Winning the Battle and the War – Negotiation Success

Everyday we enter into a variety of negotiations with prospective employees, current employees, and vendors. Though the situations are different, there are some basic guidelines that will ensure negotiation success.

It is important to remember that the most successful negotiations are entered into and conducted with good faith. This does not necessarily mean giving into every demand or sacrificing your position, but it does mean going into negotiation sessions with the intention of listening, compromising when necessary, and with the spirit of fairness. One good way to establish good faith is to make an initial offering that affirms your willingness to meet your opposition half way. With a vendor it may be a flexible delivery schedule or with a prospective employee with a benefit offer. Choose something with which you have some flexibility and concession will not adversely affect your company’s position.

Remember, prior to entering into negotiations, do your research. See what other businesses are doing, talk to associates, and use your networking contacts to see what other companies are offering. Check what the market is for goods and services, salaries, and benefits. Failure to know what other employers and businesses are offering can cost you money or failure to secure contracts. The internet is a valuable resource, as well as trade association publications, and your contacts in your industry. What are other companies paying for goods, offering in vacation time, and bidding for contracts? You won’t know where to start or what compromises you can make if you don’t know what others are doing. Conducting negotiations with out research is like going in blind.

Success in negotiations starts with good listening skills. Watch your adversary’s body language and behavior closely and gauge their intensity and stress to determine their priorities. Parties to discussion frequently give clues to points that are negotiable and those that are “deal breakers.” Don’t get caught up in the emotions and stress of discussions and lose sight of your opponent’s position. Listen and communicate carefully and without excessive emotion. We have all seen examples of high stakes negotiations where voices are raised, fists are slammed on tables, and the parties stalk out of the room. Sometimes these shows of power make a big impression but deals are settled after the storm passes. Quiet confidence can make as big an impression as raised voices.

Much of your confidence can come from having realistic expectations. Your research will tell you what you can reasonably expect from your challenger. Also, knowing your own budget and company’s needs will tell you what you can live with. Expecting an unrealistic outcome can cause you to loose the war and the battle. As in any battle (and negotiations can be looked upon as battles) is to know the lay of the land. Where are your strengths, where are obstacles to success, and what is your objective? How do you define success? If you are in a contract negotiation with a prospective employee can you offer tuition reimbursement instead of a higher salary? In a negotiation with a vendor can you allow an extra week in delivery in favor of better credit terms? Negotiations are a dance and the way you follow and compensate for your partner’s moves can pay off and make the dance much more pleasant.

Documentation is an important part of the negotiation process. Document your research results and bring them with you to any discussions. Don’t rely on your memory and if at any point you need to do further research, close the session and make arrangements to resume after you have had a chance to check out any points. Take careful notes and with meetings where the stakes are high, audio or video recording can be helpful. For instance, if you are negotiating with a union or collective bargaining unit, an audio or video record can protect you in potential litigation. In normal day to day negotiations careful note taking should suffice. Your notes should be maintained in confidential files. It goes without saying that all final settlements should be in writing and reviewed thoroughly before signing.

The watch word for negotiation success is caution. The commitments you make will have far reaching consequences for your business and taking your time and being cautious will ensure that the obligations and benefits you are negotiating for will be the ones that will enrich your company.

Inorganic Industrial Degreasing Solvents Present Safety Issues

Industrial degreasing solvents are used as a cleaning agent in professional parts washing and machinery washing. These chemicals might be sprayed, brushed, or wiped directly onto the surface of the contaminated part to remove grease, dirt, or dust. While these degreasers effectively remove contaminants from machinery and extend the useful life of these parts, some of these liquids contain unsafe compounds. When businesses do not properly research the chemicals that they utilize, they run the risk of harming employees and the environment by exposing them to toxic chemicals. This article will take a look at some of the most dangerous substances contained in the industrial degreasing solvents. Business owners should familiarize themselves with the compounds in this article so that they will be able to identify unsafe chemicals and keep them from harming employees and the surrounding environment.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have made a point to focus on the presence of VOCs in cleaning products. In reality, VOCs are safe when consumed in small doses but when individuals are exposed to a high level of VOCs they could experience health issues. Symptoms of high VOC exposure include nausea, headaches, kidney damage, liver damage, and a shutdown of the central nervous system. It is important for companies to evaluate the VOC levels in industrial degreasing solvents before making a purchase.

Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

Degreasers that contain HAPs are problematic because when these substances are used, they emit harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Individuals who work in environments where HAPs are present could inhale these pollutants and become sick. Depending on how long an individual is exposed to HAPs, he or she can develop dizziness, upset stomach, breathing issues, infertility, or nerve damage. Luckily companies can prevent the introduction of HAPs into the workspace by obtaining a list of HAPs from the EPA and using this list when evaluating the degreasers that are available on the market. Being thorough during a search will allow the company to save money by avoiding costly lawsuits and insurance price hikes.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Found in some degreasers, isopropyl alcohol is another toxin that can harm humans. The chemical leads to dry skin and drowsiness while irritating the eyes, nose, and throat. Another major risk associated with using isopropyl alcohol is that it is a very flammable substance, so its presence in a working environment can produce an unsafe workplace for employees.


Acetone is another ingredient that is found in some industrial degreasing solvents that is also an extreme fire hazard. Employees who come in frequent contact with acetone have reported skin dryness, headaches, and even eyes, nose, and throat irritation.


Freon is not a common ingredient in industrial degreasing solvents but is still present in some solutions. While this chemical contains a low level of toxicity and low fire hazard level, it can still cause employees to experience dry skin and light headedness.

These are just some of the substantial number of harmful chemicals that can be found in industrial degreasing solvents. Businesses should protect their employees by doing their homework before purchasing degreasers, with the best choice usually being to buy organic.

Boring to Bravo – Presentations That Sing!

Today I want to share a new book that came my way from my friend, Kristin Arnold. Kristin is the president of the National Speakers Association and an all around fabulous woman. I had the opportunity to spend time with her at the recent NSA convention and was wowed by her not-so-traditional thoughts on the art of speaking and her just-plain practical approach to business.

Whether you’re giving a presentation to your peers, or are thinking about becoming a professional speaker or are already on that path – Kristin’s new book, Boring to Bravo, is a must read. It’s an innovative guide to ditching the gravity wrapped around the way we’ve always done presentations – helping you to take your presentation from ho hum to high-velocity!

The whole concept of speaking is changing so dramatically these days. Think about it. Twenty years ago we were using flat slides and lecturing to folks in a didactic (and often boring) way. That was what we all expected.

Today’s audiences – from our peers to a platform audience – expect so much more than PowerPoint slides and a lecture. The advent of interactive media, conversational discussions on social media and a just plain less formal society have dramatically changed the way we engage audiences. And engage we must if we want to be effective!

Boring to Bravo is the guide we all need to make our presentations sing! The book isn’t the traditional ‘how-to’ book with a step by step (and repetitive) approach. It’s a thinkers guide – stuffed with tips that can be mixed and matched so you can apply just the right ideas to make your presentation come alive.

Kristin offers 90+ practical, proven tips to improve your speaking in a format that lets you look for just the tips that are best for you and your needs. From chapters including “You are your number one visual” to “Let your natural humor shine through,” Boring to Bravo offers practical ideas that will help any speaker get out of that traditional box and take their presentation -and their audiences – to the next level. Kristin also includes inputs and advice from a wide range of professional speakers and coaches, adding even more value for her readers.

She also includes a chapter on how to “Use PowerPoint with Purpose” -which shares great ideas on how to re-energize those PowerPoint slides that have grown a bit stale. If you read nothing else in the book – this chapter will change the way you build presentations, helping you to create interactive slides and visuals that power your message and engage your audience!

This book is now my one-stop-guide for improving my own platform skills and thinking. if you’re planning on speaking – to your PTA, your peers or to a paying audience – this book should be your guide as well!

As a high stakes meeting facilitator, trainer and keynote speaker, Kristin has worked with thousands of senior executives, project managers and team leaders in Canada and the USA, challenging their traditional notions about teamwork. She is known for her concrete approach to teamwork and a treasure trove of practical concepts, tools and techniques her clients can apply immediately to see positive, substantive results.