Re-reading Lee E. Miller’s A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating to prepare for the Workshop this Wednesday night. I’ve met Lee two years ago at a talk he gave to the Women in Wireless group. He wrote the book with his daughter, Jessica Miller. He boasted that Jessica is the best, toughest negotiators he knows (well, of course she is!). To write the book, the father-daughter team interviewed hundreds of influential women business leaders and chronicled their negotiation success stories and strategies. It’s a great read, and I recommend it.

Here are some excerpts that resonate with me, because they capture the why of Roundtable Workshop:

You gain confidence through practice.
Like driving a car, negotiating is a skill that must be learned.
While taking lessons, you also practice driving.
Similarly, to master the art of negotiating you must not only learn how; you must also practice. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become. Remember how nervous you were the first time you drove on a highway? By now, you no longer even give it a second thought. Like driving, once you have done it enough, negotiating simply becomes second nature.

At the event, his answer to the question, “how do you project confidence when you don’t have it,” was to do what men do well: Fake it ’till you make it. The book has more useful and informative tips for projecting confidence:

Take a deep breath, exhale, and relax.
Stand or sit up straight.
Don’t fidget.
Speak slowly.
Be firm.
Moderate your tone.
Look the other person in the eye.
Demonstrate that you are in control.

I try to remember these things every day, as I have a bad habit of nervous fidgeting and worrying about things out of my control. I am reminded good things come with practice: better posture, a positive outlook, even good communication and negotiation skills. Like learning to drive or training for a marathon.


Keep Calm and Negotiate Like a Boss is from