Todayís show is about negotiation and what are specific ways women can learn to improve their negotiation skills. Women still lag behind men in compensation across most industries. There are many contributing factors to this, but at the heart of the matter is women are not confident in their negotiation skills, and hold back promoting themselves and in negotiating for themselves, whether itís for a new position, a raise, or pricing and selling their services.
Joining me today is Victoria Pynchon, an expert on negotiation. Victoria Pynchon is an author, attorney mediator and arbitrator, and co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training. She is a frequent speaker at conferences for women professionals, executives, managers and entrepreneurs. Before co-founding She Negotiates, she had been training lawyers to negotiate since leaving legal practice in 2004 to pursue a second career alternative dispute resolution. Among her training clients are Intel Corporation, Qwest Communications, Warner Brothers Pictures, and, SONY Pictures Entertainment, as well as multi-national law firms such as O’Melveny & Myers; Squire, Sanders & Dempsey; Greenberg Glusker; Mayer, Brown; Perkins Coie, and Bryan Cave. This past October, she led a panel discussion on women’s leadership at the South Carolina Women Lawyers’ Association annual conference featuring Gloria Steinem, Gloria Feldt, Shelby Knox and Jamia Wilson. Victoria blogs at ForbesWoman and is the “Dear Abby” of negotiation for The Daily Muse. She is the author of two books, The Grownups’ ABCs of Conflict Resolution (Reason Press, 2010) and Success as a Mediator for Dummies (Wiley, 2012). She is currently at work on a book about negotiation for women.
We negotiate for our children all the time. We want them to have the best teacher. We work with their coaches to make sure they get some game time. We have their best interests at heart.
We negotiate with our family about how and where to spend the holidays. We state our opinion and sometimes end up compromising, but there is usually some negotiation before plans are finalized.
So we CAN negotiate! We have the skills to negotiate and work out compromises for the people in our life that we care about. Why do we think that we canít negotiate well for ourselves?
When it comes to negotiating a starting salary, why donít we negotiate for the best compensation and benefits that are important for our health, well-being and life-style?
When it comes to asking for a raise or a promotion? Why are we so timid asking for what we know we deserve?
The issue is NOT that we donít have the skills to negotiate, itís that we donít utilize these skills for ourselves. Itís easier for most of us to advocate for others rather than for ourselves.
We know that men find it easier to ask for what they want and need, and the fact is that men outpace women in the workplace in terms of both compensation and promotions. It seems †likely, therefore, to assume that men are better negotiating. However, it is probably more accurate to say that itís not that they are better at negotiating, they are better at negotiating for themselves.
Think about this: what if the only thing holding you back from getting and a raise or promotion was that you didn’t ask?
And what if the reason you donít ask is because you donít feel you know how to do this well and youíre afraid youíll be shot down? †Think about how well you negotiate for others in your life. You can do this!
You will never know if you donít ask but that being said, prepare yourself before the ask.
- Do your homework. Always keep track of all your accomplishments during the year and make sure that you can articulate how these accomplishments have benefited the company. Be as specific as you can in terms of business outcomes.
- Tailor your message. Understand what is important to your boss and position your accomplishments in a way that demonstrates how you have helped him/her and your department reach their goals.
- Make sure you set up a specific meeting at an appropriate time so that you are not rushed or doing this on the fly. This should not be a casual discussion.
- Donít get emotional. Donít ask for a raise because a colleague got a raise or promotion and you feel slighted. Ask because you know you deserve it. Clearly state your accomplishments with business outcomes and your reasons for the request and stand in your own power.
- Practice with a friend or colleague until you are comfortable with asking and stating your accomplishments.
If you want to learn some specific skills on how to improve your negotiation, tune in to GPS Your Career: A Womanís Guide to Success this Wednesday at 12 noon EDT, when I talk about how women can improve their negotiation skills with my guest, Victoria Pynchon.
Most companies now recruit men and women into management in equal numbers, but almost from the first level up the gender split drops off steadily. 80% of men move up to senior executive positions, when only 20% of women do. I know that there are still cultural barriers out there and many companies still maintain the good olí boys club, especially in certain industries.
We canít control this but we can do things for ourselves that will help us to overcome these stereotypes and barriers and advance our careers and as weíll discuss today, many of these obstacles are of our own making. We can control the way others perceive us. We can learn to communicate to others what value we bring to the table in an authentic and comfortable way. We can learn to demonstrate our value, showcase our talent to create the credibility we need. We can take credit for our accomplishments and build our reputation both inside and outside the company to strength our subject matter expertise. This needs to be an intentional and strategic focus and today I will discuss some specific ways women sabotage themselves and how they can best overcome their own obstacles.
Joining me today is Mary Davis Holt. Mary is an executive coach and co-author of the book, Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking That Block Womenís Path to Power. Mary has held numerous executive positions at Time Warner and is now principle with the Flynn Heath Holt Leadership, an executive coaching firm.
A few months ago, I received a call from a woman looking for help to position herself for employment. She had been out of work for 18 months having a baby and was now ready to begin the process of finding a job. So I asked her what she did. There was a long pause and then she replied in a soft voice. “This is my problem. I can’t talk about myself at all, let alone articulate why someone should hire me.”
Wow! I thought. This was an extreme case of someone who had identified herself with her job and because she had been away from it for a while, she was lost. She was no longer connected to what she believed was her identity and value (her job).
Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our families and friends. We work long hours and our jobs consume a tremendous amount of our energy and focus. It’s understandable that we begin to “become” our jobs, and it’s a challenge to separate our identity and value from our work. That being said, we need to take the time to understand what value we bring to the job and how our value benefits the company and our clients if we want to be successful in moving our careers and businesses forward.
We are much more than our jobs. If all of you reading this had the exact same background and experience, the same position in the same company, you would still be unique and special because of the way you DO your work. Each of us brings something different to our work that defines us and sets us apart. Zeroing in on how you “deliver” the work is the first clue to identifying your unique value proposition and what differentiates you.
Charlotte Beers, former CEO of Olgivy and Mather, writes in her new book, I’d Rather Be In Charge, that it’s not about the work, but the way you deliver the work.
The way you deliver the work comes from an interior place. You know all about the exterior you; it’s right there on your resume. But your delivery is about the essence of who you become when you’re at work, your deepest, truest self sent out to play in the field of work.
Delivery means the way you get your work in front of the right people. It’s how you manage to get the work used properly and, drum roll please, ‘appreciated’.
Ask yourself this: How do you “deliver” the work? What is your contribution? This is your value and identity that will follow you to any job or any company because it’s not about the job, it’s YOU.
When you want to promote or position yourself for a job or attract new clients, remember this. Your value and how it benefits others is what people want to know about; not just what you do but how you do it.
Today we are going to hear a story that I hope will stimulate you to look inside yourself to discover what you can offer others. We are each here for a reason and we each have unique gifts to offer the world. As you listen to my guest, Jeanne Staples, today, think about what it is that you have to offer and how you can help others with your unique gifts and talent.
Jeanne Staples has spent her entire professional career working in the arts. She is a full-time, professional artist who lives and works on the island of Marthaís Vineyard in Massachusetts, and is represented by galleries in Boston, New England and beyond. You can see firsthand the beautiful work she does on her website, www.jeannestaples.com.
She is also the Founder and Director of PeaceQuilts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to relieving poverty in Haiti by establishing independent, self-managed and self-sustaining sewing cooperatives, and connecting them to international markets. This organization is best described in a book called Patience to Raise the Sun: Art Quilts from Haiti and their power to change womenís lives.
In honor of Motherís Day, I thought it would be fun to share some of these quotes I found after doing some research on Motherís Day.
I hope you enjoy them!†††††
The best advice my mother ever gave to me was: ‘Strivers achieve what dreamers believe. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Be careful what you wish for because you might get it. And, listen to me, I’ve been through it already.
Usher, singer. Mother: Jonnetta Patton
When I was young, my mother always used to quote to me First Corinthians 15:33 which, paraphrased, says bad associations spoil youthful habits. As I came to understand, what my mom was telling me was to be careful who you let into your life. That one piece of advice has saved me countless heart aches, and I’ve never forgotten it to this day.
††† Gerald Levert, singer: Mother: Martha L. Levert
My mom once told me to always believe in yourself. Even if your chances are slim, or everyone else doesn’t believe in that, people will look up to you because you’re sticking to what you believe in, and they will admire that in you. That was the best advice I ever got from my mom.
††††††††††† Lorin, 12, Pennsylvania
Be happy. For we have only one life and that too is very short.
††††††††††† Jyoti, Surat
The best advice my mother ever gave me is “Don’t let other people make the choices for you and don’t let no one push you around.
†††††††††††† Gabriela, 11, Canada
†My mom is always telling me to be independent and follow my dreams and I will live a good, happy life.
††††††††††††† Chris, 12, Alabama
†When I was young and dating men, my mom always told me to watch how my boyfriends treated their mothers. She said they would treat me the same way. I found this to be so true. I have a husband who thought the world of his mom and shows that same love to me. It’s the best advice my mom ever gave me.
†††††††††††† Mary Bentrup
What was the best advice you received from your mother?
Have a wonderful Motherís Day!††††††
Many women are juggling the stress of full time employment and family. As a mother and wife, we are always faced with challenges about spending quality time with our spouse and children and what we need to accomplish with our business or career. Itís stressful to work in a corporate environment that does not support your talent and advancement. Itís stressful to run a business and run a family and try to maintain some balance in our lives. That being said, we may not be able to control all the factors that contribute to our stress at work or at home, but what we can control is the way we react to this stress. We can, in fact, learn some simple tools and practices to help us manage our stress level so that we are happy, healthier, and productive. Today we’ll learn some simple techniques to manage our stress to improve our lives and increase our performance at work.
Iím delighted to welcome Dr. Fred Luskin to GPS Your Career. Dr. Luskin is one of the worldís leading authorities on the teaching and researching of forgiveness. He lectures throughout the United State on managing stress, developing emotional competence, and enhancing positive emotions. His work is the foundation for the Maximize Your Talent programs† which you will hear more about today. Later in the show, Dene Vitali and Collette Gambino will join us to talk about their personal experience with the Maximize Your Talent program and how it has positively impacted their personal and professional lives.
Dr. Luskin teamed up with Dr. Kenneth Pelletier at Stanford University School of Medicine to develop ten proven skills for eliminating stress, anxiety, and pain that occurs in our daily life. This partnership produced the book, Stress Free For Good, which explains in detail the simple skills we can all learn quickly to manage our stress and lead happier, healthier lives.
We live in an age of great stress. We are bombarded daily with more information than we can possibly assimilate, and we are always connected to this flow of information with our iPhone, Blackberry’s and computers. There is no end to the information that is at our finger tips 24/7. It seems there is no place to hide either. Our personal and professional lives are now publicly displayed across the Internet. The job market is tough, the economy weak, and competition for advancement has increased dramatically with more and more highly educated women in the workforce. And many of us are trying to balance our careers with a family as well.
It would seem only logical that we should strive to eliminate the stress in our lives in order to achieve more equilibrium, health, and happiness.
I thought it was interesting, therefore, to read a recent post, Stress is Not Your Enemy, by Tony Schwartz in Harvard Business Review that states that we need stress in our lives in order to reach our full potential.
Tony says, ďSubjecting yourself to stress is the only way to systematically get stronger ó physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And you’ll get weaker if you don’t.Ē
This is the ďuse it or lose itĒ mentality that maintains that if you donít exercise your mind and body ďmusclesĒ, you will atrophy and, as a consequence, will †not be able to grow and improve.
We live by the myth that stress is the enemy in our lives. The real enemy is our failure to balance stress with intermittent rest. Push the body too hard for too long ó chronic stress ó and the result will indeed be burnout and breakdown. But subject the body to insufficient stress, and it will weaken and atrophy.
Few of us push ourselves nearly hard enough to realize our potential, nor do we rest, sleep, and renew nearly as deeply or for as long as we should.
The real message here is that moving outside your comfort zone can be stressful, but it also allows you to increase your skill set to advance your career. Stretching yourself to take on new responsibilities at work, volunteering for high profile projects, speaking up in meetings and voicing your opinions when youíd rather keep silent can certainly be stressful, but if you want to get out of the trenches and move your career forward, itís important to take the leap even though it gives you some anxiety initially.
Tony Schwartzís point is that we need to do these things to grow personally and professionally but we also need to learn how to better manage our stress and know when itís right to take a break and rest. We are not going to eliminate all the stress from our lives, but we can certainly learn to control our reaction to stressful situations so that it does not derail us.
This Wednesday, May 9th, at noon EDT, Dr. Fred Luskin from Stanford University will be my guest on GPS Your Career: A Womanís Guide to Success to discuss the simple techniques we can all do to manage the effect stress has on our personal and professional lives. I hope you can join us.