What’s New in Business

June 23, 2008

Dare to Prepare

Dare to Prepare: How to Win Before You Begin Dare to Prepare

by Ronald Shapiro, Crown Business, 2008.

One of the things that can make or break everything you do is preparation. The better prepared you are the better chance you will get the outcome you want most.

Ronald Shapiro covers nine preparation principles he teaches to clients to help them become better preparers. They are:

  1. Understand your objectives and define your endgame
  2. Plan with precedents
  3. Know your alternatives
  4. Define the interests of the other party
  5. Set your strategy
  6. Do a timeline
  7. Pick your team
  8. Write your script
  9. Adjust and learn from your mistakes

If you know what you really want from all encounters you will have a much better chance of communicating with others. You must discover what precedents have been set in the past and use these examples to reinforce your position. If you are able to articulate all of the potential alternatives that are available, you can help others work toward an outcome that is beneficial to all; this also ties into knowing the other side’s interests so that you can address how they can best benefit from your suggested outcomes. By setting a strategy and timeline you can learn to better focus on the outcomes you are trying to achieve and by stating these you can show your leadership in accomplishing these goals. Pick your team of people by who can best help you achieve your goals and write a script and practice it so that you can anticipate all potential obstacles. By using what didn’t work for you and others in the past you can constantly move forward and help to accomplish many things.

The three most common excuses as to why people fail to plan are: 1. I don’t have time, 2. I’ve done it before and 3. I know how to do this. These all assume that you know so much that you don’t need to plan to prepare because you already know how to win and get what you want. By making these assumptions you will often fail to get what you want and you will lose the respect of others because you will actually show how unprepared you really are.

Use the preparation checklist at the end of this book to make sure you know what you are after and how you will address the concerns and questions of others. The benefits you will gain by being prepared are self confidence, effectiveness and satisfaction.

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