Negotiation Secrets

smiling man reading book while holding mug
Austin Distel on Unsplash

I did it professionally for 30 years, but we all do it everyday. It can be as simple as, “What restaurant do we want to go to tonight?” or “Where shall we vacation this year?” Or it could be a more dreaded interaction like buying a car. It’s called negotiation, a word that some people fear doing or even thinking about. Many think that’s it’s not in their nature to haggle although some relish the idea. Like it or not, it’s something we need to do everyday.

Fortunately, the simple one’s are easier to mutually conclude. “I have a taste for Thai, how about you?” or “I’d like to go to Europe this year. What do you think?” Simple give-and-take won’t cause your stomach to bunch into knots unless your counterpart is obnoxious. The simple ones usually end with all parties being heard and satisfied at the conclusion reached. That being said, if your party includes children who only want Mickey D’s or only want to go to Disneyworld, good luck with that!

The skillful use of emotion during more difficult negotiations has always appealed to me as a way to make a major impact in the results. Not a shoe-banging type of emotion, but a way to make the other party empathize with the feeling. As an example, here are some ways to skillfully use emotion to counter any logical argument from the other side:

Using an appropriate tone of voice and corresponding body language would very likely shift the other party to respond more from the personal side. Control of the negotiation would very likely flow to your side to now ask again for that concession you are seeking.

One more nugget for you, we Americans are uncomfortable with silence. Use this technique when facing a difficult situation. It will rattle the other party.

Nothing in this world is guaranteed except you will negotiate sooner than later. The results are more in your favor when using this tips. Remember that we don’t get what we wish for. We get what we negotiate for.

Source: NAPM’s 84th Annual Conference for Supply Chain Managers.

Note: My apologies for the messy insert. It’s 20 years old so I wasn’t able to clean it up as I would have wanted to.


11 Household-Name Brands Filing for Bankruptcy or Closing


On May 4, the popular preppy label worn by everyone from Meghan Markle to Michelle Obama announced it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Virginia federal court.

Slide 1 of 12: From iconic stores to famous chain restaurants, a growing number of beloved brands are filing for bankruptcy, shifting their focus to e-commerce, or shutting down operations entirely as they face unprecedented financial stress

Neiman Marcus

Days after furloughing many of its 14,000 employees, Neiman Marcus officially announced its decision to file for bankruptcy on May 7, according to NBC News.

The Children’s Place

The children’s clothing chain, founded in 1969, is set to shutter 300 brick-and-mortar locations by the end of 2021.

Diane von Fürstenberg

Prolific designer Diane von Fürstenberg’s fashion empire is shrinking significantly. The New York-based label laid off 75 percent of its 400-person staff, and is set to close 18 of its 19 retail stores. Its new focus will be centered on a “digital-only, China-focused” business model, according to Business of Fashion‘s latest report published on June 15. 

True Religion

On April 13, the designer denim brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years, according to a report from Forbes.

24 Hour Fitness

The fitness chain, which closed its gyms in March due to the ongoing pandemic, announced on June 15 that it was “implementing a financial restructuring, through a voluntary Chapter 11 filing.”

Chuck E. Cheese

The show may not go on for Chuck E. Cheese after COVID-19. The brand behind the popular kid’s restaurant, CEC Entertainment, is nearly $1 billion in debt and is looking for a $200 million loan to keep the business afloat, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 filed a motion with a bankruptcy court seeking to close its stores “as soon as reasonably possible,” the company announced in a press release on May 19.

J.C. Penney

The department store chain announced on May 15 that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors as part of a restructuring plan that would eliminate “several billion dollars of indebtedness” and “provide increased financial flexibility to help navigate” the health crisis. The company also said that it plans to close stores, but did not disclose specific locations or timing.

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes

The buffet chains’ parent company Garden Fresh Restaurants has decided to permanently shutter all 97 locations of Souplantation — also known as Sweet Tomatoes outside of Southern California — and lay off its workforce, CEO John Haywood confirmed to the San Diego Union-Tribune on May 7.

Le Pain Quotidien

The fast-casual bakery chain announced it would close all 98 of its U.S. locations after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. However, at least 35 stores will potentially be reopened at a future date following a partial buyout by Aurify Brands.

Just a few of what many experts believe is just the beginning.

Article by Lindy Segal for People Magazine

Tips for Verifying Organizations Before Donating

Article by Kara Jillian Brown for

A Nonprofit Expert’s 4 Tips for Verifying Organizations Before Donating
Photo: Getty Images / Carlina Teteris

One of the biggest call-to-actions we’ve seen over the past few weeks is to donate. Donate to local bail funds. Donate to families of those who have been unjustly killed. Donate to national organizations. And millions of people answered the call. In fact, news broke on Monday that the Black Lives Matter Foundation had raised $4 million—but the organization holds a very different ideology and isn’t in any way connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. To ensure your money is going where you want it to go, Bryce Lord, business manager and associate director of the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, says you have to do your research by verifying organizations before donating.

“You see a cause [to donate to], you have that knee jerk reaction, it’s like picking up the candy bar in the grocery store at the checkout counter,” says Lord. “You just do it knee jerk. The problem that happens, and this is what we’re seeing, is that it’s impulse giving, and donors aren’t doing the homework.”

When you know more about the organizations you’re donating to, not only are you sure your money is going to the right place, but you’re also more likely to form a long-term relationship with that organization and its cause.

“It’s wonderful to be free with your money when giving but at the same point, I think every nonprofit fundraiser out there, every nonprofit executive director would say that, along with some money, there really does need to be that connection,” says Lord. “You should be doing the homework, and by doing the homework you actually gain more investment in the cause. You’re bound to learn more about what that organization is doing.” By building this relationship, you’re more likely to come back. “Nonprofits want you to give once out of passion but then they want you to continue the relationship and give multiple times.”

The last thing you want is your money going to the wrong cause or to an unorganized organization. Lord has a few tips for verifying organizations before donating.

Tips for verifying organizations before donating

1. Do your homework

Lord says that the best donor is an educated donor. One of the easiest things to do is to lookup an organization online.

“Any established nonprofit is going to have a website, and nine times out of 10, they’ll have a page to accept donations. If they don’t, they’re not a very good nonprofit,” says Lord. “The most important thing is to look at the history of the organization. Look at the kind of work they do and then see how transparent they are with their information. Are they being secretive or are they letting people know what they’re doing with the donors’ money?”

Lord recommends watchdog sites like GuideStar and Charity Navigator to look into the history of an organization. “Those are both websites that pull information [from 990 forms], which effectively provide the IRS with confirmation that they are still working as a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization,” says Lord. “And it provides information like who is the point of contact. If there are salaries that are being paid over $100,000 those have to be listed. So there’s a lot of information on these 990 forms and organizations like GuideStar or Charity Navigator, pull these public access documents and log them. The more efficiently run organizations monitor those websites and actually make sure that their information is legitimate and up to date, and easily accessible for donors.”

2. Don’t jump at every fundraiser you see

Between Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, it’s easy to feel inundated with posts asking you to donate. Instead of giving a bit to every organization you see, Lord says to pick a few so you can really dedicate the time to do your homework and build that relationship. “It’s a big ongoing discussion in the nonprofit world about online giving and how through social media or text, giving can be made so easy,” he says. “And nonprofits, of course, they love taking the challenge out or giving.” But you don’t want to take the easy route. “It’s your money and you should be doing the homework,” he says. “Find something that speaks to your passion, speaks to your personal interests, your personal experience, and focus on that.”

3. Try to donate directly to the organization

“I personally don’t give to things like GoFundMe or sites that say something like ‘We’re raising money for this other organization,’” says Lord. “If I want to give money I’ll give it directly to that organization. That way you take out the middleman, you take out any sort of possibility for wrongdoing.”

Lord says that by donating through these unaffiliated third parties, you’re relinquishing some of your ownership and responsibility to your money. If you come across a GoFundMe for a cause you’re interested in, find a way to lear more about it and donate directly to that cause.

“Most organizations are going to have a website,” he says. “The Black Lives Matter Global Network has a website with a donation page that links them directly to Act Blue Charities and they’re very transparent about how the money’s been collected and distributed.” (Black Lives Matter uses Act Blue Charities because it is not a registered charity. In order to directly collect donations, they’d have to be registered in every state.)

4. Consider local organizations over national ones

“As much as I appreciate people giving to national causes, I don’t care where you live, there’s going to be something close to home,” says Lord. ” If you give to the Black Lives Matter movement on a national level, that’s great. But what’s going on in your own neighborhood? Because chances are, there are organizations that are doing the same kind of work, with the same kind of focus that are struggling to be able to make their ends meet.”

And when an organization is local, it’s easier to engage with the cause on a personal level. “You could call them up and talk to them, get an idea of what they’re doing in their day-to-day programming, and even in [post-pandemic] times you can actually go visit them and see what they do firsthand.”

A Nonprofit Expert’s 4 Tips for Verifying Organizations Before Donating

Good News, Bad News for Diners, Workers, Investors.

These Two Popular Restaurants Are Seeing Sales Skyrocket

Article by Amanda McDonald 

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Yum! Brands announced that two of its brands, KFC and Pizza Hut, recorded sales jumps not seen in years, according to Restaurant Business.

The large sales at Pizza Hut are similar to other pizza places. This isn’t surprising — it is pretty easy to call or order a pizza online and have it delivered. But what is really driving sales are the deals. The Big Dinner Box, which includes a combination of medium one-topping pizzas, breadsticks, pastas and/or wings promises to feed the whole family for around $20.

Similarly, Yum! says KFC’s average weekly sales hit all-time highs at the beginning of May. Buckets of chicken are great for sharing, and meals come with sides, a drink and an entree. This means no cooking! With restaurants closing their dining rooms, drive-thrus quickly saw an increase in demand. The numbers show that was the case at the fried chicken family favorite.

Unfortunately, restaurants with a different kind of dining approach haven’t been as lucky. Places that offer customers more than just food can’t keep up since they had to close their doors. Chuck E. Cheese is on the brink of filing for bankruptcy after being forced to shut down their arcades and kid’s birthday party opportunities. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill is shutting 264 of its locations for good. TGI Friday’s is following suit and closing over 70 locations after sales continued to fall after a tough final quarter of 2019. Le Pain Quotidien filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late May but accepted a buyout from Aurify Brands, which means 35 locations out of 98 will stay open.

What Are the Red Flags for Bogus Remote Jobs?

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© fizkes / shutterstock_1667439862

5 red flags

The thing is, the job market for legitimate remote jobs is very similar to the overall job market in terms of the types of jobs you’ll find. Remote jobs are positions like accountant, teacher, customer service representative, sales rep, lawyer, software engineer and other regular jobs. They just happen to be done from home.

The key is, when you’re looking for listings, know what scams typically look like so you can keep yourself safe. There are some telltale signs that indicate a job posting is probably a scam, including:

  1. The job listing sounds too good to be true, with mention of quick money, unlimited earning potential and free work-from-home jobs.
  2. There is a sense of urgency, or the recruiter is pushing you to accept the job now. Any legitimate company won’t push you into accepting a job offer immediately.
  3. The job post or email has obvious grammatical errors or spelling mistakes or has lots of capitalization and punctuation (“!!! WORK FROM HOME $$$”).
  4. You’re offered the job without a recruiter verifying your work experience or asking for references.
  5. The job description is unusually vague or spends too much time discussing how easy the job is or how much money you’ll make.

On the other hand, a real remote job will require you to apply just like you would with any other job. You may need to submit a resume and cover letter, take a test or submit samples of your work. You’ll likely be invited to interview, often with multiple interviews, before being offered the job.

If you think you’ve come across a scam, a quick internet search may tell you more: Do a search for the word “scam” and the job title or company’s name. The results might include local news stories, Better Business Bureau complaints and even FBI warnings.

When in doubt, walk away — if you feel like a job may be a scam, it’s not worth finding out the hard way.

Article written by Brie Weiler Reynolds for Moneytalks news

A restaurant is testing plastic ‘shield pods’ to keep diners safe

a person sitting at a table in a room: A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in a restaurant of Paris. As restaurants in food-loving France prepare to reopen, some are investing in lampshade-like plastic shields to protect diners from the virus. The strange-looking contraptions are among experiments restaurants are trying around the world as they try to lure back clientele while keeping them virus-free. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Associated Press
© Associated Press A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in a restaurant of Paris. As restaurants in food-loving France prepare to reopen, some are investing in lampshade-like plastic shields to protect diners from the virus. The strange-looking contraptions are among experiments restaurants are trying around the world as they try to lure back clientele while keeping them virus-free. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) Associated Press

  • Plastic cones suspended over the faces of patrons might be the new trend for restaurants reopening their doors during the pandemic. 
  • The Plex’Eat is a plastic shield created by French designer Christophe Gernigon to block germs from passing from one restaurant patron to the next. 
  • Gernigon told the Associated Press he already has over 200 inquiries from restaurants for Plex’Eats in five countries. 
  • Bars and restaurants face unique complications in reopening because customers can’t eat without removing their masks.

Clear plastic cones hang suspended above customers at Parisian restaurant H.A.N.D. this week in a creative attempt to keep patrons safe as eateries across Europe, and across the world, reopen their doors. 

The plastic shields are a prototype called Plex’Eat created by French designer Christophe Gernigon. They are made of plexiglass and resemble lampshades.

Gernigon told the Associated Press he was inspired after visiting a store in Bangkok “with three individual domes with chairs where people would sit and listen to music.”

Article by (Canela López) for Insider ©

(I just hope their kidding !)

Strategies to Improve English Listening Skills

Woman listening to music outside by smart phone

Michael H/ Digital Vision/Getty Images


As a new English speaker, your language skills are progressing well — grammar is now familiar, your reading comprehension is no problem, and you are communicating quite fluently — but listening is still posing a problem.

First of all, remember that you are not alone. Listening comprehension is probably the most difficult task for almost all learners of English as a foreign language. The most important thing is to listen, and that means as often as possible. The next step is to find listening resources. This is where the Internet really comes in handy (idiom = to be useful) as a tool for English students. A few suggestions for interesting listening selections are CBC Podcasts,  All Things Considered (on NPR), and the BBC.

Listening Strategies

Once you have begun to listen on a regular basis, you might still be frustrated by your limited understanding. Here are a few courses of action you can take:

  • Accept the fact that you are not going to understand everything.
  • Stay relaxed when you do not understand — even if you continue to have trouble understanding for a while.
  • Do not translate into your native language.
  • Listen for the gist (or general idea) of the conversation. Don’t concentrate on detail until you have understood the main idea(s).

First, translating creates a barrier between the listener and the speaker. Second, most people repeat themselves constantly. By remaining calm, you can usually understand what the speaker had said.

Translating Creates a Barrier Between Yourself and the Person Who Is Speaking

While you are listening to another person speaking a foreign language (English in this case), the temptation is to immediately translate into your native language. This temptation becomes much stronger when you hear a word you don’t understand. This is only natural as we want to understand everything that is said. However, when you translate into your native language, you are taking the focus of your attention away from the speaker and concentrating on the translation process taking place in your brain. This would be fine if you could put the speaker on hold. In real life, however, the person continues talking while you translate. This situation obviously leads to less — not more — understanding. Translation leads to a mental block in your brain, which sometimes doesn’t allow you to understand anything at all.

Most People Repeat Themselves

Think for a moment about your friends, family, and colleagues. When they speak in your native tongue, do they repeat themselves? If they are like most people, they probably do. That means that whenever you listen to someone speaking, it is very likely that they will repeat the information, giving you a second, third or even fourth chance to understand what has been said.

By remaining calm, allowing yourself to not understand, and not translating while listening, your brain is free to concentrate on the most important thing: understanding English in English.

Probably the greatest advantage of using the Internet to improve your listening skills is that you can choose what you would like to listen to and how many and times you would like to listen to it. By listening to something you enjoy, you are also likely to know a lot more of the vocabulary required.

Use Key Words

Use keywords or key phrases to help you understand the general ideas. If you understand “New York”, “business trip”, “last year” you can assume that the person is speaking about a business trip to New York last year. This may seem obvious to you, but remember that understanding the main idea will help you to understand the detail as the person continues to speak.

Listen for Context

Let’s imagine that your English speaking friend says, “I bought this great tuner at JR’s. It was really cheap and now I can finally listen to National Public Radio broadcasts.” You don’t understand what a tuner is, and if you focus on the word tuner you might become frustrated.

If you think in context, you probably will begin to understand. For example; bought is the past of buy, listen is no problem and radio is obvious. Now you understand: He bought something — the tuner — to listen to the radio. A tuner must be a kind of radio. This is a simple example but it demonstrates what you need to focus on: Not the word that you don’t understand, but the words you do understand.

Listening often is the most important way to improve your listening skills. Enjoy the listening possibilities offered by the Internet and remember to relax.

Article by Kenneth Beare  for

Meet the ‘trikini,’ a bikini with a matching face mask

Summer is almost here and social distancing guidelines are still in place on beaches around the world.

One Italian swimwear designer has a creative solution to help people enjoy summer activities during the coronavirus pandemic. Meet the trikini.

Just as the name suggests, the trikini has three pieces. A top, bottoms and — you guessed it — a matching, waterproof face mask.a person looking at the camera: Model Eleanor Lupini shows off a trikini design made by Italian brand Elexia Beachwear. (Tiziana Scamuzzo/Elexia Beachwear / Tiziana Scamuzzo/Elexia Beachwear) © Tiziana Scamuzzo/Elexia Beachwear Model Eleanor Lupini shows off a trikini design made by Italian brand Elexia Beachwear. (Tiziana Scamuzzo/Elexia Beachwear / Tiziana Scamuzzo/Elexia Beachwear)

This swimsuit is definitely a sign of the times. Tiziana Scaramuzzo, owner of Elexia Beachwear, told Italian news site Centropagina that the idea for her pandemic-safe swimwear “was born joking with the family.”

“The idea was born in the house during quarantine to take photos with my children,” Scaramuzzo told the outlet. “We didn’t think it would be this successful.”

Written by Allissa Newman of Today