Throughout our lives we’re bombarded with these little sayings. Go for the Gold; Shoot for the Moon; Be the Best You Can Be; …. If I put myself in my son’s shoes (he’s eight), I’m sure he wonders, “What does that mean? How do I ‘Shoot for the Moon’? How do I ‘Grab the Brass Ring’?” Yet he knows, never give up and always try your hardest. That’s what he’s been taught.
What amazes me is that we were all taught these important life lessons in one form or another as children, yet somewhere along the way, we begin to consider them clichés (something that was once true, but eventually overused, so no longer thought to be true).
Throughout business in general, and specifically in negotiations, the term “Raise the Bar” is a far cry from a cliché. All of the academic research coming out of the best universities in the United States and Europe, coupled with our teams thousands of hours and dozens of years of experience, confirms one simple fact. Expectation impacts outcome. Where you start impacts where you finish. Another cliché? Absolutely not! Where someone starts in a negotiation, their “opening position” (more on this another time), absolutely impacts where they finish.
While most business people talk themselves out of this idea in the spirit of being “reasonable”, they still believe it deep down. Just ask yourself, when was the last time you encouraged your child to be “third string quarterback, junior clerk or fry cook at McDonalds” – never.
Expect more, get more. Raise the Bar!