Earlier this week, I had the delightful privilege of leading Negotiation Prowess workshop for women grad students at Columbia University.
It was fun, and I dare say a success!
The individual questions from attendees were specific and challenging, and I’ve been mulling on them ever since.
Which made me see that there were two key recurring themes. Allow me to explain…
1. Should you negotiate for the sake of negotiating?
No and yes.
Let’s start with no. Don’t negotiate for the sake of negotiating. Don’t negotiate because I told you to. Don’t negotiate because your friends or parents tell you to.
Which might sound bonkers to you, especially if you’ve heard me talk or have been reading this newsletter where I stress how YOU SHOULD ASK FOR MORE.
One of my favorite things in 2015 is being a member of New York Toastmasters. I became a member a year ago and have since given ten prepared speeches and competed in two speech contests. In fact, several blog posts here were originally presented as speeches at New York Toastmasters meetings. I have a lot of devotion and a strong case of the warm and fuzzies for this club.
As the year draws to an end, I’m reminded of how exactly a year ago I got fired up for 2015 after hearing a Toastmaster speech by Danielle Mercurio. Danielle is a gifted speaker and life coach who calls herself an urban gypsy. She’s into New Age, astrology and kundalini yoga.
In December 2014, as part of a prepared speech for Toastmasters, Danielle shared with us an auspicious insight from numerology.
She said 2015 promised to be a year of great abundance. This is because, in numerology, 2015 — or 2, 0, 1, 5 — add up to year number 8. Turn 8 on its side and it’s the symbol for infinity. Year number 8 signifies “achievement, a year for making great strides in business, promotion, monetary compensation, and accumulation of possessions.”
The ultimate example of a high power pose is the victory pose of athletes winning first place.
by Yohei Kamiyama (Agence SHOT) ©
Back straight, head slightly titled back, arms open wide in a V — the whole body expanded and taking up space.
In the TED talk, Cuddy whittles down the wealth of her research on nonverbal expressions into one simple actionable advice: Before a high stakes interaction, such as job interview, salary negotiation or big presentation, take two minutes privately to stand in power pose.
What is a workspace and what makes it ideal?
For the self-motivated, the workspace is an environment where you find yourself with access to a smart device and high speed internet while you have the drive, focus and creativity to make sh!t happen. Think airports, coffee shops, bathroom stalls and couches. Home and away. Wherever you go, there you are in your portable workspace, planning your work and working your plan.
Space to breathe, by the talented Melissa Maples.
As the year draws to a close, things are getting more hectic. Deadlines loom. The pressure grows. Shopping lists and to-do lists grow, the days shorter.
Earlier this evening, I walked behind a petite woman holding four shopping bags, clomping down on NYC street as she talked on the phone. She said, “yeah, so now I just need to go pick up another gift, go home, shower, change, write a few emails, then head out again.”
Lining up for negotiation role play at Bullish Conference in Miami
Nothing speaks louder than action. So take some time during this season of frenzied feasting and shopping to plan and practice your big scary ask. Take action on building your negotiation prowess. Your future self will thank you.
The role-play is designed to be applicable to a wide range of situations, so you can use it regardless of whether you’re asking for a raise at work or negotiating a saner holiday plan with your loved ones.
Maybe you’re wondering, should you even bother practicing through role-play?
Totally up to you.
But does it work?
First day of #BullCon14, I’m checking in at the Surfcomber, and the friendly hotel staff behind the reception desk points to the Bullish banner and asks, “What’s that?” So I tell him, “Oh, it’s a conference for ambitious and feminist women. And that’s the brand logo. The founder co-opted the male symbol of power and put a unicorn horn on it to represent feminist unicorns” And he says, “Wow, I mean…just the bull itself is frightening enough.”
One of the things I’m most grateful for and proud of in 2014 was successfully negotiating a return to Bullish Conference by Jennifer Dziura. Dubbed a Powerful Summit for Ambitious Women, Bullish Conference is a glorious and busy weekend spent learning and rubbing sun-kissed elbows with an impressive assortment of astute businesswomen — or gentlewomen in Get Bullish parlance — at the vividly colorful Surfcomber Hotel in Miami.
Talley Henning Brown works as Editor at Daggerwing Health. She attended Improv Your Way to Negotiation Prowess workshop and was kind to share what she learned from the experience in this excellent guest post:
Philosophies abound about how women should approach the many difficult angles of “empowerment in the workplace.” It’s 2014, so at this point, the entire female workforce has grown up in the age of “women’s studies” and every perspective that movement has birthed. What I have found in my adult life is that most of those perspectives are just a little too limited — and thus limiting.