Why Some People Improve and Others Don’t

Sometimes we step on the scale, only to find that we do not like what it tells us, so we do the only logical thing – step on the scale again. In your closed, windowless bathroom, maybe there was a slight wind factor. Perhaps you could breathe deeply and try stepping on again. Anyone else do this?

Maybe you keep opening the refrigerator door, expecting to see an apple pie magically appear. One can hope, right? Maybe you asked your doctor or accountant a question, and didn’t like the answer, so you keep asking.

Why do we do this? 

Is it that we think there will be a change, could we really be that optimistic? Or are we simply in denial? Probably a little of both.

I have been coaching a sales manager over the years with his challenging internal negotiations, and I am happy to report that this manager does not continue to make the same mistakes. I was contemplating why some people stay stuck in their ineffective patterns of behavior when negotiating, or anything else, and others do not?

I came across an interesting study about this very topic. The deciding factor regarding your ultimate success at anything comes down to your mentality regarding the outcomes of your efforts.

Some people think, “I have failed, therefore I am no good at this”, while others think “I have failed, but I will master this, and I will not fail”. Your failure in a given situation does not have to be the be-all, end-all outcome.

The response that I often get from people when they hear that I am a negotiation consultant is that they simply aren’t a good negotiator. They believe that their negotiation skill set is set in stone, and that is that. That very belief is what keeps them from becoming a negotiation master.

Negotiating is a Metaphor for Life

Think about this. When you forget the one thing you went to the grocery store for, do you give up and resolve to never go grocery shopping again? Say you forgot to get gas, and you run out. Obviously, you don’t give up on driving. So, when you go into a negotiation and fall short, why do you give up?

Observe yourself, reflect, and learn from mistakes and shortcomings. This is the defining factor that makes one person choose to develop new skills and get better, while another chooses to accept their failure as absolute. This applies to both life and negotiation.

Remember, Negotiate Smart

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