7 Important Facts to shape your Life

Church, God, local news, Words

Don’t be impressed by:

  • Money
  • Job titles
  • Followers
  • Degrees
  • Appearances
  • Social Media
  • Big words

Be impressed by:

  • Kindness
  • Trustworthiness
  • Genuine generosity
  • Sincerity
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Optimism
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The most important external variable to the success of your business is whether or not you had great parents. But you can’t do anything about that. The next most important? Having the right deals in place, at the right times. No one has the team, the resources and the reach to succeed by themselves. Well-constructed partnerships, carefully structured joint ventures, and timely endorsements help a start-up build its brand, credibility, momentum and customer base.

Business success is based on the kind of deal and agreements you reach while doing these businesses. Multi-million Dollars business has been known to fail based on small errors in negotiations. When you make a deal, the deal should favour you and the other party or else one of you might pull out of the deal when they meet better options from other parties.

The best possible outcome in any deal making or negotiation is when both parties feel that they have gained more than they have given away, and more than if they had not entered into a negotiation in the first place. Conflict arises after agreements whenever people leave a meeting feeling quite unsatisfied with the outcomes. This means you have to create a bigger pie than the one that is being discussed. You are a dry cleaner; to build your business you need to create personal touch beyond cleaning peoples clothe. Several dry cleaners have clothes mending departments that help replaces lost buttons, small tears and other challenges to the cloth. Many do home pick ups and deliveries. I even know a mobile car wash firm that visits your house to clean your car. They are adding values to their products and the customers are exposed to better services.

Either you are looking for a job, selling a product or trying to win a contract; people tends to concentrate only on the benefit at hand and never looked beyond these to create newer benefits that could enhance current situations. In every situation where we need to influence the other party the ball is always in our court to make the meeting so valuable that the other party will always remember our offer because it goes beyond his plan before sitting with us. Let them leave the meeting with newer and more productive suggestions and your name will always be on the lips of the other party.

In job interviews, the stated qualifications are there, but the interviewer is looking for something unique, that extra thing that will stand the final candidate out amongst the crowd of applicants. Being prepared through understanding of the other party needs is important. Study widely and reflect on the undeclared needs of the other party before any meeting.

Understand the real needs of the client and fit your pitch towards what will satisfy that need

When Bill Gates was trying to establish Internet Explorer as the dominant browser against strong competition from Netscape, the industry-standard browser – based on what was, at the time, superior software. AOL was looking for a technically outstanding browser and Netscape was the obvious partner, with Microsoft’s prospects for winning over AOL in favour of Explorer looking bleak.

However, when studying the needs and desires of AOL, it became apparent to Gates that AOL’s ultimate goal was to increase market share, and he was able to use this knowledge to reframe the negotiation. Instead of ‘who has the best browser?’ the negotiation became about ‘who can best help AOL achieve its ultimate goal of increasing market share and profits?’

Microsoft then made two big offers. It offered to provide an improved Explorer to AOL free of charge and, also, to bundle AOL’s client software with the next version of its Windows operating system; the AOL logo would sit next to the MSN logo for Microsoft’s own online service. No longer would AOL have to spend $40 to $80 per customer by sending millions of promotional disks through the post. Gates effectively changed the set-up for the negotiation.

Bill Gates Goals:

  • Establish Internet Explorer as the most dominant browser in the world.
  • Upstage Netscape the already established browser in the industry

AOL Goals:

  • Technical out standing browser for its expansion project

Bill Gates offer avoided discussing the issues about the best browser in the market, but offered AOL something they really wanted; a bigger market share at no cost to AOL to win the deal.

INTRODUCE NEWER VALUES

Always look for other areas to add value to your interviewer or the other party, don’t get stuck on the main issues at play. Look at other values that could improve the relationship. In 2016 when my company was negotiating for the contract with Civil Defence to train over one million private security guards in Nigeria. There were over 10 international training companies competing for this consultancy, Mine was the least qualified based on the fact that our company was barely six months old and we were bidding against well grounded and tested firms from England and US.

Our presentation was basic and based on the paper experiences of the directors and no   reference, the only thing that got us the job was the fact that we introduce a free 3 days training for the Civil Defence itself as part of our presentation. We refused to discuss our competence, as we know that we have no clear advantage here, but come and see what we can do and pronto the job was for us.

While negotiating with the government of an African country to run for them a customised version of the Oxford Programme on Negotiation. Oxford University Executive Programme (Said Business School) offered the cabinet secretary a free place on the programme so that he could determine its suitability. The value to him of this offer was five days of executive education worth £7,500, free of charge except for his airfare and accommodation. The cost to the School of having one extra person in the class was zero, as it makes no material difference to Oxford whether they are teaching 35 or 36 people. Rarely will the difference be this pronounced, but value can be created whenever two parties perceive different values and costs for the same item.

Deal With Emotions.

Most decision making are illogical and emotionally based. Jim Camp attest to the fact that decision making is mostly based on emotions of the parties involved. Being logical might not be the solution to getting the best deals. We have to always acknowledge and never fail to address the “big elephant” in the room. A June 2014 work on Emotion and Decision Making” submitted to the Journals on Annual Review of Psychology by Jennifer S. Lerner, Harvard University; Ye Li,  University of California, Riverside; Piercarlo Valdesolo, Claremont McKenna College; and Karim Kassam, Carnegie Mellon University, concluded that “emotion and decision making go hand in hand”.    Understanding and managing parties emotions will surely enhance easy discussions and understanding, thereby making agreements easier.

 

Negotiation

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Is Dead at 81

international News, OBITUARY

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, whose hallowed place in the pantheon of South Africa’s liberators was eroded by scandal over corruption, kidnapping, murder and the implosion of her fabled marriage to Nelson Mandela, died early Monday in Johannesburg. She was 81.

Her death, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, was announced by her spokesman, Victor Dlamini. He said in a statement that she died “after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year.”

The South African Broadcasting Corporation said she was admitted to the hospital over the weekend complaining of the flu after she attended a church service on Friday. She had been treated for diabetes and underwent major surgeries as her health began failing over the last several years.

Charming, intelligent, complex, fiery and eloquent, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela (Madikizela was her surname at birth) was inevitably known to most of the world through her marriage to the revered Mr. Mandela. It was a bond that endured ambiguously: She derived a vaunted status from their shared struggle, yet she chafed at being defined by him.

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Ms. Madikizela-Mandela attended her husband’s trial in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1962. Credit Associated Press

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela commanded a natural constituency of her own among South Africa’s poor and dispossessed, and the post-apartheid leaders who followed Mr. Mandela could never ignore her appeal to a broad segment of society. In April 2016, the government of President Jacob G. Zuma gave Ms. Madikizela-Mandela one of the country’s highest honors: the Order of Luthuli, given, in part, for contributions to the struggle for democracy.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela retained a political presence as a member of Parliament, representing the dominant African National Congress, and she insisted on a kind of primacy in Mr. Mandela’s life, no matter their estrangement.

Increasingly, though, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela resented the notion that her anti-apartheid credentials had been eclipsed by her husband’s global stature and celebrity, and she struggled in vain in later years to be regarded again as the “mother of the nation,” a sobriquet acquired during the long years of Mr. Mandela’s imprisonment. She insisted that her contribution had been wrongly depicted as a pale shadow of his.

“I am not Mandela’s product,” she told an interviewer. “I am the product of the masses of my country and the product of my enemy” — references to South Africa’s white rulers under apartheid and to her burning hatred of them, rooted in her own years of mistreatment, incarceration and banishment.

Conduit to Her Husband

While Mr. Mandela was held at the Robben Island penal settlement, off Cape Town, where he spent most of his 27 years in jail, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela acted as the main conduit to his followers, who hungered for every clue to his thinking and well-being. The flow of information was meager, however: Her visits there were rare, and she was never allowed physical contact with him.

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The Mandelas were married in June 1958.                     Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In time, her reputation became scarred by accusations of extreme brutality toward suspected turncoats, misbehavior and indiscretion in her private life, and a radicalism that seemed at odds with Mr. Mandela’s quest for racial inclusiveness.

She nevertheless sought to remain in his orbit. She was at his side, brandishing a victor’s clenched fist salute, when he was finally released from prison in February 1990.

At his funeral, in December 2013, she appeared by his coffin in mourning black — positioning herself almost as if she were the grieving first lady — even though Mr. Mandela had married Graça Machel, the widow of the former Mozambican president Samora Machel, in 1998, on his 80th birthday, six years after separating from Ms. Madikizela-Mandela and two years after their divorce. It was Mr. Mandela’s third marriage.

In 2016, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela began legal efforts to secure the ownership of Mr. Mandela’s home in his ancestral village of Qunu. She contended that their marriage had never been lawfully dissolved and that she was therefore entitled to the house, which Mr. Mandela had bequeathed to his descendants. High Court judges rejected that argument in April. After learning that she had lost the case, she was hospitalized.

Her lawyers said she would appeal the High Court judgment.

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Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was surrounded by supporters in the black township of Kagiso in 1986. Credit Associated Press

‘She Who Must Endure’

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela was born to a noble family of the Xhosa-speaking Pondo tribe in Transkei. Her first name, Nomzamo, means “she who must endure trials.”

Her birth date was Sept. 26, 1936, according to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and many other sources, although earlier accounts gave the year as 1934.

Her father, Columbus, was a senior official in the so-called homeland of Transkei, according to South African History Online, an unofficial archive, which described her as the fourth of eight children. (Other accounts say her family was larger.) Her mother, Gertrude, was a teacher who died when Winnie was 8, the archive said.

As a barefoot child she tended cattle and learned to make do with very little, in marked contrast to her later years of free-spending ostentation. She attended a Methodist mission school and then the Hofmeyr School of Social Work in Johannesburg, where she befriended Adelaide Tsukudu, the future wife of Oliver Tambo, a law partner of Mr. Mandela’s who went on to lead the A.N.C. in exile. She turned down a scholarship in the United States, preferring to remain in South Africa as the first black social worker at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto.

One day in 1957, when she was waiting at a bus stop, Nelson Mandela drove past. “I was struck by her beauty,” he wrote in his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.” Some weeks later, he recalled, “I was at the office when I popped in to see Oliver and there was this same young woman.” 

Mr. Mandela, approaching 40 and the father of three, declared on their first date that he would marry her. Soon he separated from his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase, a nurse, to marry Ms. Madikizela-Mandela on June 14, 1958.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was thrust into the limelight in 1964 when her husband was sentenced to life in prison on charges of treason. She was officially “banned” under draconian restrictions intended to make her a nonperson, unable to work, socialize, move freely or be quoted in the South African news media, even as she raised their two daughters, Zenani and Zindziswa.

In a crackdown in May 1969, five years after her husband was sent to prison, she was arrested and held for 17 months, 13 in solitary confinement. She was beaten and tortured. The experience, she wrote, was “what changed me, what brutalized me so much that I knew what it is to hate.”

After blacks rioted in the segregated Johannesburg township of Soweto in 1976, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was again imprisoned without trial, this time for five months. She was then banished to a bleak township outside the profoundly conservative white town of Brandfort, in the Orange Free State.

“I am a living symbol of whatever is happening in the country,” she wrote in “Part of My Soul Went With Him,” a memoir published in 1984 and printed around the world. “I am a living symbol of the white man’s fear. I never realized how deeply embedded this fear is until I came to Brandfort.”

Contrary to the authorities’ intentions, her cramped home became a place of pilgrimage for diplomats and prominent sympathizers, as well as foreign journalists seeking interviews.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela cherished conversation with outsiders and word of the world beyond her confines. She scorned many of her restrictions, using whites-only public phones and ignoring the segregated counters at the local liquor store when she ordered Champagne — gestures that stunned the area’s whites.

Banishment Took Toll

Still, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela’s exclusion from what passed as a normal life in South Africa took a toll, and she began to drink heavily. During her banishment, moreover, her land changed. Beginning in late 1984, young protesters challenged the authorities with increasing audacity. The unrest spread, prompting the white rulers to acknowledge what they called a “revolutionary climate” and declare a state of emergency.

When Ms. Madikizela-Mandela returned to her home in Soweto in 1985, breaking her banning orders, it was as a far more bellicose figure, determined to assume leadership of what became the decisive and most violent phase of the struggle. As she saw it, her role was to stiffen the confrontation with the authorities.

The tactics were harsh.

“Together, hand in hand, with our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we will liberate this country,” she told a rally in April 1986. She was referring to “necklacing,” a form of sometimes arbitrary execution by fire using a gas-soaked tire around a supposed traitor’s neck, and it shocked an older generation of anti-apartheid campaigners. But her severity aligned her with the young township radicals who enforced commitment to the struggle.

In the late 1980s, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela allowed the outbuildings around her residence in Soweto to be used by the so-called Mandela United Football Club, a vigilante gang that claimed to be her bodyguard. It terrorized Soweto, inviting infamy and prosecution.

In 1991 she was convicted of ordering the 1988 kidnapping of four youths in Soweto. The body of one, a 14-year-old named James Moeketsi Seipei — nicknamed Stompie, a slang word for a cigarette butt, reflecting his diminutive stature — was found with his throat cut.

Ms. Madikizela-Mandela’s chief bodyguard was convicted of murder. She was sentenced to six years for kidnapping, but South Africa’s highest appeals court reduced her punishment to fines and a suspended one-year term.

By then her life had begun to unravel. The United Democratic Front, an umbrella group of organizations fighting apartheid and linked to the A.N.C., expelled her. In April 1992, Mr. Mandela, midway through settlement talks with President F. W. de Klerk of South Africa, announced that he and his wife were separating. (She dismissed suggestions that she had wanted to be known by the title “first lady.” “I am not the sort of person to carry beautiful flowers and be an ornament to everyone,” she said.)

Two years later, Mr. Mandela was elected president and offered her a minor job as the deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology. But after allegations of influence peddling, bribetaking and misuse of government funds, she was forced from office. In 1996, Mr. Mandela ended their 38-year marriage, testifying in court that his wife was having an affair with a colleague.

Only in 1997, at the behest of Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu at South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, did Ms. Madikizela-Mandela offer an apology for the events of the late 1980s. “Things went horribly wrong,” she said, adding, “For that I am deeply sorry.”

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Ms. Madikizela-Mandela at a 2009 gathering to honour her former husband, who died four years later.                    Credit Alexander Joe/Agence France-Presse                          — Getty Images

Yet the catalog of missteps continued, cast into sharp relief by her haughty dismissiveness toward her accusers. In 2003 she was convicted of using her position as president of the A.N.C. Women’s League to obtain fraudulent loans; she was sentenced to five years in prison. But her sentence was again suspended on appeal, with a judge finding that she had not gained personally from the transactions.

To the end, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela remained a polarizing figure in South Africa, admired by loyalists who were prepared to focus on her contribution to ending apartheid, vilified by critics who foremost saw her flaws. Few could ignore her unsettling contradictions, however.

“While there is something of a historical revisionism happening in some quarters of our nation these days that brands Nelson Mandela’s second wife a revolutionary and heroic figure,” the columnist Verashni Pillay wrote in the South African newspaper The Mail and Guardian, “it doesn’t take that much digging to remember the truly awful things she has been responsible for.”

Christian Conflict Management 101

Easter

To be able to live peacefully in any environment, we need to understand the fact that; Conflicts are inevitable and might not be totally avoidable. Regardless of our nature and personality traits, we tend to have issues with other people. Dealing with conflict isn’t easy; natural order of things has made scarcity of resources and time major challenges to humanity. As a leader, as a human being, you can be sure that you’ll face relational conflicts. No leadership model exists that will totally eliminate disagreements or clashes of personality. In fact, the tension that comes from conflict can be healthy and beneficial to growth if dealt with correctly. Life’s most important question isn’t “Will I face conflicts?” but “How can I best manage conflicts when they arise?”

The only Christ supported key to dealing with conflict is to follow God’s word and respond obediently and these are:

Eliminate Need to Retaliate: Understanding the others are important in handling conflicts. We need to listen more and be attentive to the inner pains being expressed by the others always. As Christians we should always learn to emphasize through active listening. Don’t totally avoid discussions. Don’t ignore underlining concern and covert interests that are instrumental to position of the other parties. Ignore the; insults, accusations and curses, they are all expressions of hurt. Emotions cannot be controlled by many people during quarrels, look beyond the tones, the pains and frustrations, concentrate on the issues at all time. Conflicts challenge our unity as a body of Christ. Our unity always poses a threat to the devil that will use every opportunity to take advantage of unresolved issues, especially those involving anger, bitterness, self-pity, and envy to bring us down (see Prov. 26:20)

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from us, along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Conflict remains one major challenge to our prayers to the Lord. Jesus insisted that we love our neighbours as ourselves and that we should always promptly settle all quarrels with our brothers before coming for prayers (John 13:34: Romans 12:10). He specifically taught us to always express undying love to one another and tries to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours and brothers (Romans 15:5). Jesus commanded Christians to ensue: patience, kindness and tenderness of heart in dealing with each other always (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Discuss issues as they arise and acknowledge the other’s emotions: Jesus enjoined us to settle our differences among ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:11). Jesus was direct in His instructions about transgressions between brothers. “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4). Christians should learn the spirit of Jesus and the most essential part of conflict resolution process are; understanding the feelings of others and forgiving them.

We are taught to be long-suffering and tenderhearted toward one another. Good Christians will always consider others feelings and pains before theirs at all times (Philippians 2:3). We are to refrain from pre-judging issues and listen carefully to issues before we comment. In quarrels we should look beyond the explicit to the covert innuendoes in all statements. Interests determine people’s positions and as Christians we should always be conscious not to be selfish and over bearing in our attitude. Saint Paul admonishes us to always “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3–4).

Manage Emotions:

Uncontrolled emotional outbursts are the reasons for most arguments turning violent. We should always learn to appreciate the others standpoint and appreciates their emotions. Be emphatic at all times; listen attentively to what the others are saying. Never presuppose anything. Learn to be patient and see beyond the hurt and thoughtless argument of the other. Try walking away from argument when emotions can’t be controlled. We should always be the barometers of arguments, when it gets too hot to be reasonable walking away is a great option. We might not be able to solve any issue when tempers are flaring, hence when we are reaching our breaking point, please endeavours to move away for sometime for temper to cool down.

We are supposed to be strong and be the pillar for our friends and rejoice in finding solution to issues (Ephesians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 13:6). Always understand the role of emotion and ego in conflicts, as Christians; we should never aim at hurting others back, because of what they said during a quarrel. Learn to be more understanding and see beyond the hurt and thoughtlessness in other’s speech. Walk away, cool down and look for another way of addressing issues and not emotion later in a more mutually beneficial and rational way later (Coll. 3:120

Learn how to apologise:

 As peacemaker and Christian, we should learn how to diffuse tension with golden statements like ‘I am so sorry dear” “Please forgive me, if I in any way hurt you” even when you are not wrong! Disarm violent response with positive statements. Look beyond the hurt intended by the speech, learn to see the underlining tone and deal with issues while ignoring their position. Always be careful to craft your response at all time. Avoid deteriorating already fry nerves by saying the wrong things. Be smart to always ignore areas of disagreements and concentrate on points of agreements. This reduces argument from start and encourages better concentration by the other parties. You don’t drop a fish suddenly in a new tank; you do it slowly and gently. Arguments are not for winning; it’s about smoothing patches and designing better relationships. Hence you don’t throw cautions to the wind and attack the other parties relentlessly with violent words (Prov. 6:3; Coll. 3:13; Prov. 12:20).

Learn how to elicit underlining interests.

Clarify issues by asking open-ended questions thereby slowing down argument. These allow your opponent to pause and think out a response. People plan quarrel out in their minds before meeting the other parties. You should always throw a spanner in their meticulous plans by asking pertinent and clarifying questions such as:

  • “Please tell me, why is this so important to you..”?
  • “If I can understand you and rephrase that statement, what you are trying to say is that you are not being appreciated for all your hard works here, right”?
  • “Please tell me again, why is this so important right now”?
  • “Thanks for your complete honesty with me, but what do you think we can do right now, please”?

Always refrain from shouting and striking the others. Learn not to use words that can be deemed insulting, sarcastic and demeaning to others during quarrels. Abstain from raising your hand to strike others when temper flares. It’s barbaric and termed childish in all culture. Never use final words that leave your opponents with no choices. Statements like “ If you walk out, don’t ever come back here again”, “You are a bastard if you don’t do it” “Strike me if you are a man” “I hate you”. Reconciliations are made difficult by words spoken during quarrels. Many could forget the source of the quarrel, but what you say during the quarrel is etched in memories forever. You can’t unsay words, so be careful what you say during conflicts. Quarrels are to rework relationship processes not to end it. We lose great friends by being too excited and not watching our utterances.