Empathy helps you understand what a prospective donor is feeling. 

Perspective helps you understand why they are feeling it.

Empathy keeps relationships on track.

Empathy helps you remember that your supporter lives on the west coast while you are on Eastern time. Thanks to your empathy you’ll avoid calling her when you first get to the office at 8 am (5 am for her). In that case empathy is a very good thing to have.

Perspective is more intellectual.

Perspective-taking is exclusively the process of taking an alternate point-of-view. With perspective you can understand your supporters’ viewpoints, needs, desires, goals and aspirations. If the need is urgent and you know that the supporter has been waiting for an opportunity to fund (for example) an airlift to rescue dozens of refugees in a far off land, then you will call and awaken her at 5 am. Your perspective assures you that the donor will be happy you did.

However, the perspective-taking process does not necessarily lead to feelings of empathy.

Debit Note Vs Credit Note

Purchasing and Selling of goods are very common in day to day life, and in the same way, returns of goods are also a very usual thing nowadays. Debit Note and Credit Note are used while the return of goods is made between two businesses.

Debit Note is issued by the purchaser, at the time of returning the goods to the vendor, and the vendor issues a Credit Note to inform that the returned goods have been received by him. People are quite puzzled when they are asked to distinguish the two terms. So, here in this article we are going to explain you the differences between a Debit Note and Credit Note.


Debit Note

It is a note issued by the vendor making the supply in the case where the consideration for the supply is increased after an invoice has already been issued. This can be the result of, amongst others; the reduced rate of VAT being used instead of a standard rate of tax (14%), a wrongly reduced quantity of goods is invoiced etc.

The debit note should contain the following information:

  • the words ‘debit note’ in a prominent place;
  • the commercial name, postal address, physical address, Taxpayer Identity Number of the vendor making the supply;
  • the commercial name, postal address, physical address, Taxpayer Identification Number of the vendor receiving the supply;
  • the date of issue of the debit note;
  • a brief explanation of the circumstances which gave rise to the issue of the debit note;
  • sufficient information to identify the taxable supply to which the debit note relates;
  • the taxable value of the supply shown on the VAT invoice, the correct taxable value, the difference between the two amounts and the VAT relating to the difference (that is, the VAT overcharged).

Credit Note

It is a note issued by the vendor making the supply in the case where the consideration for the supply is reduced after an invoice has already been issued. This can be the result of, amongst others, cancellation of the supply, a discount offer etc.

The credit note should contain the following information:

  • the words ‘credit note’ in a prominent place;
  • the commercial name, postal address, physical address, Taxpayer Identity Number of the vendor making the supply;
  • the commercial name, postal address, physical address, Taxpayer Identification Number of the vendor receiving the supply;
  • the date of issue of the credit note;
  • a brief explanation of the circumstances which gave rise to the issue of the credit note;
  • sufficient information to identify the taxable supply to which the credit note relates;
  • the taxable value of the supply shown on the VAT invoice, the correct taxable value, the difference between the two amounts and the VAT relating to the difference (that is, the VAT overcharged)

We all want it both ways: to get what we want from a tough negotiation and to walk away with our relationship intact. The good news is that kind of outcome is possible. But how exactly do you drive a hard bargain while also employing soft skills? How do you advocate for what you want without burning important bridges?

What the Experts Say?
A negotiation is “a courtship, a dance,” says Michael Wheeler, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World. “But you don’t have to compromise and settle for less in order to maintain good relations.” Jeff Weiss, a partner at Vantage Partners, a Boston-based consultancy specializing in corporate negotiations and relationship management, and author of the HBR Guide to Negotiating, agrees. People think they either have to be nice in order to spare hard feelings, or overly tough in order to win, he says. But that’s “a false dichotomy and an incredibly dangerous one.” Here’s how to negotiate to produce a lasting relationship and an outcome that works for you.

Make small talk
“Don’t rush to the substance,” says Weiss. “Introduce yourself, and take a little time to get to know people, how they operate, and how they act.” This chitchat can often provide crucial information about the other side’s interests that might help you later. It also helps establish a rapport, and sometimes even trust: In a Stanford University study, students who were required to make small talk before a negotiation were significantly more likely to come to agreement than those students who weren’t. The conversation needn’t be personal, either. It could be about process — like how long the talks should take, and how the other side tries to involve stakeholders — which still gives you context that might prove useful. Making smart small talk “is where the great negotiators really shine,” says Wheeler.

Don’t try to buy love
When an important business relationship is on the line, there’s a tendency to cave to the other side’s demands in order to avoid tension or confrontation. But “money does not necessarily buy you love,” says Wheeler. Conceding on price or substance because you don’t want to upset the other party is a losing scenario, even if you think you’ve temporarily saved the relationship. “In reality, you haven’t gained anything, you didn’t build trust, and you’ve taught the other side to negotiate that way,” says Weiss. Pushing back in a professional way needn’t be seen as combative. You can “challenge people respectfully,” says Weiss.

Be creative
Try dropping the word “concession” from your thinking, because it often helps to create a confrontational and antagonistic mindset. “If you frame the negotiation as adversarial, you will ensure it becomes adversarial,” Weiss says. Instead, approach it as an act of joint problem-solving: What are the critical issues at hand, what are my interests and their interests, and what are some different possible options for satisfying those various interests? “Negotiation isn’t about conceding, it’s about being creative,” Weiss adds. That positive, innovative approach is not only far more likely to lead you to a beneficial solution, but also to a place of trust.

Stress “we” over “I”
Highlight what you have in common. Using “we” rather than “I” signals to the other side that there are areas of agreement and that you envision a future working together. “Be mindful about what draws other people out in a constructive way,” says Wheeler. And if you find the negotiation stalling over an issue, pause to sum up what you have already accomplished, advises Wheeler. “Say, ‘We have agreed on A and B. C is still provisional and D is in good shape. Now we’re having trouble with E. We’re most of the way up the mountain. It’d be a shame if this got us stuck.’”

Ask questions…and listen
Great negotiators don’t simply present their demands; they ask careful questions designed to better understand the other side’s interests. “Don’t just ask people what they want; ask why they want it, for what purpose,” Weiss advises. “Moving from the what to why gives you more grist for the collaborative mill.” Rhetorical questions are a no-no, Wheeler adds. Asking questions like ‘Don’t you think this is fair?’ simply “paints others into a corner,” he explains.

Walk in the other person’s shoes
Don’t assume that the other side’s positions are deliberate acts of provocation; they may have pressures of their own that aren’t immediately apparent. “When we have to be tough, when we can’t bend, it’s because our budget has been cut or we’ve got to hit our targets for the next quarter,” says Wheeler. But “when somebody else is tough with us, we assume it’s them. It’s who they are. We have to remember that they may be operating under constraints as well.” Preparation here can be very helpful. You may already know that the other side is under pressure because of supply-chain issues, or new leadership. Try to see the issue from their eyes.

Principles to Remember


Frame the negotiations as a problem-solving challenge.
Take the time to make small talk. It’ll build connections you can leverage later on.
Stress the areas on which you agree, and use words like “we” to signal you are invested in the relationship.


Reflexively cave on issues because you think it’ll win you favor. It’ll come back to haunt you.
Simply ask what the other side wants. Ask why they want it.
Mistake impact for intent. The other side may have their own unique pressures that restrict their ability to maneuver.

Case study #1: Pausing to inquire
Jeff Haydock was spearheading bidding negotiations on behalf of a solar energy company for a large installation project in a Massachusetts town. The winning company would not only design and install the project, but also finance it and own it for 20 years, selling power to the residents at a discounted rate. Because of the length of the contract, it was imperative that the two sides build and maintain an excellent working relationship.

The town had already rejected at least two vendors’ proposals before Haydock gave his pitch. So when preliminary talks began, he spent most of his time getting to know the stakeholders and asking them questions. “The more time you spend with a group of people, the better feel you can get for their interests, so, the first 20 minutes we spent talking about this guy’s golf game or someone’s granddaughter,” he recalls. “You finally get to that point where you feel everyone is being transparent.”

Haydock could then get honest answers to questions like: What were the hot-button issues that killed the first two negotiations? What were the residents’ primary concerns and what was their ideal outcome? “After I got a sense of what the problems and possible solutions were, I went and had a sit-down with my boss back at my office, and together we came up with a couple of creative solutions to fix these problems that the other vendors just hadn’t come up with.”

They won the contract, and Haydock, who has since launched ecoCFO, a company that provides CFO services to energy and environmental businesses, believes honesty, inquiry, and transparency were what sealed the deal. There was “no room for smoke and mirrors, or misdirection, or any of those other standard negotiation tactics that others might use,” he explains. “We all recognized that it was going to take not just any partner to get this done. It had to be the right partnership.”

Case study #2: The power of the personal
Royce Leather was entering reordering talks with a major American department store responsible for more than a million dollars of its annual revenue. But just prior to the negotiations, which involved a substantial, six-figure purchase order, the leather goods maker had to institute a price increase on many of its wholesale items, largely because of a crippling drought in Texas that dramatically increased the cost of American cowhide.

Not surprisingly, the department store pushed back strongly. William Bauer, managing director of Royce Leather, countered by explaining his position and emphasizing the companies’ long history of doing business together.

“I had to convince the other side that we were not trying to deceive or mislead them and that we were committed to their profitability,” he says. “I had to convince them we were united against a common challenge [and] take winning out of the equation.” He explained the current pressures on Royce’s supply chain, and noted that, while the company had protected its partner from earlier price increases in raw materials, it simply couldn’t this time.

To drive home the importance of preserving this lasting business relationship, Bauer brought along his father, a company founder who had first established relations with the store more than 40 years earlier. “His presence in the room reminded them that we’re a family business,” Bauer says, “and reaffirmed our dedication to their long-term business.”

The store agreed to the reorder at the new price, and the two companies continue to do business today.

Excellent way to conclude the article with two most relevant negotiation styles, in two diverse business domains. The commonness of the market though, the USofA, has limited the scope of the negotiation repertoire. As one who has spent over three decades in purchasing and negotiation, in Europe, America and Asia, I could not agree more with Carolyn.
Purchasing is made into a risk aversion game by the participants’ involved in any negotiation. It is usual that individually entrenched position is taken by both the parties much before the negotiation process begins, and with the objective of maximizing individual benefit. It is quite common for either of the parties to succumb to this pressure, purchaser agrees to a higher price because the lower cost vendor will not agree to the offered payment term, or, the seller agreeing to a unviable price simply because it fills in unsold production capacity. These trade offs collectively deviate from the core purpose of business – sustenance.
In India where I work and live, negotiation is a fiercely competitive act. Deep price discounts may appear cut throat to the untrained eye, but it is more of a rule than an exception. The resultant high cost of supply chain is common knowledge. Large Indian corporations are wary of the shortcomings inflicted by such sharp prctice and are opting for vendor partnership stitched together by principles of Value in Use (ViU), defined by cost of product lifecycle ownership, including service offerings. In retail, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is helping manufacturers to arrive at a pricing model that customers are ready to pay and sustain the sellers’ business. In large engineering and project management organizations, the owner – supplier relationship is getting cemented on the basis of balance struck around the concept of cost of ownership.
The outcome of such strategic shift in negotiation is encouraging considering that logistics costs are coming down while product life cycle of goods and services are showing significant gains on most crucial operational parameters.


Power is the ability to influence the behavior of others with or without resistance by using variety of tactics to push or prompt action. There are six sources of power – legitimate power, referent power, expert power, reward power, coercive power, informational power and power tactics (behavioural, rational and structural tactics).

Your boss proposes a new initiative you think won’t work. Your senior colleague outlines a project timeline you think is unrealistic. What do you say when you disagree with someone who has more power than you do? How do you decide whether it’s worth speaking up? And if you do, what exactly should you say?

What the Experts Say?
It’s a natural human reaction to shy away from disagreeing with a superior. “Our bodies specialize in survival, so we have a natural bias to avoid situations that might harm us,” says Joseph Grenny, the coauthor of Crucial Conversations and the cofounder of VitalSmarts, a corporate training company. “The heart of the anxiety is that there will be negative implications,” adds Holly Weeks, the author of Failure to Communicate. We immediately think, “He’s not going to like me,” “She’s going to think I’m a pain,” or maybe even “I’ll get fired.” Although “it’s just plain easier to agree,” Weeks says that’s not always the right thing to do. Here’s how to disagree with someone more powerful than you.

Be realistic about the risks
Most people tend to overplay the risks involved in speaking up. “Our natural bias is to start by imagining all the things that will go horribly wrong,” Grenny says. Yes, your counterpart might be surprised and a little upset at first. But chances are you’re not going to get fired or make a lifelong enemy. He suggests you first consider “the risks of not speaking up” — perhaps the project will be derailed or you’ll lose the team’s trust — then realistically weigh those against the potential consequences of taking action.

Decide whether to wait
After this risk assessment, you may decide it’s best to hold off on voicing your opinion. Maybe “you haven’t finished thinking the problem through, the whole discussion was a surprise to you, or you want to get a clearer sense of what the group thinks,” says Weeks. “If you think other people are going to disagree too, you might want to gather your army first. People can contribute experience or information to your thinking — all the things that would make the disagreement stronger or more valid.” It’s also a good idea to delay the conversation if you’re in a meeting or other public space. Discussing the issue in private will make the powerful person feel less threatened.

Identify a shared goal
Before you share your thoughts, think about what the powerful person cares about — it may be “the credibility of their team or getting a project done on time,” says Grenny. You’re more likely to be heard if you can connect your disagreement to a “higher purpose.” When you do speak up, don’t assume the link will be clear. You’ll want to state it overtly, contextualizing your statements so that you’re seen not as a disagreeable underling but as a colleague who’s trying to advance a shared goal. The discussion will then become “more like a chess game than a boxing match,” says Weeks.

Ask permission to disagree
This step may sound overly deferential, but, according to Grenny, it’s a smart way to give the powerful person “psychological safety” and control. You can say something like, “I know we seem to be moving toward a first-quarter commitment here. I have reasons to think that won’t work. I’d like to lay out my reasoning. Would that be OK?” This gives the person a choice, “allowing them to verbally opt in,” says Grenny. And, assuming they say yes, it will make you feel more confident about voicing your disagreement.

Stay calm
You might feel your heart racing or your face turning red, but do whatever you can to remain neutral in both your words and actions. When your body language communicates reluctance or anxiety, it undercuts the message, Weeks says. It sends “a mixed message, and your counterpart gets to choose what to read,” she explains. Deep breaths can help, as can speaking more slowly and deliberately. “When we feel panicky we tend to talk louder and faster. You don’t want to be mousey or talk in a whisper, but simply slowing the pace and talking in an even tone helps calm the other person down and does the same for you,” says Grenny. It also makes you seem confident, even if you aren’t.

Validate the original point
After you’ve gotten permission, articulate the other person’s point of view. What is the idea, opinion, or proposal that you’re disagreeing with? Stating that clearly, possibly even better than your counterpart did, lays a strong foundation for the discussion. “You want your counterpart to say, ‘She understands.’ You don’t want to get in a fight about whether you get her point,” Weeks explains.

Don’t make judgments
When you move on to expressing your concerns, watch your language carefully. Grenny says to avoid any “judgment words” such as “short-sighted,” “foolish,” or “hasty” that might set off your counterpart; one of his tips is to cut out all adjectives, since “they have the potential to be misinterpreted or taken personally.” Share only facts. For example, instead of saying, “I think that first-quarter deadline is naïve,” you can say, “We’ve tried four projects like this in the past, and we were able to do two in a similar time period, but those were special circumstances.” Weeks also recommends staying neutral and focused: “Lay off the players and be vivid about the problem. Try to make it an honest disagreement, a worthwhile advancement of thought.”

Stay humble
Emphasize that you’re offering your opinion, not “gospel truth,” says Grenny. “It may be a well-informed, well-researched opinion, but it’s still an opinion, [so] talk tentatively and slightly understate your confidence.” Instead of saying something like, “If we set an end-of-quarter deadline, we’ll never make it,” say, “This is just my opinion, but I don’t see how we will make that deadline.” Weeks suggests adding a lot of “guiding phrases” like “I’m thinking aloud here.” This will leave room for dialogue. Having asserted your position (as a position, not as a fact), “demonstrate equal curiosity about other views,” says Grenny. Remind the person that this is your point of view, and then invite critique. Weeks suggests trying something like, “Tell me where I’m wrong with this.” Be genuinely open to hearing other opinions.

Acknowledge their authority
Ultimately, the person in power is probably going to make the final decision, so acknowledge that. You might say, “I know you’ll make the call here. This is up to you.” That will not only show that you know your place but also remind them that they have choices, Grenny says. Don’t backtrack on your opinion or give false praise, though. “You want to show respect to the person while maintaining your own self-respect,” says Weeks.

Principles to Remember


Explain that you have a different opinion and ask if you can voice it.
Restate the original point of view or decision so it’s clear you understand it.
Speak slowly — talking in an even tone calms you and the other person down.


Assume that disagreeing is going to damage your relationship or career — the consequences are often less dramatic than we think.
State your opinions as facts; simply express your point of view and be open to dialogue.
Use judgment words, such as “hasty,” “foolish,” or “wrong,” that might upset or incite your counterpart.
Case Study #1: Show respect for the idea
Victor Chiu, a business development manager at Centaria Properties, in Vancouver, was concerned that his boss, Patrick, was making a hasty decision. Weak Canadian oil prices had created favorable economic conditions for snatching up real estate, and there was a small plot of land with an operations warehouse in Alberta that Patrick thought the company should buy. At the time, Victor says, “Alberta’s economy was just starting to feel the pinch. Oil was at $45 a barrel and was still on its way down — without any signs of stabilization.” He was worried that the company would be overextended if it made the purchase, so he decided to speak up.

Victor looked his boss in the eye, spoke in a “smooth, casual tone,” and asked Patrick to keep an open mind about the proposal. He said, “I think it’s a great idea, but with oil just starting to slide and with no bottoming out in sight, bigger and better opportunities should present themselves in the near future.” He knew it was important to show respect for Patrick and his idea and to emphasize that he wanted the best for the company. He also made sure to propose a solution: “Let’s wait a bit to see if we can get a better deal, and then pull the trigger.”

“When you disagree with someone more powerful than you, you should always have a constructive reason to oppose. In my case, the reason was timing,” Victor says. Patrick didn’t take offense and was curious to hear more about Victor’s reasoning. Ultimately, they decided to hold off on making the investment.

Case Study #2: Make it about the company, not you
Mike McRitchie, owner of the consultancy Critical Path Action, has had reason to disagree with people more powerful than he on several occasions.

In a previous job, as the director of operations for a small consulting business, he disagreed with how his boss, the owner of the company, wanted to handle a health insurance decision. The boss wanted to survey the staff about two different options, letting them make the final choice on which one to adopt. But “as leaders, this was a decision I felt we should be making rather than delegating it to the whole staff,” Mike explains. “I’m all for getting feedback, but when it comes time to make a tough call, it isn’t fair to put that responsibility on the staff’s shoulders.”

Mike decided to share his opinion, emphasizing his commitment to the firm and making sure that his body language was not “at all unsure or tentative.” His boss was shocked at first; Mike had a reputation for being reserved, so open disagreement was “out of character” for him. But his boss could see that “I cared for the company and our leaders and staff,” Mike says. “I had no personal agenda.”

The boss agreed to abandon the staff poll idea, and “he’s respected me to this day,” Mike adds. “If you make it about the company’s best interests, instead of about you, then you have the best opportunity to win.”

The following is a snippet from Wikipedia.

5 Whys is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.[1] The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?” Each question forms the basis of the next question. The “5” in the name derives from an empirical observation on the number of iterations typically required to resolve the problem.

The technique was formally developed by Sakichi Toyoda and was used within the Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies. In other companies, it appears in other forms. Under Ricardo Semler, Semco practices “three whys” and broadens the practice to cover goal setting and decision making.[2]

Not all problems have a single root cause. If one wishes to uncover multiple root causes, the method must be repeated asking a different sequence of questions each time.

The method provides no hard and fast rules about what lines of questions to explore, or how long to continue the search for additional root causes. Thus, even when the method is closely followed, the outcome still depends upon the knowledge and persistence of the people involved.

The answer to the last why has to be a process and not a person. A key phrase to keep in mind in any 5 Why exercise is “people do not fail, processes do”.

At the core, profit is earnings minus expenses. However, we want to bifurcate and come up with various variations of profit to understand the business better. Therefore, at the first level, we have gross profit.

Gross Profit is nothing but ‘Sales – COGS’

This shows how much profit are we earning without considering our expenses and only considering the cost of the product that we are selling.

Next comes the Net Profit.  Net Profit is ‘Gross Profit – Total Expenses’. The expenses include all the direct and indirect expenses incurred to achieve that sales.

However, some of these expenses might be operational related and some of the expenses may be stuff like taxes. Therefore, we sub-divide it again to understand it better. S, we first subtract all the operating expenses and call it as operating profit. Later, we subtract the rest of the expenses and call it as Net Profit or Bottom Line. This is what is going into the bank.


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