practice makes prepared, not perfect

I’ve been away from Minneapolis for two weeks in my hometown of Kansas City and am driving back today. The time has flown by but has been refreshing, energizing, and full of seeing friends and family. I mentioned in my last note how the reason for the visit is training for a unique workout system. For the past 12 days, it’s been 6 hours a day of practicing and learning. It’s been intense but intriguing and rewarding.

Whether it’s yoga, Gyrotonic, or strength training, for me it’s all about planning and practicing; perfection is neither the goal nor a realistic outcome. Practicing shows up in other areas of life too. One place in particular is when I’m coaching someone through a negotiation: planning and practicing what to say is essential for a positive outcome.  

When we’re in the planning phase of a negotiation, there are so many possibilities to consider: a higher salary, a promotion, an office, tuition reimbursement, or even a formal mentor. With the many things you could request, it’s up to you on deciding what is most important and choosing two to three of them you can wrap together into your request.

Thinking back to my more substantial negotiation opportunities, I remember the feeling of my heart beating quickly, my voice slightly shaking, and probably some sweaty palms. Even though I’ve done it many times formally and informally, the truth is I still get nervous. To combat that, I write out my script and practice it before delivering it. This has helped on a couple of fronts: it forces the planning to occur and practicing it makes me more comfortable with the verbiage. In an ideal world, I practice it solo and then role play with a trusted friend. If you are thinking of requesting more in your career, don’t skip this critical step.