• Women 2.0 HowTo Conference San Francisco, September 30 - October 1, 2014

A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating (Tips & Tricks)

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By Melissa Fudor (Program Manager, Women in Wireless)

The Women in Wireless Educational Series officially launched last Thursday with a workshop on negotiation skills, taught by Professor Lee Miller (author of “A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating”) in New York City. The workshops aim to teach professional women valuable skills that are essential for career advancement and feature special guest speakers who are experts on subjects like negotiating, public speaking, and sales tactics.

Professor Lee Miller began his talk with this little visualization exercise:

Imagine two people in a room negotiating, are these people sitting across from each other or beside each other? How about if they are influencing each other?

The key, Miller explained, is to be on the same side of the table during negotiations (either physically or figuratively) to actively influence the other’s decisions. Its not necessarily what you do per-say that is important but the perception of what you’re doing.

If your counterpart perceives you as a competitor who is trying to get something that they do not wish to give you, that’s negotiating.

But if they perceive you as being on the same side of the table as they are, working with them to achieve common goals to both get what you want, that’s influencing their decisions and will lead to a more positive outcome.

Five Useful Negotiation Tips:

  1. Never start where you want to end up. People need to feel that they are in a process and are heard in negotiations, going into a meeting and demanding what you want will make your counterpart feel threatened and bullied.
  2. Have a goal. Set a scale with the best possible outcome and also know when to walk away. This will keep you from being caught off guard and settling on an agreement you are not happy about.
  3. Find out what your counterpart needs and cares about and be prepared to accept it in a non-judgmental way. When people don’t see things our way our initial instinct is to convince them out of it. Take time to brainstorm ways you can accommodate their requests to leave them feeling valued.
  4. Create an aura of authority. Use your title, credentials, appearance, etc to prove you are a legitimate player in negotiations. Speak slowly and confidently.
  5. Never, under any circumstances, let anyone see you cry.

More useful negotiation tactics can be should in Professor Lee Miller’s book A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating co-written with his daughter Jessica Miller.

The Women in Wireless team wants to thank Lee for his incredible workshop and to all the women who participated! Join our mailing list here to find out when our next class will be.

This post was originally posted at Women in Wireless. Photo credit: Melissa Fudor.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Melissa Fudor is currently Program Manager and Blogger for Women in Wireless in New York City. After a year teaching English in Prague, Melissa assisted with the 9Health Fair as an Event Coordinator in Colorado, and also worked with the Communications team at the Greenbelt Foundation in Toronto. She holds a BA in History from York University in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter at @melissafudor.