'Elevating the Experience'

The human side of negotiation

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 01/03/17 10:00

How often do you think you use negotiation skills? We may not realise it but negotiation is a big part of our daily life. We negotiate various factors in our roles at work, from project timelines to resources, to parameters for our performance indicators or salaries, and even in our personal lives, with conflicting opinions, or even something as simple as where to dine. Negotiation is about reaching an agreement where both parties walk away with mutually acceptable terms. The ability to get what we want is only enhanced by our ability to negotiate effectively.

The word ‘negotiation’ has copped a bad reputation. Oftentimes, we associate the act with competition or confrontation or believe that only an all-or-nothing approach can win; the word ‘win’ supporting the act of competing.

But what if we take the notion of competing out of the equation and approach a negotiation in a more fair way?

After all, the reason you’re getting into a negotiation in the first place is either because one party wants something from another, or that both parties want something from each other. Once you each establish what is important and unimportant to each, the negotiations can begin. The questions that each person needs to ask is ‘What do I want from you?’ and ‘What can I give you in return?’

But how to do this? How exactly do you start asking those questions without sounding contentious? Let’s explore.

Read More

Topics: opinion, Communication skills, Effective conversations, Influencing skills, negotiation

How mindfulness builds a strong leadership presence

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 29/11/16 15:50


According to research conducted by Harvard University, about 47 percent of us spend our waking hours thinking about something other than what we’re doing. What this means is that we are not present or conscious in the moment to fully listen, connect and engage with events, opportunity and people around us; all vital elements to being an effective leader.

Read More

Topics: opinion, listening, leadership, performance, influence, conflict resolution, managing nerves, leadership presence, personal brand, stress reduction

Three building blocks for effective influencing conversations

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 01/09/16 14:06

 Consider someone you know who is an influencer or who has, what you believe to be, effective influencing skills. What is it about them that gets you interested, motivated, or even inspired? Are they passionate and dynamic? Perhaps. Confident? Most definitely. Knowledgeable? Certainly.

Are they a leader?

Not necessarily.

Read More

Topics: opinion, Communication skills, Effective conversations, Influencing skills

Virtual learning versus classroom learning

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 23/03/16 09:04

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 identified that “… the ubiquity of always-connected mobile devices makes learning potentially available everywhere and accessible to everyone at any time. Employees can now take a course on nearly any subject online, search for an expert video or podcast to learn a quickly needed skill, and even earn a college degree in a new topic like data science without leaving their desk—or a couch or coffee shop. This new world of consumer-centric learning puts employees, not L&D departments, in charge.”

Read More

Topics: opinion, experiential learning, learning styles, virtual learning, classroom learning

How to engage and retain top talent

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 30/09/15 08:26

One factor that contributes to a top talent’s performance is engagement. Top performers are usually hungry for whatever it is that motivates and engages them. The job of leaders is to find out what that is. And even then, leaders cannot afford to rest on their laurels and assume that top performers are constantly and highly engaged, and won’t be on the lookout for opportunities elsewhere.
Read More

Topics: training, opinion, leadership, high performers, retention, performance, feedback, top talent, coaching

How to prepare for giving and receiving feedback

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 24/09/15 10:32

Why has the word ‘feedback’ received such a beating over the years? It has a negative stigma attached to it that is unwarranted; especially when we think about how feedback can be a positive way to help us achieve our mutual objectives and help take us from good to great.

Read More

Topics: opinion, management, performance conversations, feedback, performance reviews

What is effective coaching?

Posted by Lisa Harrison on 18/09/15 12:45

The term coaching is very popular in management and leadership conversations, and is used widely for a variety of meanings. I should say used and misused.

In fact, coaching means many different things to many different people. I thought it would be useful to try to pin down the definition, and to identify the actual skills and behaviours that make for successful coaching in a workplace setting.

Read More

Topics: opinion, management, performance management, coaching

In defence of the performance review

Posted by Lisa Harrison on 08/09/15 14:48

Performance reviews have been getting some seriously bad press lately with GE the next high profile company to recently announce dropping the performance review cycle.

Read More

Topics: opinion, management, listening, feedback, performance reviews, coaching

How to use storytelling to inspire change

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 06/08/15 07:30

 How to use storytelling to inspire change

If you’re meant to inspire and drive a willingness to embrace change in individuals and teams, how would you go about effecting that change so that others start to accept rather than fight it?

Have you ever thought about using storytelling as a tool to effect positive change? Why wouldn’t you? After all, humans are hardwired for storytelling.
Read More

Topics: training, opinion

The modern learner: what's changed?

Posted by Nina Mostafa on 23/07/15 09:16

I remember an episode of the popular American sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, where one of the characters, Leonard, was trying to convince his roommate, Sheldon, that maybe he couldn’t approach a particular issue as a ‘purely intellectual exercise’.

In presenting his case, Leonard cited the time Sheldon had tried to learn how to swim using the internet. Sheldon countered that he did, in fact, learn how to swim. To which Leonard retorted that he had only learnt how to swim on the floor. Sheldon then debated that the skills were transferable. But are they?

Read More

Topics: opinion