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Applying to MBA programs takes time and money – and it may seem like getting a result of “waitlisted” is just about as bad as receiving a death sentence. That’s not always the case, and knowing the right strategy to undertake in this case may tremendously improve your chances of getting off the waitlist and into your dream school.

Tom Kania, one of our top admissions consultants and a former admissions board member for the Wharton Business School, points out some key tactics to improve your chances of successfully getting off the waitlist and accepted into your school of choice:

  1. Have an experienced second opinion to help advise and refine your application materials. This will greatly increase your chances of acceptance, and make the most of the additional time spent on your application.
  2. Maintain communication with your school of choice and make it immediately clear, following the notification of your waitlist assignment, that you are serious about your attendance in the program if accepted. IMPORTANT: You may be asked to make a deposit to hold your place in the program that is nonrefundable if you are accepted and decide not to attend. Therefore, be sure that you will absolutely ready to attend should you get accepted off the waitlist.  Also, be aware, that because you are in a holding position, if another previously accepted student declines admission, even only 1 day before commencement and you are selected off the waitlist to fill that slot, you must attend or forfeit the deposit.
  3. Decide what supporting materials you will submit to the board in hopes of getting them to select you. Tom warns that, “Applicants should be careful to censor what materials they send to their desired school. Flooding them with additional letters and notifications of small achievements can ultimately work against you, as the admissions board is already attempting to sift through application materials from thousands of students”.
  4. Make sure that you are prepared for the additional time and emotional energy that will go into the uncertainty of acceptance for the next few months. Are you willing to put yourself through this? Or, might it be better to move on and make a decision amongst the schools you were accepted to. This is a highly personal decision, but the stress and uncertainty of choosing to pursue a waitlist assignation are not to be undertaken lightly.

For more information, please read our MBA Waitlist Strategy

Posted on November 21, 2011 by Manhattan Review

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Here is part 2 of a chapter from our new book, Negotiation and Decision Making. Our Turbocharge Your Career series has seven more books planned for publication. All of the eight books will be available on Amazon.com and in Barnes and Noble stores across the US. We will also host this class online or in-person at selected locations around the world. Email us at career@manhattanreview.com for more details.

5.1.5 Solving Their Problem

When you are researching, you will have to find out ways to solve the other side’s problem as well as your own.

Those include their values and the outcomes that they are looking for. Also discover some negatives in their business past.

1. All of those bits of information require asking them open-ended questions in the negotiation process. Ask things like “how will this help you” and “tell me more about that”.

Instead of getting an answer and moving on, keep asking to make sure you fully understand. That technique will also create a positive environment and show that you want to listen to their problems and needs.

2. In real life, often times there are no absolute distributive or integrative negotiations. Rather, they are a combination with varying degrees of each type. So you may always be able to find some ways to “enlarge the pie”:

- Gather as much information as possible
- Identify items of value
- Do not become competitive or force compromise. Compromising detracts from both sides
- Focus on the desired outcome for both sides

5.1.6 Let the Other Person Win

Identify Common Issues – Increase communication by showing how you are similar to the other person. It will increase trust and build a relationship

Maintain the Relationship – When something negative comes up, associate it with the terms of the deal and not the other person.

Show how the deal helps them – Be ready to prove that your deal will help their business. Be able to show them and not just tell them.

5.1.7 How to Derive Those Numbers

Many high-ranking business professionals quantify information and develop precise formulas to determine outcomes. If the other side does this, pay attention to the rationale and the formulas they have developed. Know how the other side reached their conclusions. Their method is likely to stay fixed, but the outcomes and numbers are not necessarily going to stay the same because they are more easily changed.

Rules to follow when trying to get at the final numbers:

- Know the guidelines, the goals and who is involved with the deal
- Strive for communication – Ask questions about items you understand
- Question numbers and assumptions – do not accept everything they give you
- Establish your uniqueness – Show why your product is better than the cheaper product and how it will help the other’s bottom line and business overall
- Focus on risks and benefits – Do not threaten or put pressure on the other side, but remind them of the risks of going with a competitor tactfully and through questioning rather than direct statements

5.1.8 Achieving Results

Several methods help to achieve the results you desire AND maintain or improve your relationship with the other party.

Find Objective Methods of Determining the Benefits of Solutions.
This will allow both parties to trust and value the terms to be agreed upon.

Concentrate on What You Want to Achieve, Not Where You Stand on an Issue.
This is a means of opening your mind to other options and modes of achievement. These would be less likely to automatically preclude the success of the other party.

Focus on Issues, Not Personality.
Avoid personal attacks. Your interest is in improving a relationship and achieving your desired results, not frustrating or offending the other party.

Posted on April 15, 2008 by Manhattan Review

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During a normal business day, we have countless verbal interactions that we take for granted. But the simplest communication should not be overlooked. The language you incorporate in your business relationships can have a tremendous impact on your success. Well-handled verbal responses strenghten your visibility in the workplace and showcase your upper-management potential. Someone with a high verbal IQ speaks effectively with fluency and flexibility. Having control of your words, using accurate language, and delivering your speeches with confidence all contribute to an overall strong verbal IQ.

Here are a few tips on projecting a positive verbal IQ:

1.) Anticipate what is most likely to happen in your encounters with people and prepare possible scenarios.

2.) Avoid talking too much.

3.) Concentrate on solutions rather than on problems.

4.) Be honest and sincere.

5.) Think before you react.How you phrase your words is a crucial aspect of business relationships. Therefore, take the time to carefully craft your language.

Posted on December 11, 2007 by Manhattan Review

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