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The one thing that will make you significantly more successful.

one-thingPeople often ask me what the “one thing” is. What’s the “one thing” they should do to get a higher salary, deal with a difficult boss, or manage conflict in a team? I used to sidestep that question by explaining how looking for any “one thing” is a dangerously simplistic way to approach your life. I’m tired avoiding the question though, so I’m going to tell you in this post.

There actually is “one thing” that will make you phenomenally more successful.

It’s not a tool, a tactic, or even a framework for what to say or do; it’s how you think.

How you think drives everything you say and do, which determines the outcomes of your most important conversations in life. This is true for all negotiations, tough conversations, and any other problem you need to solve.

Your “inner game” is the single most important variable in determining what kind of outcomes you get in life. If you’re thinking in an unhelpful way, it’s going to be extremely difficult to be persuasive to anyone else. If your head is in the right place, the right words tend to flow.

This seems obvious. Yet how often do you really ask yourself “Am I thinking about this the right way?” or “what is another way to think about this that might be more productive?”

If you do that often, you are way ahead of your peers.

If, on the other hand, you often find yourself wondering what to say to be more influential or persuasive to those around you, you’re probably not missing any magic words. It’s more likely that your problem is with your inner game.

There are three components to an effective inner game that I have seen people adopt and become phenomenally more successful at what they do.

Becoming more detached allows you to take a more balanced perspective and increases your ability to respond, rather than react.

Thinking in terms of abundance, rather than assuming scarcity, makes it possible to get out of win-lose dynamics and generate substantially more value for yourself and other people in your life.

Being genuinely curious makes it far easier to understand what people are really asking for and solve problems where other people get stuck.

If that’s the way your inner game works, you don’t need to worry about what comes out of your mouth. You’ll find the right words and you’ll be amazed at the results you get.

You’re going to be hearing more about this from me going forward. A lot more. If that’s not what you feel you signed up for and you’re more interested in tips or tactics to sharpen your existing game, then you’re probably in the wrong place.

If you are interested in taking your inner game to the next level, however, you’re going to like where we’re headed.  Get on the email list because there’s going to be a lot more content there that I’m not sharing here.

As always, let me know what you think.

About the author: Hi I’m Dan Green, blogger, entrepreneur, documentary film producer and negotiation specialist. I’ve helped executives negotiate deals worth up to 400 million USD. But before you read on…

4 comments… add one

  • Being able to “think on your feet” is a phrase I often hear in when talking about successful negotiations and it is true. Being able to think while in negotiations is essential to a winning outcome and not to focus too much on those you are negotiating with, but rather your goal or intended outcome of that negotiation.

  • Pieter

    The point you are trying to make is that people have to go beyond their positions (salary increase) by identifying the real interests involved, isn’t?

    • Dan

      That’s right Pieter. When two people take a positional response, they leave money on the table and turn things into a zero-sum situation.

  • Hi there, I really enjoyed reading this article. I must say that the point about “inner game” is so true. I come from different country and decided to study abroad. I was the only one who could pursade the dream of mine. I needed to have the inner drive and voice saying I want to do it. and here I am here in my final year.

    The other section I liked was about if we think about the particular thing right. Obviously, we need to do some research and let’s be honest, not anyone is so honest about themselves and their strategy to succeed is not researched well. People fail many times and I can say that I have failed but this has taught me a lot. But the worst thing ever is that those who fail usually never learn from their mistakes or the others’ mistakes. That is so wrong.

    Anyway, I am actually writing a few articles on negotiation and I was wondering whether you could have a look and comment your thoughts on it just because you are a great expert and I want to learn more. I would appreciate it.

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