The Leading Christmas Presents for Women This Christmas 2010

On the subject of shopping for your female partner, or friend, at Christmas time, you (along with many other men) may be stuck for ideas and in need of inspiration! Although women of all ages consider themselves to be really simple to buy for, us men tend to disagree with their claims. At Xmas time, ladies say all they want is jewellery, perfume, cosmetics, etc; but we all know too well that women are actually very fussy when it comes to the products they use, and this is where men really struggle! If you need a helping hand, look no further! Below I recommend 5 of the best festive gifts to present your female partner with on Christmas morning. Just call me your Yuletide fairy godmother!

As a quick side note, I’ll provide you with a bit of information on ‘what not to get’ in terms of Christmas presents. To begin, don’t bother with cooking devices because, unless your girlfriend is mad about rustling up the best meals every night and see’s herself as the next Delia Smith, then you’ll be greeted with an unhappy face when she unwraps your festive gift. It will probably fall as flat as a pancake and you’ll spend the rest of the day trying to avoid her frosty glare! Nothing says I love you less than a boring piece of kitchen equipment on a wintery Christmas morning. Women don’t want to think about the time they spend in the kitchen when they’re on their holiday break!

If you want to guarantee your girlfriend or wife is utterly embarrassed by her present then get her ‘sexy’ lingerie. On the other hand, if you want to be seen as a caring, kind boyfriend then don’t do it! Unless you get this as a tiny little extra alongside a much bigger, better and more expensive gift, then this sort of gift should not be bought. Remember, when you’re buying a Christmas present, you’re buying for her – not for yourself! If it doesn’t fit her it will ruin her day and it’s not the kind of treat she can show the family is it?!

So, on to the top gifts to buy your lady; let’s start with jewellery. Something flashy, sparkly and diamante is always a great festive treat for your girlfriend and she’ll love the attention she gets off all of the guests who are admiring it. Jewellery is always a safe bet at Xmas time if you want to please your woman and it’s a firm favourite choice across the board at Christmas time.

Just remember though, unless you want your girlfriend to become your wife this Christmas, don’t buy anything that could be mistaken for an engagement ring. Silver rings might suggest a deeper meaning than you intended and you could upset your female friend without meaning to. Another thing to think about is the type of material you go for and the style of the item you pick. Because Christmas is a special occasion, opt for a gold or silver piece of jewellery as it will look more expensive and classy and, if you’ve been with your partner for a while, consider the type of jewellery she likes to wear and pick something similar. Jewellery is a very personal thing so if you know she likes a certain style, go for that. If you’re really not sure what to buy, select something that can be returned just in case (that means don’t get her earrings because most stores won’t take them back).

What about a spa break? This is always a hit with the female species. After the rush and the panic that goes on up until Christmas day, she will definitely love a present that will allow her to relax and be pampered for a day or more. Even if you can’t afford a spa weekend away, treat her to some makeover therapies. For example, a nail manicure, a foot pedicure, hair treatments or a massage will give her something to smile about. If you search around a bit you can usually find good deals because, as relaxing gifts like this are ever-increasing in popularity, the cost price is coming down due to competition.

If you want to pamper her in another way, go for toiletries, fragrances and also delicious chocolates. Girls adore all of these! A good idea is to put together a gift basket or a Christmas stocking filled with all of her beloved products and merchandise. Doing this will make it look like you’ve spent ages thinking about what to get her and, as a plus point, you can create a gift that is as expensive or inexpensive as you deem necessary. The items included can cover a range of products, topics or cosmetics; the only thing holding you back is your own creativity! This will be the most thoughtful Christmas present you could give to your wife or girlfriend.

An individualized Xmas gift will also delight your lady. Personalized presents can be anything at all; homemade treats, for instance a scrap book or a photo album that features your favourite photos of the two of you in special places will make it look like considerable time and energy has gone into creating your present. You could bake her some little sweetie treats from the heart. Or, if you are especially arty or a talented painter; handcrafted items are really interesting and different presents to make your girlfriend feel special at Christmas. You can also look for gifts in stores like personally named mugs, or engraved jewellery. There are literally hundreds of items like this on the market you can research.

Unique merchandise can be found online too. Why not name a star after your partner? Or buy a piece of the moon for her? You can be sure none of her girlfriends’ will already have one of these and she’ll get a certificate of authenticity to keep forever.

Last but not least all women like to read glossy magazines don’t they? A great present, which will last the year round, is a magazine membership. Whatever she likes to indulge in during her free time, most magazines offer a weekly or monthly subscription. So discover her most preferred magazine brand, or favourite hobby, and give her this present which will keep her happy for the following year. You can always re-subscribe for her next year too!

Copyright (c) 2010 Paul Evans

The Six Vital Skills Needed When Negotiating

In your everyday life, you may find that your negotiating skills are frequently being used and called upon. In order for you to do this effectively, you’ll need to have these six skills under your belt. These negotiating methods will help you to better understand the process more in depth, with hopes that whenever you decide to use these negotiating techniques, whether you’re negotiating your salary for a new job offer or requesting a pay raise from your current employer, you’ll get what you want.

Here are the six vital skills needed when negotiating:

1. Preparation. Preparation is the foundation to negotiating successfully. Keep in mind that, you could never be too overly prepared. When you undertake any negotiation, you’ll need to give special attention to these three areas: yourself, the other person, and the market.

To prepare for yourself means, knowing who you are and what you want out of life. And to do this, you’ll have to spend some time reflecting and planning. Once you have a clear plan and understanding of the direction you want to take, this will help to build up your confidence as you go into your negotiation. And because you’ve taken the time to examine what you want, it’s now time to go forward and learn about the other person involved in the negotiating process.

Because there is usually someone else involved when negotiating, you’ll have to do your homework and research what the other person is all about. Once you become familiar with the other person you’re speaking with during the negotiations, you’ll have the sense of comfort and ease as you begin negotiating.

The final part of your preparation stage is knowing the market. It’s extremely important that you are aware of and have some good background information on your market.

2. Set limitations and goals. Set your goals by writing down what you want to achieve from the negotiation. Then, once you have your goals put in place, it’s now time to put limitations on them. Putting limitations on your goals simply means asking yourself, at what point am I willing to walk away from the deal and close it somewhere else?

3. Listen. Learning to listen is one of the most important skills to have during your negotiations. Because the act of listening attentively will give you the opportunity to hear and receive some valuable information you need to make the right decisions when negotiating.

4. Communicate clearly. To communicate clearly, you’ll have to make sure that your body language, tone of voice, actions, and words all say the same thing and send the identical message. Here, it’s imperative that your actions and words line up with one another.

5. Take a break and pause for a moment. At any time, if you ever feel as though the negotiations are heating up, and you’re emotions are running high, it’s at this instant, you could take a break and pause for a moment. This moment of silence will probably help stop you from saying something you really did not mean during your negotiations.

6. Close the deal. Closing the deal is the end of the negotiating process, and it is where everything should come to a halt. It’s also where the two sides come together in mutual agreement.

So, the next time you have to go through your own negotiation process, keep these six vital skills needed when negotiating in mind.

Understand The Past – Know The Present – Improve Intermediate – Aim For A Better Future!

One of the greatest potential dangers to meaningful, effective leadership, is the unwillingness and/or inability, to perceive and conceive of the numerous obvious and potential ramifications of a variety of actions (or inactivity), as well as the tendency to overly focus on either the glorious old days (the history), present issues or concerns, intermediate impacts (generally considered to be from 3 to 5 years), or the long-term ramifications, needs, and sustainability of the organization into the future. Quality leaders know it’s important to know and have a handle on current needs, concerns, issues or priorities, but to avoid taking the proverbial band-aid approach, and acting, with a keen eye on the future. True relevance only comes from evaluating every alternative, from the perspective of whether it builds upon the positives from the organization’s past (heritage), resolving and addressing current needs, addressing where to take the group in the next three to five years, and how to do so, to assure a relevant, sustainable future.

1. Understand the past: Groups rarely flourish when they throw the baby out with the bath water. Significant organizations promote their heritage, as a way to attract their niche member, etc. That history generally is extremely relevant, in terms of better understanding the group’s mission and purpose/focus. When the heritage is forgotten or trivialized, there is often a concurrent loss of a number of long-term supporters/members. Why would that make any sense?

2. Know the present: Although the past is relevant, one must avoid wallowing or getting hung-up in an over-focus on what has been, rather than what should be! Be careful to listen effectively, keep your eyes wide open, and resolve current priorities/concerns, in a timely, well-considered manner.

3. 3-5 years, goals and plans: Before any group can become truly relevant and sustainable, it is necessary to enhance and improve the present and the intermediate-term. Leaders must proceed in an organized, well-considered, step-by-step approach.

4. Longer-term strategy, planning and vision: Our greatest leaders are always the ones who articulate their vital vision, in a vibrant, motivational way! This must be done in a strategic, clear-cut manner, and requires a discipline and focus on planning to lead. If one does not plan to lead, he rarely will do so effectively. Only when the plans move the group forward in a sustainable manner, will the group assure its viability and relevance.

Avoid myopic leadership, yet at the same time, be careful to avoid skipping any steps along the path to a brighter future. Effective leaders develop, articulate and communicate their love of the group’s heritage, but at the same time the need to evolve, and thus introduce their intermediate and longer-term views, and take present actions to assure they get where they want, and need to be!