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Let’s face it – most people are intimidated by negotiating. They think that some people have mad magical negotiating skillz that separate them from the rest of humanity – us mere mortals. You can read some very boring books about statistical assessments of how to negotiate. Some claim that it has to be win-win or no deal which is simply not practical in some industries or situations. So what are some strategies for approaching negotiations? First, you really need to do your homework and plan. Get clarity about what you want and think through all of your options. Most negotiation programs teach a staged process for negotiating and that process guides your planning. Part of that planning has to include what the other party wants  Read the full article…

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In the Positive Power and Influence® Program, we talk to participants about their sources of energy. The reason we do this is because this energy is what other people see and feel through the words we choose, our tone of voice, and our body language. It is through this energy that you impact others. We state that there are 4 sources of energy: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Let’s take a look at each of these in turn. Mental Energy: Your mental energy can excite others or it can make you seem bored! Being aware of what you want in a situation is critical. Are you comfortable with the data that is relevant? Can you quickly bring up correct answers and a rationale that makes  Read the full article…

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Introduction The purpose of this document is to outline Agile development and the role of Positive Power and Influence® (PPI®). The Need for Agile With so much uncertainty facing businesses today, their need to be adaptable is very high. This adaptability includes sensing market changes early, being organized to respond quickly, and then delivering better products or capabilities to the market rapidly. Many businesses have responded to this need by adopting Agile approaches in software development and further applying these Agile principles to other parts of their business. Agile Software Development Agile is a mindset informed by the values and principles contained in the “Agile Manifesto.” These values and principles provide guidance on how to create and respond to change and uncertainty with the optimal  Read the full article…

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1.0 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this paper is to provide a short explanation of the most widely adopted approaches to product development and process optimization, while touching on how they relate to each other. The scope of this document includes WATERFALL, AGILE, LEAN, SIX SIGMA, and GE-WORKOUT. As a start, it is important to understand that both Waterfall and Agile strive to improve a product, while Six Sigma and LEAN strive to improve the process that delivers the product. However, LEAN and Six Sigma have been applied to improve the Waterfall and Agile processes to reduce defects (improve quality) and remove waste (increase speed and cost). To add to the confusion, ‘LEAN Six Sigma’ is also a term used as both approaches can be applied simultaneously bringing together the data-driven methods of Six Sigma with the  Read the full article…

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Impact of COVID-19 on Organizations When the COVID-19 crisis hit, many business leaders found themselves in emergency mode trying to figure out how to remain viable and manage a workforce that had suddenly become remote. Now they are dealing with questions of how to safely reopen and how or if to call workers back to their workplace. This is a test of corporate cultures. How successfully businesses meet the challenges of this new normal will depend on the culture of trust and openness they have developed. Long before the pandemic, research conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management in 2013 found that one of the most effective tactics for attracting, retaining, and rewarding the best employees was maintaining a culture of trust, open communication  Read the full article…

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The leader-follower relationship is the singular most important relationship in any organization, especially if that organization claims to prioritize company culture. A positive leader is one who is uplifting and supportive, who doesn’t need a scapegoat every time something minor goes wrong. They’re quick to forgive, and slow to punish, and the entire team feels as though their best interests are taken to heart by their leader. Great followers go the extra mile, are reliable, honest, and loyal. Now, what can happen when the needs of leaders or followers aren’t met, and how toxic can a sour leader-follower relationship be to an organization as a whole? Let’s take a look at a company we worked with in the past. Some of their leadership did not  Read the full article…

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As diversity and inclusion become more and more a topic of everyday conversation in the workplace, it becomes more important to look at the disparate realities of diverse people’s roles in organization – how they’re paid, what their work ethic is like, and how it’s affecting our organizations. On average, women only make about 80 cents on the dollar compared to men in similar roles. Women are 50.8 % of the U.S. population and earns 58% of all degrees in the U.S. So why are they only occupying between 12% and 30% of leadership positions in education, law, medicine, and finance, just to name a few? To start – let’s think about what happens when you’re hired for a job. First, you’ve got to fill out all of the necessary paperwork, as  Read the full article…

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Disengaging is one of the most overlooked influence tactics, but when used properly, it can allow both parties the time to breathe, hit the reset button, and come back to the issue later with renewed energy and perspective. It can be difficult to identify when it’s time to Disengage, and if you continue to push while the other individual appears to be in an immovable position, you may shut them down totally, and lose the possibility of influencing them in your favor altogether. Here are 3 signs that it’s time to Disengage. 1: The other person has stopped talking altogether While this is the most obvious and straightforward sign that it’s time to Disengage, some people may still attempt to influence the other person despite the fact that they appear to have shut down. You’re only putting yourself  Read the full article…

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The holidays are here again, and although it is a time that’s supposed to be filled giving and love, there are still plenty of opportunities to get into undesirable situations with family members. Stress can be high, and if there are certain relationships within the family that aren’t as strong as others, the odds of conflict are already high. Using your influence skills properly can not only help smooth over the dreaded Christmas dinner political argument, but potentially even avoid it all together, and isn’t that all anyone really wants for Christmas? That being said, here are three influencing tips to help you get through the holidays. 1: The ability to remain neutral/present As always, the ability to succeed in any influence situation starts with you, and how you’re doing internally. If  Read the full article…

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How to Close the Influence Skills Gap Most companies are willing to invest more heavily in their Information Technology (IT) function. And well they should! IT has repeatedly demonstrated that it can have a wondrous effect on a company’s productivity, ability to serve customers, and cost efficiency. A successful IT organization can deliver significant competitive advantages. Still, many IT professionals, especially those moving into management positions, tend to struggle to interact effectively with others when they are trying to meet their objectives. It’s not technological. It’s personal, or more accurately, interpersonal. The result is that businesses realize far less value than they should from their IT investments. Situation Management Systems, Inc. (SMS) can help alleviate communication and influence challenges many IT professionals experience, by teaching them valuable and effective Influencing Skills. Influence Skills  Read the full article…