I had one of those days yesterday. One of those days where everything seems to be conspiring against you. Any of you who are self-employed will know about all the nitty gritty dirge you have to put up with on a regular basis. It is so much more than just doing what you do, it is the bills, the admin, the tax and VAT returns, the hassle. And what really gets me is that the minute you go self-employed everyone seems to be out to squeeze you for every penny you have, everything suddenly seems to have extra charges and essentially rip you off!

Yesterday was a case to point, where both my bank and new web developers decided they were going to both try and pull fast ones on me. The bank messed me around about my new credit card processing facilities and my new developers were trying to get away without doing half the work (in fact the major piece of work) that they had been asked to do, or at least try and charge me more for it.

So, I had to get a little…stroppy with people. And I don’t like doing that.

What do I do when I am confronted with problems like this? Well the most important thing, before I pick up the phone and get all shouty is to define exactly what it is I want out of this situation. I think what I want to be my outcome, this calms me down and focuses me on what I want to get out if the situation.

What makes a Well-formed Outcome?

There are several points to consider, the most important being:

1. It has to be positive. Don’t say what you don’t want, say what you do.
2. Have a vivid and clear image or idea of what it is you are aiming for, so that you can tell if you are getting it
3. Which gives a feedback mechanism, so you know if you are heading in the right direction
And finally
4. Do an ecology check, basically make sure what you are asking ofr is not inconveniencing anyone else. Or you will just become as bad as the people you are annoyed with!

Bear (or is that bare? I am never sure) theses steps in mind when you have to negotiate with anyone and you are much more likely to get the outcome that you want.

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