Tuesday, August 8, 2017

David Mark Decherd Joins Aflac Agent Force

Congratulations on qualifying for the Aflac Agent Force! We are excited to welcome you to this exclusive community based on your experiences as an Aflac field agent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Trash Drying Assembly


The inventive concept avoids the use of any heating medium which by its nature increases the cost of operating any machinery including the separation of fluid from trash. The disclosed and claimed system is a compact system in that trash “as is” is introduced at the beginning of the process. The trash is fed into a shredding device and then fed into a tapered tube having a rotating fluid expulsion tube therein. With the introduction of the shredded trash into the rotating mesh tube, high velocity air is also introduced which is instrumental in the forward movement of the shredded trash while at the same time any prevailing fluid is expelled from the tapered and rotating wire mesh tube. The expelled fluid is collected and fed from the system by way of pipeline. The dried trash is also expelled from the rotating mesh at its other end.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lesson 9 Secrets on Really Listening

Multitasking the Right Way
Your natural inclination to multitasking can be redirected to make you a better negotiator.  Track mentally within the 7:38:55.  Here's how.
Consider the following: there are a variety of sources that provide that people roughly speak at the rate of about 125 - 160 words per minute and our brains have the capacity to process about 400 - 600 words per minute.  Therefore, if you are keeping track of only the contentthen you have excess mental capacity that's not being used.  If you don't know what else to keep track of, your mind is invited to wander (or multitask).
But if you accept anything resembling the 7:38:55 ratio, or any ratio that places an emphasis on tone of voice and body language, then there may be as much as 5x more information to process from the tone of voice alone.  This begins to stretch the capacity of the brain without even adding in the brainpower necessary to construct verbal responses or take good notes. 
Even More Overload
Additionally there are estimates that equate the amount of visual information being given off by a person's body language to be approaching the equivalent of 1000 words per minute.  If this is anywhere near true, the visual data alone, without asking the brain to do anything else, stretches your mental capacity to keep up.
Therefore, the advice here is for you to use the negotiation skills being provided to bring your full focus to bear on the negotiation at hand.  Use the skills to clarify and dig more deeply into what's being said in order to discover the value.
Here's what the best practice is:
Compare how something is being said to what's being said.  Gently react to any perceived incongruence - use a label.  Whether consciously or unconsciously, your counterpart will leave you clues as to hidden problems by their tone of voice and body language.  A lack of clues is no guarantee of either veracity or problem free implementation, but a presence of clues correlates very highly with problems.  It then becomes your job to gently uncover them.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lesson 8 Reading Between the Lines

Content, Tone, Body Language
You've been given what might be the most versatile tool in your arsenal - labels (Lesson #4). In Lesson 5, you were given more insight on the application of this tool.  Now in Lesson 8 we're going to delve even more into what to look for to label. 
Person-to-person communication (while you're in each other's presence) is described as being carried by three means:
  1. the content (the literal meaning of the words),
  2. the tone of voice (this includes inflection, pacing, etc.)
  3. and body language (how the person stands, the look on their face, how they placed their hands and arms, etc.). 
There was a famous study by UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian that came up with the ratio for these three components regarding how much the recipient of the communication "liked" the components, and that ratio was 7 - content, 38 - tone, 55 - body language.  The meaning of this study has been widely interpreted, contested and debated.
Do they line up?
The Black Swan Group advocates that you look at this ratio for relative importance of differences in the communication.  This means paying very close attention to tone of voice and body language so you can see how they match up with the literal meaning of the words.  If they don't match, it is quite likely the literal meaning of the words is not the truth of the sender's message.  By this ratio, tone of voice is five times more important than the literal meaning of the words.  Body language even more (8x).  How tone of voice and body language align with the literal meaning of the words is critical in understanding the meaning.
You can take the sentence "I think you're very smart", and change its meaning entirely based on which words you choose to emphasize, your inflection and the tone of voice you choose.
There is a great cartoon of two small children walking down the street talking and one says to the other "My mom says to me she hopes I have kids like me when I grow up, but I just don't like the way she says it."
Insight is Rewarded
Please keep in mind, that if their tone of voice signals hesitation, they know it.  On one level or another they are well aware they have indicated this to you and are probably unsure as to how to come out and say whatever it is that doesn't quite line up.  Your act of recognizing this and gently dealing with it via a label will be greatly appreciated by them.  They will feel respected and consequently, your relationship of trust will be improved.  They will be grateful for your insight.
This is interpretation process is a two-way street.  The person you're communicating with will interpret you in much the same way, whether consciously or unconsciously.  (Lesson 2).
Here's what you do with this knowledge: label tone of voice and label body language. 
You: "So we're agreed?"
Them: "Yes....."
You:  "I heard you say yes, but it seemed like there was some hesitation in your voice." 
Them: "Oh, it's nothing really."
You: "No, this is important, let's make sure we get this right."
Them: "Thanks, I appreciate it."
This is the way you make sure your agreement get implemented with no surprises.  Use the ratio of 7:38:55 as a guideline to line up what someone says with how they say it.  When someone's tone of voice or body language are not congruent with the meaning of the words they say, use the communication tool of labels to dig in and discover the source of the incongruence.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lesson 7: The "F" Word in Negotiation

Law of the Universe #6: People will walk away from deals that would otherwise make them better off, if they feel they've been treated unfairly.

"That's not fair"

"Fair" is the "F" word in negotiations. It comes up in almost every negotiation.
It’s directly related to feelings of worth and loss. This can often become very personal.   The automatic implication is that the person it’s being used on is being unfair. If your counterpart uses this word you have a problem. People will walk away from deals that would otherwise make them better off if they feel they've been treated unfairly.
“Fair” comes up in three contexts, two of which are accusatory.

1. The Defensive

The "F" word can be used by someone not meaning to make an accusation against you, but simply intending to defend themselves. This might take the form of "We just want what's fair."
This accusation will immediately trigger emotions of defensiveness and discomfort in you. These are often very subtle, almost invisible to you. Accusations tend to create emotional defensive reactions
Example: A homeowner was selling his home. The market prices of houses in the area had dropped. Consequently, the offer for the house was much lower than what the owner hoped for. The owner responded to the potential buyer – "We just want what's fair". The buyer raised his offer. Yet, how is that fair to the buyer? Was it the buyer's fault that the market dropped?
The word can also be highly manipulative.

2. Manipulation

"We've given you a fair offer", "We've made a fair offer” or "What we put on the table is fair." Anytime a negotiator self-describes their actions or offers as being "fair" it's likely an intentional manipulation to get their counterpart to give in. It also can be an irritant for the other side and may well consequently diminish the working relationship.
Example: Remember the last National Football League (NFL) lockout? During the impasse the Players Association was trying to get the team owners to completely open their books. The team owners responded publicly that what they had offered the players was "fair". Note the timing of the "F" word with the refusal to disclose information.

3. Proactive (Recommended)

You can be proactive with the "F" word. It's acceptable to tell someone at the beginning of a negotiation that you're going to try very hard to be fair and that you want them to tell you if they think you're not being fair. (Note the timing of this: before you made any offers.)
Be both conscious of the "F" word and cautious with it. Understand its implications. Please do, in fact strive to be very fair and understand what your counterpart perceives to be fair. If they feel you're being unfair they could well walk away from a deal that would make them better off.

Lesson. 6: How to Leverage Encouragers

Law of the Universe #5 is “Ignore human nature at your peril.”
Necessary, Effective, Invisible
Encouragers are simple small words needed during a conversation/negotiation to lubricate the flow of information. They are a great mercenary and missionary skill. They work and they are good for the relationship. They are one of those small effort skills that leverage larger results. People like to be encouraged. Remember Law of the Universe #2: “You are 6x more likely to make a deal with someone you like.”
Encouragers are words typically “uh-huh, yeah, ok, m-hmm, go-on, and really?” They let your counterpart know you are there and listening.  They encourage people to continue talking, especially through extended thought.
If you are in their presence or they can see you, physical gestures are effective as well, especially head nods. Interestingly enough, the head nod is one of the most appreciated physical gestures you can give someone.
Encouragers are a necessary and critical conversation/negotiation skill.  Misuse of them is easy and they can become counterproductive. They are often referred to as minimal encouragers because effort to use them amounts to minimal effort.  
Some communication methodologies refer to these as “amplifiers” because of their effectiveness in getting people to amplify their thoughts.  That concept alone should help you appreciate how effective they can be when properly used.
Use, don’t abuse them
It is very easy (and frequently done) to keep someone talking without actually listening at all when using this skill.   It is in fact very easy to let your mind wander while using encouragers.  As always, focus is required to effectively communicate. (This is a good time to listen to tone.)
It is also very easy to use encouragers to keep someone talking, giving them the impression you agree when you don’t agree at all.   The uses of “ok” and “sure” as encouragers are examples.  You have to be especially cautious of using these encouragers when you know you’re not in agreement.  Doing this sets a trap that your counterpart will resent you for walking them into.
“Ok” is particularly problematic and the user of it often has great expectations of the listener to interpret their tone. Please think back to Lesson #2 and look at tone of voice from another perspective.
Example of an effective use of encouragers:
Counterpart:  My boss is killing me with these new requests.
You:  Really?
Counterpart:  We have a new contract and he’s scared we’re going to mess it up.
You:  Uh huh
Counterpart:  I think he’s worried about his end of year bonus. He’s constantly coming into my office to check on the status of things.  I can’t get anything done with him interrupting me all the time.  It’s driving me nuts!
You:  Go-on
Counterpart:  So, yesterday…
Use encouragers! They are effective and helpful. Please remember, they are only effective when used in support of other skills.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lesson 5: How To Be A Smooth-Mirror

Skill 2: Mirrors
Mirror, mirror
Mirrors (or mirroring) may be the simplest of all the skills. And it is smoooooooth. 
You simply repeat the last three words your counterpart has spoken, or repeat a word or selected three words that you want to amplify/clarify.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Please do not underestimate the power of this skill. Mirrors pull responses out of people even when they know you’re using them. They trigger an almost unconscious reaction.
Be aware - when you first start mirroring other people it’s going to feel awkward. Very awkward. Discomfort with a new skill is the biggest barrier to learning it. Please don’t let that get in your way. Don't worry, mirrors are truly invisible, compelling, and even a surgical at times.
A skeptical colleague was once protesting whether or not mirrors were a valid skill. He said, "I just don't see how mirrors would work. I just don't see how it would be useful to repeat the last three words." My response? - "The last three words?" And he said "Yeah, I just don't see how it would work…Hey wait a minute! You got me!"
Mirroring is great when you are at a loss for words. No matter how blank your mind may feel, somewhere in the recesses of your memory you can pull out the last three words of what someone just said. It's great for helping you get on track.
One member of the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team (SWAT) who went through the hostage negotiation course would use mirrors to sharpen his ability to label. He would always start each negotiation with two or three mirrors. As he mirrored, you could watch him hone in and he would come up with an extremely effective label. With each mirror his mind focused even more and his listening became more in-depth.
Clarifying powers
You can use mirrors for "surgical" clarifications. We don't even ask the question "What do you mean by that?" anymore. Instead when someone says something you don't understand, mirror it with an upward inflection (questioning tone). The counterpart will automatically reword what he/she just said instead of repeating the exact same words in a louder tone of voice (very similar to the way many Americans overseas try to get people to understand them).
You can use mirrors effectively with assertive types. This is an actual conversation between a CEO and his Director of Operations (DOO) over a misunderstanding regarding 3-ring binders for a training session. The CEO wanted 3-ring binders but kept referring to them as notebooks.
CEO: “Are the notebooks ready?”
DOO: “What do you mean by notebooks?”
CEO: “Notebooks.” (Exasperated.)
DOO: “What do you mean by notebooks?”
DOO: “Notebooks?”
CEO: “Yeah, 3-ring binders.” (Bingo! Clarity!)
Here are a series of mirrors with Wendy the airline employee that got Ryan a seat on an airplane when he was stranded by weather in an airport with a host of unhappy travelers:
Ryan: “Hi, I’m Ryan. It seems like they were pretty upset.” (Note the Label – Lesson #3 & #4).
Wendy responded about how they had missed their connection and then said something along the lines of “we’ve had a fair amount of delays because of the weather.”
Ryan: “The weather?”
Wendy explained to that multiple airports in the Northeast had experienced delays due to weather conditions. “It’s rippled through the system.”
Ryan: “It seems like it’s been a hectic day.” (Label.)
Wendy opened up about a lot of “irritated customers” (like the ones before). She said a lot of people are trying to get to Texas for the two big college games.
Ryan: “The college games?”
Wendy answered about the UT vs Ole’ Miss football game and that “every flight into Austin has been booked solid.”
Ryan: “Booked solid?”
Wendy went on to explain that every flight was sold out through the weekend, but that the weather was likely to “reroute a lot of people through a lot of different places.” She finally gets around to asking, “So, how can I help you?”
Ryan: “Look, it seems like you’ve been handling the rough day pretty well. I was also affected by the weather delays and missed my connecting flight. It seems like this flight is likely booked solid, however, it also might make sense that someone affected by the weather might miss this connection. Is there any possibility a seat will be open because of this?”
At this point Wendy said nothing and began typing on her computer. Ryan kept silent, as he did not want to talk himself back out of what might be done deal. After about a minute, Wendy printed a boarding pass and handed it to him. She explained that there were a few seats that were supposed to be filled by people who would now arrive much later than this flight’s departure. She also placed Ryan in Economy Plus setting (which generally has an upcharge) and mentioned that it was “all taken care of.” (Boom!)
Ryan: “Thank you so much Wendy, I really appreciate it.”
Please begin using mirrors immediately and become comfortable with them. Have fun with them. You’ll find they're effective and powerful. They will serve you well. Make some rain

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lesson 4 Targeting Success With Labels

Lesson 4: 
Law of the Universe #4: Labeling positives reinforces them; labeling negatives diffuses them.
Contextual intelligence
You learned in the last lesson that labeling positive thoughts and dynamics reinforces them. Labeling negative thoughts and dynamics diffuses them (or in some cases the word “defuse” is appropriate as it avoids an explosion). We don’t know why this is... we just know it is.  Grasping this is powerful.
It gives you the opportunity to look over what is being expressed by your counterpart and choose what direction you want to guide them towards. What they express and how they express it gives you a virtual buffet of choices.
“It sounds like it’s important to you to find just the right program match.”
This was the label that sealed the deal for a $5,000 donation. That label, enhanced by the several that came before, created the tipping point that established a bond of trust. A donor signed a check without even knowing where the money was actually going, a first for this professional fundraiser.
“It sounds like you’re not a big fan of sub-letters.”
This was the label that played a key role in opening up the conversation where a landlord (who was famous not allowing sub-letters and not renegotiating leases) renegotiated the lease and allowed a sub-letter.
Positive and negative: choose a side
Any thought or idea expressed by someone carries a preference of like or dislike intertwined within it. This like is what we refer to as a positive. Dislike, lack of appreciation, disdain for something, is what we mean by a negative. The positive or negative emotion intertwined in someone’s reaction is a clue to how they value it. Smart exchanges of value are the essence of negotiation.
You can even label indifference! Your counterpart’s reaction to that label will reveal more information about what they value or why the are indifferent.
Any passion, feeling, or expressed thought has both a presenting and an underlying emotional tone to it, both a yin and a yang, so to speak. The thought will be presented overtly either as positive or negative. You have a choice of which side you want to label. People who hate cheaters love fair play. People who are passionate about their business and its mission are somewhat indifferent or even disdainful of people who are apathetic to their company’s mission.
“It sounds like you hate sub-letters” could become “It seems like you like stability”.
Listening to what is expressed by your counterpart and breaking down the components in this fashion is what begins to slow time down for you without actually slowing the process down. What is happening is your ear and mind are working together it pick apart the components of what you counterpart is expressing to “read between the lines” and gather insights.
As part of your preparation process, consider and write down a summary of the situation as you know it. Then consider the predictable positives and negatives your counterpart is likely to bring to the table. Whether these predictables are reasonable or not, isn’t relevant. Prepare 3-5 labels in advance to deal with them.
Inoculate at the start
You can choose to use some of these labels preemptively, to effectively inoculate your counterpart from having a negative feeling. “This is going to sound harsh” is a great label to lead off with when you know your counterpart is going to have a negative reaction to what you are getting ready to say. You pause for a moment (a 3 second effective pause) and follow it with what you believe will be poorly received.
For whatever reason, people’s imaginations get so carried away they think of something really, crazy bad! Then whatever you follow up with actually turns out to be a bit of a relief! Every single time this label has been used, the response has been the counterpart thinks it over, shrugs their shoulders, and shrugs it off saying “That wasn’t that bad.”
Use this power preemptively and wisely. Maximize your contextual intelligence

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lesson 3: Labels

 Labels - The Stealth Stratagem
You should already be seeing improvements in all your interactions. Changes in your psychological “balance” and the artistic use of your tone of voice should already be paying dividends for you.
Skill 1: Labels
What is a label?
The first negotiation skill in this program is labels. A label is an intentionally designed verbal observation. It's a sentence that most always begins with these words:
"It seems like…"  “It sounds like…"  “It looks like…”
This phrase is then followed by your observation of the dynamic you wish to affect. It’s one of the reasons these skills in other formats have been called the stealth weapons of effective negotiations. Use your powers for good and not evil.
This is a crafted and targeted skill. It’s seemingly innocuous. It will have an impact on what you’ve selected. It’s used to reinforce a selected positive dynamic or diffuse a selected negative dynamic. It’s a skill that allows you to surface objections and diffuse them or conversely surface dynamics, which are to your advantage and reinforce them.
You can label an action, an implication, an intuition, an affect; literally almost any part of the communication process that has, or is occurring. This process will be invisible to your counterpart.
An example of a label used in an actual negotiation between a landlord (who was known for not allowing sub-letters) and tenant (who wanted to sub-lease his apartment) was:
"It seems like you don't like sub-letters." 
This is an elegantly simple, yet versatile skill. You will feel awkward when first implementing this skill.   We can promise you in advance the first time you use a label your imagination is going to conjure up an image of your counterpart jumping up and shouting "Don't you dare use labels on me!" It's not going to happen. But the only way you're going to find out how undetectable labels are is by using them.
How to use labels
Labels are used for confirmation of understanding, for digging in deeper, and even as a way to ask a question. A label can be constructed as a statement by using a downward voice inflection at the end of the sentence or as a question by using an upward voice inflection at the end of the sentence just as you would when you ask a question.
Labels encourage your counterpart to be more responsive. They will usually give you a longer response than just a “yes” or a “no”. With someone who won't answer at all it will usually get them to give you at least a “yes” or “no”.
The use of several labels in a conversation will accumulate to achieve breakthroughs. At the end of the landlord/tenant negotiation mentioned earlier, when the tenant thought he’d reached an impasse and was getting ready to gracefully withdraw, he said:
“It sounds like there’s nothing I can say to get you to change your mind.”
The landlord then responded with “Yes there is” and proceeded to outline the exact terms he wanted. They made the deal.
Start labeling right away. The sooner you get the feel for this skill, the sooner you will be generating breakthroughs.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lesson 2: Voice - Gently Reach Into Their Brain

Lesson 2
Law of the Universe #1: Your voice will introduce emotional reactions in your counterpart.
You smile. They smile. Without realizing it, you’ve just reached into their brain and turned a dial. It’s called mirror neurons and it’s involuntary. They can’t help it or stop you. Even if they don’t smile, they are fighting it because a portion of their brain is telling them to smile.  
Your simplest, yet effective tool in negotiation, and actually in any verbal communication, is your voice. Your tone of voice can turn this dial.  Its stealth nature may actually make it one of your most effective tools. This process begins before you’ve even spoken enough words to complete a thought.
This is one of the simplest, yet most sophisticated emotional intelligence (EQ) skills in your arsenal.
When people are in a positive frame of mind, they think more quickly. There’s data out that indicates people’s brains may function up to 31% more effectively in a positive frame of mind. They are more likely to collaborate and problem-solve with you, as opposed to struggling against you, if they are in a positive frame of mind.
The reverse of this is true as well. Keeping a smile on your own face and in your voice will increase your own mental agility.
Law of the Universe #2: You are 6x more likely to make a deal with someone you like.
There are essentially three tones of voice available to negotiators. The first two are the only ones you should ever use and they are: the "late-night FM DJ" voice and the smiling positive/playful voice. The third tone of voice, which will always have a negative effect on your counterpart in negotiations, is the direct/assertive voice. Using the assertive voice is like slapping yourself in the face while you're trying to make progress. Your counterpart will always be looking for the opportunity to push back.
The late-night FM DJ voice
Use this voice when it's extremely important to make your point. It should be used in place of the direct/assertive voice. This may be in regards to a term in a negotiation that there is no “give” on. Follow this with silence (an effective pause). Do not be the one to break that silence.
The key to the late-night FM DJ voice is for your voice to inflict downward at the end, very much like a late-night FM DJ. This gives your voice simultaneously a calming effect and elements of both authority and trustworthiness. It's very close to the voice used by the best TV news anchors. They need you to believe in them and trust what they say. It's powerful and it works.
Be cautious of overuse of this voice. With overuse it will make you seem distant or even condescending.
A licensed hypnotherapist once told us the late-night FM DJ voice was the first thing he'd been taught in hypnotherapist training. That's how powerful it is.
“How am I supposed to do that?”
Use the late-night FM DJ voice to say this in a deferential, graceful manner and as though you are actually asking for their help (in essence – you are). There is great power in deference and you will find the ability to say nearly anything that might provoke a negative reaction if you say it with deference.
The smiling positive/playful voice
This voice is actually the voice to you should use most of the time. It’s the voice of an easy-going, good-natured person. The key to this is to smile while you're talking and be somewhat relaxed. It's about conveying a positive attitude and encouragement.  When you smile while you're talking people can hear and feel the smile (the mirror neurons are reacting). People are drawn to this voice.
Recognize and use the power of your voice. It gives you the ability to literally reach into a counterpart’s brain and flip an emotional switch the moment you begin speaking.
Example: Voices in Action
One of our Black Swan Group instructors was bargaining in the spice markets in Istanbul. A female friend bargaining at the same time was consistently getting better deals, and she was bargaining quite assertively. The culture in the spice markets in Istanbul is a merchant culture and they are used to spirited bargaining. They use hospitality and friendliness themselves in a powerful way to draw you in and create reciprocity. Our instructor had been using mostly the late-night FM DJ voice. The friend pointed out that she was making it a point to be as "playful" as possible and that was the key to her success.
Learn to hear your own voice as you speak and watch its effect on your counterpart. You’ll simultaneously find your own state of mind is balanced.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lesson 1

Lesson 1: Balance is the Key to Elegant Negotiation Power

Negotiation Rule #1: "No-deal" is better than a bad deal. 

The #1 Component of Power is Balance

There was an article written in the early 1980's called "The Seven Components of Power".  It was about physical power in hand-to-hand combat.  In many ways this article correlates directly to negotiation.   In this article, the #1 component of power was not strength (strength was actually 6th on the list).  The #1 component was "balance". 
There is an old saying in negotiation, "He (or she) who cares least wins".  The minute you get it firmly fixed in your mind that no one can make you say "yes", you begin to get control over your balance.  
If you're in a deal or some kind of negotiation that you feel you have to have, that you can’t say “no”, you've just taken yourself hostage and you’ve lost your balance.  This instruction is here to help keep you from taking you hostage.  
Once you've taken yourself hostage via anxiety, your performance abilities actually decrease.  If it’s not a good deal, say “Thanks, but no-thanks” and move on. You’ll spend less time finding a better deal that works then you’ll spend trying and hoping to make a bad deal good.
What is most likely to make a deal bad will be a single term. In many cases, it won’t be price. Price is only one term. (We’re going to take a deeper dive into price in Lesson 10). Truly dangerous cutthroat negotiators know that you will be seduced by price, or you will think the negotiation is over because you’ve reached a price, and then they will kill you with another term. Some Chinese manufacturers are famous for this. Ever hear of Chinese dry wall? They certainly have in Florida where there are thousands of uninhabitable houses because of it.
The deal that taught us this rule was a highly lucrative deal early in our history, with one killer term. Our reports had to be “satisfactory”. They later changed what they thought was “satisfactory”, which meant they weren’t going to pay us. 2 years and 5 law firms later, we finally found the right law firm to help us and got every dime. No word resembling “satisfactory” has appeared in any of our contracts since.
Hope is not a strategy. Because of that – here is your 2nd rule.

Negotiation Rule #2: “Yes” is the last thing you want to hear.

“Yes” Seduces

It has been contended that the word "yes" is the most beautiful word in any language. It's the word we are seduced by. The desire to hear it may blind you to what is really being said. Some negotiation advice tells you to come up with a "yes-able" proposition. There is also the ridiculous idea of building a "yes" momentum. This is someone getting you to say “yes” three times in a row to a succession of different closed-ended questions. The theory is that momentum has built to the point that when they ask you to buy you will automatically say “yes”! This is so over used in sales and argument construction that the moment anyone starts trying to get you to say “yes” your guard likely goes up immediately.
What goes through your mind when you pick up the phone and hear – “Have you got a few minutes to talk?”   We can promise you it's at least this: “How long is a few minutes?” and "If I say ‘yes’, I may not like what I gotten myself into."
Most closed-ended questions that you encounter are designed like this. The questioner is quite clearly pushing for a "yes". It's likely that this sort of thinking comes from a lawyer based argument approach – "never ask a question that you don't know the answer to in advance".   While this may be a good strategy for a lawyer interrogating a witness, it's not a good negotiation strategy. It diminishes rapport, which is the opposite of what you want in a negotiation.

3 Kinds of “Yes”

You will find that there are three kinds of "yes". 1 – Commitment; 2 – Confirmation and 3 – Counterfeit.   Some people are so used to others trying to drive them into commitment “yeses” they fling the counterfeit “yeses” around quite freely. Have you ever heard a "yes" and found out later it wasn't a "yes"? This is the counterfeit “yes” and is often used to gather information from you before they tell you "no". (You may have been guilty of trying to corner them with the “yes” momentum.)
The minute you stop the practice of pushing others for “yeses” via closed-ended questions is the minute you stop a self-defeating behavior and you begin to increase your sophistication in your approach to negotiation.

Negotiation Rule #3: “Yes” is nothing without “how”.

“How am I supposed to do that?”

The 1st way to say “no” with elegance to a bad term is “How am I supposed to do that?” You have to say it with the right tone of voice and Lesson #2 goes into that. Lesson 21 goes into saying “no” in much more depth, so for now, this should be your go-to “no”. Test-drive it. You’re going to end up loving it.
Is their “yes” counterfeit?
If you’ve gotten a “yes”, but they can’t answer “how”, the “yes” they gave you is an illusion. It’s counterfeit. Think about how we get fixed on “Yes” in the first place.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Help Your Clients Prepare for 2016 Tax Season

It’s almost time for Americans to begin filing their taxes for 2016. Are you ready to help your clients and answer all of their questions? HealthCare.gov provides plenty of resources to help you and your clients manage their tax filing and make the process easier. 

Your clients’ forms are easily accessible through the site, and they can also find out where to get free help with filing. Clients who took advantage of advance payments of the premium tax credit can also find resources to help them “reconcile” when they file their 2016 taxes.

Monday, January 2, 2017

David Decherd A-Fame Winner

We have now 10 A-Fame winners for the quarter on report. Our newest addition is David Mark Decherd. He now has 4 since we started A-Fame and 3 for this year.