a boss produces a much higher level of engagement than receiving none at all.

Zenger goes on to claim that receiving the right kind of positive feedback has a huge impact on improving employee productivity and increasing engagement and feedback is the cornerstone skill underlying a number of leadership responsibilities.

Who needs to give feedback?

Everyone can and must provide feedback.  In the famous words of Michael Corleone, “It’s not personal.  It’s only business.”  A business is a social system.  In a social system everyone can be both an internal customer and an internal supplier.  Customers who give useful feedback to suppliers are creating improvement. Learning is occurring.  When learning occurs, improvement is not far behind.

Everyone can be a customer and/or supplier of information in a system. Therefore, everyone can and must be able to provide feedback to their internal suppliers and even their internal customers.  Feedback does not have to be “manager dependent”.

When is feedback needed?

The best leaders ask for more feedback, Recent research of over 50,000 executives, found that “Leaders who ranked at the top 10% in asking for feedback were rated, on average, at the 86th percentile in overall leadership effectiveness.”  The bottom 10% in asking for feedback rated in the 15th percentile in overall leadership effectiveness.  Conversely, if a leader was rated in the top 10% at giving honest feedback, their reports ranked their engagement in the top 23%.  (Jack Zenger, 2013)

Delivering feedback more frequently, and less formally, in a dysfunctional environment will not make things better.  The typical manager will make specific demands and then attempt to catch the employee either doing something right or doing it wrong.  This strategy creates a context of mistrust and sends this message to the employee, “You are incapable of managing your own performance without me watching you.”

A different approach involves facilitating a set of agreements with the employee.  An agreement is a specific, measurable, and time sensitive task that is delivered with a predictable process. Instead of making demands the manager created, shift the responsibility for creating a process to the employee. Ask the employee to make agreements.

If the employee fails to keep their agreement(s), it’s time for immediate feedback and coaching.  This shift allows for more effective feedback without the demand for forced frequency.  If the employee is willing and able to manage agreements, there is no need for feedback from the manager.  If they refuse or can’t manage agreements, then immediate feedback is appropriate and necessary.  The feedback discussion will center around the need for a process to improve.  It’s never about the person. It’s always about the process.

In this context, the purpose (the point) of feedback is 3-fold: First, to discuss when and if agreements are broken; Second, discuss when a process must be improved:  Third, when appreciation can be expressed for a job well done.

In this context feedback is not dependent upon a calendar.  Instead, it is delivered when everyone can learn something. We learn how to keep our agreements, we learn how to improve a process, and/or we learn when we did something extraordinarily positive and want it repeated.

How to give feedback

We have been taught ineffective (dysfunctional) and fearful way of delivering feedback and most organizations perpetuate this environment of fear.  I call it leadership malpractice.  We need fearless feedback instead. We have been taught to judge the person.  Instead, let’s use learning and love and avoid criticism.

Let’s assume the person wants to learn and their best intentions are always positive.  Therefore, how we deliver feedback will be factual, emotion free, supportive and with a serving attitude.

Check out the interview on C-Suite Best Seller TV to learn more about how to stop leadership malpractice and replace the typical performance review: https://www.c-suitetv.com/video/best-seller-tv-wally-hauck-stop-the-leadership-malpractice/


Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the “deadly disease” known as the typical performance appraisal.  Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP.  Wally has a passion for helping leaders let go of the old and embrace new thinking to improve leadership skills, employee engagement, and performance.

Flokman, J. Z. (2014). Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give. Harvard Business Review.

Jack Zenger, J. F. (2013). Overcoming Feedback Phobia: Take the First Step. Harvard Business Review.

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The Importance of Communication from an Emotional Intelligence Expert

As part of my nationally syndicated radio show, Take the Lead, I interview top leaders and successful individuals who share their success stories.  It was my turn to be interviewed on James Miller’s nationally syndicated radio show this week.

To hear the entire interview, please go to: https://www.jamesmillerlifeology.com/effective-communication-dr-diane-hamilton/

The following are highlights of what we discussed in the interview:

  • Communicating Effectively
  • Curiosity and leadership
  • It’s Not You It’s Your Personality
  • MBTI and the importance of timing for projects based on personality
  • The psychology behind our choices
  • Our Capacity and Awareness
  • Procrastination
  • Planning vs Spontaneity
  • Stress and Thriving
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Soft Skills
  • Behavior Issues
  • LeaderKid Academy
  • Empathy and Listening
  • Importance of Paraphrasing
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How to Overcome Lost Trust When Negotiating

“One way to overcome the loss of trust when negotiating is not to lose it in the first place.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Trust is the hidden variable when negotiating that possesses silent power in the negotiation. Once trust is lost, a negotiation takes on a persona from which it may never recover. Thus, depending on the severity of lost trust, it may be the death knell of the negotiation.

There are multiple factors that play a role in regaining trust when it’s lost. The implementation of those factors are directly tied to how you wish to proceed from the point of disruption, the outcome you seek from the negotiation, time factors related to future events, and any mitigating circumstances that may cause you to engage/disengage in/from the negotiation.

This article will give you insights as to how you can overcome the loss of trust when you negotiate and turn your efforts into winning actions.

Point of Disruption:

Be observant as to how trust is being evaluated during the negotiation. Such signs will be conveyed through the possible reluctance to believe, follow, or acquiesce to a request and/or concession. Once you sense such hesitancy, address it right then. Don’t let a possible festering thought about trust linger. If you do, you may be setting up the rest of the negotiation to be addressed from a deeper entrenched position on both sides.

Outcome Sought:

Be crystal clear about the outcomes sought by you and the other negotiator. To the degree you have commitments, shine a bright metaphoric light on those agreements and make those commitments known to stakeholders with lots of fanfare. As an aside, be mindful of whom you show the commitments so that they don’t tear them down. In a best-case scenario, you tie/lock the other negotiator to the commitments he states he’ll abide by. Also, limit finger pointing, gloating, and be aware of your verbiage when highlighting agreed on commitments. The wrong word(s), gloating, and/or finger pointing can easily lead to the unraveling of a commitment. To ensure that commitments will be adhered to, discuss with the other negotiator how they will be conveyed when presented to the outside world.

Time Factors and Future Events:

You should always consider the time factor and how today’s negotiation will impact future events. To that end, to restore lost trust:

  1. Sign-off on agreements at specific points in the negotiation and wait to see if deliverables are made
  2. Know hidden power players and their possible reaction(s) about the direction of the negotiation
  3. Have contingency plans in place to persuade power players to positions that are advantageous to you

Mitigating Circumstances:

There are mitigating circumstances that can encompass any negotiation. Such can be caused by the misperception of a word, a misperceived gesture, or just a dislike amongst the negotiators. If you’re aware of any mitigating circumstances that may cause the negotiation to be headed to the negotiation graveyard, consider changing negotiators. New negotiators can see the negotiation through new eyes.

A loss of trust can be a silent death knell in a negotiation but that doesn’t have to be so. The best way to offset its occurrence is to be as forthright as possible as you engage in a negotiation. Of course, that forth righteousness is a two-way street that the other negotiator must also be willing to traverse. Use the suggestions above to offer him the opportunity to do so … and everything will be right with the world.


After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free 5-minute video on reading body language or to sign up for the “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

#HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #Trust  #psychology

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BEing Seen and BEing Heard as a Thought Leader

When thinking about my first post, I thought that a link to my TED talk was a great way to start.

It covers several thoughts and ideas for your business. When I re-watched it this weekend, I wrote down twenty different ideas that stood out. Here are seven:

  • As a thought leader, are you sharing a message of service?
  • Trust comes from vulnerability, integrity & authenticity!
  • Are you being vulnerable & authentic?
  • Are you creating opportunities to be known, liked and trusted?
  • Are you screaming “Buy, Buy, Buy” on social media? If won’t work!
  • The microphone that everyone has with social media is really a headset, where you must listen more than talk.
  • Are you “truly” listening to your prospects and clients and changing your products and services as a result?

What do you think? What idea stood out for you when watching this talk?

Mitchell Levy is a people publisher that empowers thought leaders to share their genius. After a 2-hr interview to extract your genius, his team will write and publish your book in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, PDF, and AHAbook formats. To explore what this means for you, sign up for a 30-minute strategy session http://aha.pub/focused