Archive for the ‘Categorized’ Category

Getting Ready to Negotiate with Others? Start by Negotiating with Yourself!

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Whether we’re negotiating with managers, parents, colleagues or friends to find a mutually rewarding agreement or relationship “…the biggest obstacle is actually ourselves – our natural tendency to react in ways that do not serve our true interests….But this obstacle can also become our biggest opportunity.”

In his latest book, Getting to Yes with Yourself and Other Worthy Opponents, author William Ury explains “that if we learn to understand ourselves first, we lay the groundwork for understanding and influencing others.”

Ury introduces “Six Challenging Steps” that may at times seem like common sense…common sense that is uncommonly applied.” Ury’s experience includes 3 ½ decades of working as a mediator with people and organizations from all walks of life. The Six Challenging Steps offer specific, in-depth information on how to negotiate with yourself (“Inner Yes Method”) and how this approach will lead to rewarding outcomes for yourself and the “other side.” Here’s an introduction, and there’s a detailed chapter on each in his book.

 “1. Put Yourself in Your Shoes. Understand your worthiest opponent, yourself.”  Don’t prematurely judge yourself. Listen to and explore your underlying needs, which will influence your negotiation strategy.

“2. Develop Your Inner BATNA. Almost all of us find it difficult not to blame others with whom we come into conflict. The challenge is to do the opposite and to take responsibility for your life and relationships. More specifically, it is to develop your inner BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement), to make a commitment to yourself to take care of your needs independently of what the other does or does not do.”

“3. Reframe Your Picture. …The challenge is to change how you see your life, creating your own independent and sufficient source of contentment. It is to see life as being on your side even when it seems unfriendly.”

“4. Stay in the Zone. … The challenge is to stay in the present moment, the only place where you have the power to experience true satisfaction as well as to change the situation for the better.”

“5. Respect Them Even If. … It is tempting to meet rejection with rejection, personal attack with personal attack, exclusion with exclusion. The challenge is to surprise others with respect and inclusion even if they are difficult.”

“6. Give and Receive. It is all too easy, especially when resources seem scarce, to fall into the win-lose trap and to focus on meeting only your needs. The final challenge is to change the game to a win-win approach by giving first instead of taking.”

 Ury also discusses The Three Wins: A Win Within, A Win With Others, and A Win for the Whole. “As I have personally experienced,” Ury says, “getting to yes with yourself is not just the most challenging, but the most rewarding negotiation of all.”

Letter from a Veteran – November 12, 1944

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Seventy years ago, one of the first women to serve in the military observed Veteran’s Day. She reflects on this and other experiences in her letters home. Mollie’s War is a memoir that features letters Mollie wrote to her sister, Beck, while stationed in Europe. “It describes the life of a WAC enlistee who would serve in England when it came under attack, France weeks aftger the invasion, and Germany after VE Day.”

“Here is my mother’s letter on the first Veteran’s Day in newly liberated Paris,” says Cyndee Schaffer, author of Mollie’s War, The Letters of a World War II WAC in Europe.

Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, Cyndee’s mother, was one of the 150,000 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps (IWAC) during the Second World War. Of those, about 8,000 served in the European Theater of Operations.


Letter from Mollie from newly liberated Paris

Here are a few paragraphs from Mollie’s letter home.

Paris, France, 12 Nov.1944.

“Dear Beck,

…Must tell you about the Armistice Day Parade here in Paris. I still recall the ones we used to go to—you, Jackie & myself—but this was really the “cat’s meow.” It started about 6 AM—maybe not actually but there were gendarmes (or draculas as we call them with their all-enveloping capes) & G.I.’s, too, directing crowds that early, lining up the streets near the Arc de Triomphe, along with the great numbers of people who probably ran back to get sandwiches & hustled back to regain choice spots from where they would have an advantageous view of the celebration. And, Beck, I think the parading or celebrating was still going on this morning.

Florence (another WAC) & myself left the office at 10:30 AM & we made a “bee line” for Champs Elysees (one of the main streets in Paris that runs into the Arc de Triomphe). Honestly the people were packed like sardines (trite but true). Florence & I were standing on tip toes but couldn’t see very much. All of a sudden I felt my feet leave the ground & I had a most wonderful view of marching soldiers. I turned around as I felt myself being put gently back to earth—it was the captain! I thanked him & both Florence & I laughed. We walked farther on & we decided to stand back near the buildings away from the crowds along the streets. We did have a better view. We saw Churchill go by in a car but weren’t quite sure. However, when we heard the people shouting “Vive Churchill,” that confined it. Besides I had said to Florence “I know we have a long range view of the parade, but no one but Churchill’s cheeks are puffed out like that!”

The one minute’s silence at 11 AM brought to mind the folks back home—wonder when we’ll be coming home. I know, Beck, it won’t be too soon. …” You can read the full letter from Paris here: Mollie_Letter_Home_Veterans_Day.


Letter to Mollie from Joe

“ ‘My mama wore combat boots’. When you are the daughter of a WWII WAC, that statement resonates with you,” Cyndee says. “Yes, my mother wore combat boots and that brought a legacy with it. The one outstanding quality throughout my mother’s letters and the letters that were sent to her was the fact that everyone wrote such beautiful ones. Here is probably the most touching letter. the one from Joe. I tried to find him when I was writing the book but I could not.” Here’s just a few of his thoughts.

“Salmunster, Germany

Sept 5th 1945

“My darling sweetheart – no that’s too informal, Dear Sergeant Molly – no that’s too G.I., Dear Friend – nope too cold, I know… Hi Callahan!

“You see, I told you I’d drop you a line (or should I say a note because good l’il WACs stay away from those bad boys with “lines”?) I finally caught a ride home but it was the next morning after the dance about 10:00. I spent the night in the transit barracks in Frankfurt. It was much too cold and dark to try those 60 kilometers home. I got home in time for dinner so I didn’t miss much time hitch-hiking on the road.

“I wanted to tell you though—thanks, honey I had a swell time. I only hope I didn’t scare you too much with all that chatter. Actually, I’m not such a talkative fellow as I may have seemed. But you can’t really understand what being at that dance meant to me. Honestly it was the first American dance I’ve been to since I came overseas twenty months ago. I was as happy as a lark and I guess I showed it a little more than somewhat?” …

“…Be a good girl. Work hard but most of all, stay as sweet and as kind as you are.

“Yours always.


You can read the full letter from Joe here: Joe_Letter_to_Mollie_World_War_II.

Seventy years may have passed, but let’s always remember our veterans.

Ready to be a good boss?

Monday, October 15th, 2012

First Person Public Relations and National Bosses Day…they just go together…don’t they?

Do you want a managerial position, or are you currently a boss? If so, how would your employees evaluate you? While most of us have had great bosses, we have probably experienced bosses who “need work” and a new approach.

1st Person PR discussed the “Are you a good boss?” question in a previous post, based on an article by Rex W. Huppke, author of the Chicago Tribune’s “I Just Work Here” column. Well, fast forward, and Huppke recently wrote another article about “The breakdown on bad-boss behavior.” Thus, while showing our appreciation of good bosses on National Bosses Day, October 16, we can also encourage self-reflection in other bosses.

Before offering the qualities of a good boss, let’s look at some characteristics that seem to bother employees the most.

Four Types of Bad Bosses
In discussing “The breakdown of bad boss behavior,” Huppke focuses on four categories.
• “The Never-Praise” Boss. This boss is so busy that he or she seems not to have the time to say, “Hey, nice job on that project,” or “Thanks for staying late last night,” or just a simple acknowledgement of gratitude.
• “Insultus Maximum, Corrector of the Obvious” Boss. If an employee makes a mistake, the boss should, of course, point it out and offer feedback. But don’t “rub it in” or publicly embarrass the employee. If the mistake continues, “deal with it through a straightforward, private conversation.”
• “How-Ya-Doin’? Buh-Bye” Boss. Bosses don’t have to “hang out and chat” with others if they’re not comfortable with it or have to focus on their responsibilities. However, Huppke notes, when bosses don’t connect in some way with their employees, they are “viewed as aloof. That keeps the boss isolated, which means he or she could be missing key signs of workplace problems.”
• “Emotional Camo-Boss.” Huppke says “this is the boss whose emotions are virtually unreadable.” Maybe you presented an idea or complained about an issue. Yes, bosses have to be careful about how they respond, but “being cautious is one thing. Workers can respect that. But being stone-faced is a problem…workers want to know where they stand.” You can do it tactfully, but respond…honestly and straightforwardly.
You can read the whole article at:

What Makes a Good Boss?
If you’re a good boss, then your employees definitely appreciate these qualities.

In his article for Inc. Magazine, Jeff Haden discusses “The 5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses.”
• Develop every employee.
• Deal with problems immediately.
• Rescue your worst employee.
• Save others, not yourself.
• Always remember where you came from.
Haden elaborates on these qualities at:

For more insights and tips:
How to be a Good Boss:

How to be a Good Manager? Qualities of a Perfect Boss

What makes a good boss?
By Jeff Wuorio
Written for Microsoft Business for Small & Midsize Companies

“In honor of National Bosses Day, we praise people who are superior at being superiors,” an article that Chicago Tribune columnist, Mary Schmich, wrote.

As we evaluate our bosses, remember that it’s not easy being a good (or bad) boss.

Your Voice and Voice Over

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

We’re always telling our story in one way or another. When we do, it’s in our voice, speaking or writing our own words.

Besides contributing to blogs and other social media, thousands of people also create videos to express themselves professionally or personally.

Sometimes they speak for themselves, and sometimes a “voice over” introduces them.

For example, once a book has been written, an author must market it, which often includes a book trailer such as those produced by Reno Lovison, “Our book trailer videos, one minute or less, are narrated by someone other than the author,” Reno explains.

“Using a ‘third person voice’ offers another perspective,” he says. “Like movie trailers, book video trailers are intended to quickly acquaint readers with an author and the content of a book you might like to read.” The narrator in a movie trailer is not the script writer, actor or director. We see scenes or clips as the voice over artist engages us in the movie. “Voice over book trailers are similar,” Reno adds, “and more energetic because someone else discusses the book and lets the author be the author.”

It is understandable that writers or others who are accustomed to speaking for themselves might wonder about a third person voice over. “Wouldn’t it be more authentic with my voice,” one might ask. “After all, I wrote it and now they can hear me discuss it.”

On the other hand, many authors find the voice over approach liberating. The narrator is heard but not seen, and the focus remains on the book’s content and the author’s words, which can lead to potential sales.

Voice over can be an opportunity to introduce another perspective while remaining true to your voice.