Archive for April, 2016

High Performing Business – Negotiations – Exit Strategy

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

No need to burn down the house when a kind and compassionate exit strategy will suffice.

No need to burn down the house when a kind and compassionate exit strategy will suffice.

Having an idea (or even several ideas) on how to exit a situation (any situation) is something that requires careful deliberation.  Yes I hear the commitmentohpiles or those who believe thought creates reality saying , “but doesn’t having an exit strategy presuppose you’ll need one and create the situations for it to occur?”  Having an exit strategy helps you continue to move forward with kindness and compassion when the inevitable forces of change blow through life.

From my knothole on the planet, the number one reason I see people fail to achieve their full potential is because they stay with what is too good to leave and too bad to stay far longer than is required.  I’m not just talking about significant relationships – I’m talking careers,  locations where you live,  business relationships that were once rock solid but now exist by the barest of threads.   Lets say you’re working on a project and over time, the person or people who wanted you to do the project seem to lose interest – how can you move on to your next big thing in the way that is in the best interests of all?   Or you have a supplier that provides a critical service for your business – but over the past six months they have been late on the delivery and have not sent you a bill – how do you either remediate their service level, learn how to run the business without their help or find a more suitable supplier while keeping all the balls in the air?  Or the client that makes up the majority of your revenue who becomes increasingly demanding and acerbic placing your mental health and that of your staff in serious peril – how you do find new clients to shore up your revenues and gradually renegotiate the relationship with the significant client to something that is both healthy and manageable?   Or the key employee who was once the foundation of your business, but is now taking extended lunch breaks, coming in late and leaving early to make up for it, and being a debbie downer bringing down everyone around them – how do you gracefully transition them into a role now more suitable for them or help them find their way to a more rewarding existence, outside of your employ?

When contemplating exit strategies for situations you find yourself in in your life where an exit strategy may be required, it literally pays to look at the risks associated with each strategy before taking any action.  In Project Management terms, we do an expected monetary value (EMV) analysis along with a probablity and impact assessment for each potential risk.  Students who take the Cheetah Certified Project Manager program learn how to do this type of analysis ahead of time to continually make the right choices for them in life based on their success criteria and their goals.   You can learn how to do the same – become a Cheetah Certified Project Manager.

High Performing Business – Negotiations – Enthusiasm

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

The reason so many of us love puppies even with all the things they can get into,  is their unbridled enthusiasm for life.  It's good to remember this when working with others - enthusiasm attracts even more enthusiasm and can make the difficult possible, even fun.

The reason so many of us love puppies even with all the things they can get into, is their unbridled enthusiasm for life. It’s good to remember this when working with others – enthusiasm attracts even more enthusiasm and can make the difficult possible, even fun.

I noticed years ago the more enthusiastic I am about a plan, the better it seems I can enroll others in my ideas.  When I am working with Cheetah Learning’s certified teachers, every once in a while I’ll here the hardest students to work with are the ones who think the problem with their performance is outside of themselves.  These are the students who say their poor performance is due to the teacher, or the curriculum doesn’t work for them, or something or other not related to them.  In the 90’s as part of my early research into accelerated learning, I was introduced to Richard Bandler’s work on Neurolinquistic Programming.   Bandler says that when you run into people resistant to making changes within themselves (like these students who feel their performance issues are outside themselves), it’s our job as teachers and change agents to inspire them to make the changes required.  Using the excuse that they are not willing to change is like taking your car to a mechanic and the mechanic says – I’m not capable of fixing this car until it’s ready to change.

The key for the Cheetah team with inspiring people to adopt the required practices to succeed in Cheetah courses (and then later in their lives) is our enthusiasm in our programs’ effectiveness.  But it’s not that we have all drank blue koolaid and are brainwashed by our own rosey delusions.  It’s hard to knock success.  We’ve had over 60,000 students go through Cheetah Learning programs and almost daily receive their glowing endorsements.  What is even more telling,  most of our business is from word of mouth. While we do share our free assessments and tools in a variety of social media contexts, we do no formal advertising.  And every year we have 5000 or so people enroll in Cheetah Learning courses.  Enthusiasm is contagious.

So when you’re faced with a negotiation, find the elements of it that make you the most enthusiastic and lead from there.   When you enroll in the program to become a Cheetah Certified Project Manager you master how to communicate your enthusiasm for your ideas in ways that other people can hear you – based on what makes them more enthusiastic too.   Enthusiastic people attract other enthusiastic people and it’s this energy that can in fact move mountains.

High Performing Business – Negotiations – Fairness

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP

The perception of fairness is a critical success factor in negotiations.

The perception of fairness is a critical success factor in negotiations.

In the book  Sway, The Pull of Irrational Forces, the authors discuss how people want to have the decisions of others for which impact them be made fairly.  If there is a perception someone was not fair in an interaction,  there leaves a stain in the memory of the person and their associated organization.

We see this often in the Cheetah Exam Prep with our students who feel they are treated unfairly from PMI in the pursuit of becoming PMP certified.  We will have students with very similar experience backgrounds and similar eligibility applications where they approve one but not the other.  This leaves the student not approved extremely disgruntled.  Then we have students who do manage to get the eligibility letter from PMI, but for whatever their reasons don’t follow our course processes and end up having to take the test several times before they ultimately pass.  These students tell us the test questions on the second and third attempt get easier and they feel that PMI purposely does this to get them to pay more exam fees.  PMI may have very good reasons for the way it does business, but when an organization wants to create good will with its customer base, they need to ensure their processes are clearly documented and uniformly followed.  Even the perception that a process is not fair when in fact it may be quite fair will hurt an organization (as is the example of the student feeling the organization is making the test easier in subsequent attempts to get more exam fees).  While having consistent and fair processes throughout the business is important, it’s even more important to have those processes that directly impact the viability of another’s life be rock solid,  transparent, and communicated as such.

It is for this reason at Cheetah Learning in our program to help people become Certified Project Managers,  we teach our students how  to create a stable negotiations process.  Developing trust from having stable ways of interacting with others creates enduring success – which is one of the many values of becoming a Cheetah Certifed Project Manager (CCPM).  It’s also why the CCPM is gaining in popularity and growing quickly as the new “must have” PM certification.

High Performing Business – Negotiations – Building Value

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

Cheetah Certified Project Managers master the skills to bring out the best of everyone to create enduring and sustainable value for all.

Cheetah Certified Project Managers master the skills to bring out the best of everyone to build enduring and sustainable value for all.

Ever since I created Cheetah Negotiations, I often hear from others they perceive any encounter with me is a negotiation.  But,  for me, a negotiation is a very deliberate, well planned out exchange where there is a mutual exploration of how we can create more value together – beyond what we each may have previously envisioned.

What I’ve found never works in a negotiation is a lack of regard for the well being of another.  If either party leaves an engagement feeling in any way damaged, the negotiation was a failure.  When only one person wins, everyone loses.  Strategies that rely on manipulation or coercion of the stronger party over another are not a negotiation  – they are a dictate by the stronger party.  Furthermore when either party has a firm idea of the way things must be in order to develop or maintain any type of exchange – whether it be personal or professional, this is also not a negotiation – but a demand.

Taking the high road in a negotiation to bring out the best of others and create more value  is always the better strategy  – even if it appears on the surface you may have given away more than you received.   In 2007 I had to foreclose on a single Mom who had purchased a property from me.  While I did not want to do this, she had not paid the mortgage in six months, yet was renting out the home to someone else and keeping the revenue.  Once that process went through, I had another woman approach me who wanted to purchase the place.  Her mother had recently passed away and she was well liked by many of the people in our neighborhood.   She was honest with me about what she could afford for a monthly payment and we agreed on a price that would help her get into and stay in the house.  It was less than what I could have gotten had I relisted it.  But I was confident I would not have to foreclose on her, I would have a good neighbor, and she needed a break.   She lived in the place for several years, and then resold it – making a nice profit.  I was happy for her.   There was a higher inspiration here then to just make the most money I could on that place.

Building value, creating something better than previously envisioned, uplifting all parties by the exchange, helping bring out the best or yourself of others – these are the skills you master by becoming Cheetah Certified Project Managers.    Learn more by visiting