Category Archives: Life Skills

Conquering Fear  To conquer fear, focus on courage and the payoff rather than the fear.  This is an exercise in controlling your mind and controlling your thoughts and controlling your emotions.  Choose to be courageous and strive for success. However, it’s important to recognize the practical use of fear: it’s an emotion designed to protect you from danger.  Don’t mistake fear for prudence. Be prudent.

Use fears to keep you out of trouble,  but don’t let fears deter you from goals when the fears are invalid. Use your intelligent mind to determine whether the fear you are experiencing is valid in preventing you from getting hurt, or whether it’s mis-applied by your reptilian brain and can be logically and safely ignored.

An example is a fear of people.  If you were abused or bullied, it’s natural to develop a fear of people as a result of such experiences.  However, it’s important to recognize that what you want is a fear of the specific individuals who harmed you, and avoiding those specific individuals is key to future success.  That’s the practical side of fear.  The impractical side of fear is avoiding all people, including those who aren’t going to hurt you.  In those instances, it’s important to use your intelligent mind to recognize that the situation is different, and use courage and optimism to overcome that fear of people and develop meaningful connections with good people.

To find out when more life education writing is released, subscribe on the side! Follow on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, on Tumblr.

Negotiation Dimensions



This diagram is from the article and aptly summarizes a valuable set of dimensions through which to think about negotiation.

I won’t dive into the details, the article does it better and I’d recommend you read the article. I’ll just sell the article by talking briefly about the value of these skills.

The value of negotiation is that it helps you get what you want in life, and it is involved in every stage of getting what you want.  Let’s say you’re hungry and you see a restaurant selling a hot plate of spaghetti for $11.99.  That is a negotiation.  The restaurant has proposed an exchange of $11.99 for food, and you can accept, or reject.  This is an example of an ultimatum strategy of negotiation.  The explicit terms of the negotiation is obvious, the implicit terms of the negotiation are not obvious.  Every restaurant has a sign displayed that says “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”  This means that your option to execute the purchase order for spaghetti is not guaranteed.  You still have to negotiate for the product by behavior in a socially acceptable manner, not being insulting, not being rude, disrespectful, etc. to the staff who will be serving you.  Purchase is the basic form of negotiation.

Relationship is the complex form of negotiation, and this is further subdivided into personal and business relationships.  If you want to go to the park with a friend, that is a negotiation: the cost to each person to travel to the park, and the amount of happiness derived from the trip has to be of high enough interest to all parties for the activity to occur.  Thus, negotiation is employed for you to get what you want, which is to go to the park with a friend.  In a business, a manager wants an employee to do work, so they negotiate over the terms of the work and the terms of the pay.  The manager is trying to get what he/she wants: work from the employee, and the employee is trying to get what he/she wants: pay.

Negotiation is different from persuasion.  Persuasion is about generating interest in the transaction, about creating the opportunity.  If the restaurant didn’t serve spaghetti, but had all the ingredients for it and the chef knew how to make it, persuasion would be talking to the owner and asking them to make spaghetti for you.  Negotiation takes over after the option exists, after the opportunity has been created, and is used to determine the terms of the transaction: price of the spaghetti.

To find out when those posts, and other life education writing, are released, subscribe on the side! Follow on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, on Tumblr.

Turning Down a Job Offer

Always show appreciation for having been given an offer.  Not many people get it, so appreciate the fact they chose you over other candidates.  This makes them feel valued so that you can part ways on a more positive note

Tell them as soon as possible–as soon as you know–that you’re going to turn them down.  They are holding the position open for you while they wait for your response, and they are missing opportunities to hire other people because of it.  They will appreciate you doing that.

Say thank you again

Keep it short and to the point–don’t give a long drawn out answer

Be honest about your reasons for taking the other offer; if the salary range is within 10k, then don’t say salary and instead use a secondary reason.  Common reasons are: money, work (topic/project/nature), people (culture)

Don’t badmouth anyone or give negative reasons why you did not choose them.

Remain professional and respectful

DO NOT treat offers as bids from car salesmen where you negotiate using whatever tactics you can to get what you want–these are relationships you want to maintain long after the process, and hiring managers talk, industry is small–word will get around about how you treated them.

This post is part of AttemptedLiving’s Life Education Curriculum, a collection of core knowledge everyone should have.

To find out when those posts, and other life education writing, are released, subscribe on the side! Follow on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, on Tumblr.