Ji Eun (Jamie) Lee

Professional Speaker & Negotiation Trainer

Category: Negotiation Confidence (page 2 of 2)

Winter Ambition: Reading List for Ballsy People

Fall is here, meaning winter is just around the corner. Which kills me, every year. The cold weather and shorter days trigger a response in my body that turns me into a stiff, chronically fatigued and antisocial grouch. I hate it. Every winter I battle the impulse to give in and stay in, bundle myself in defeat and down, eat an endless supply of sweet pastries and mope like sorry old Rudolph before that fateful foggy Christmas Eve.

Winter sucks, but it doesn’t have to drain your ambition, focus and drive. We can overcome.

For the ballsy people reading this, I have some book recommendations to help you overcome your inner winter mope. I read them this summer, and they helped me lift out of anxiety and depression, become more present and grateful, and improve my negotiating skills.

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman

bedwetter

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Contentious Tactics in the Workplace: Shaming, Threats, Logic and Ingratiation

contentious_kids

It was at the tail end of another long, hard day in the office that I received an unexpected call from head office in South Korea.

I picked up the phone and heard an angry male voice speaking in Korean.

“I’m fed up with your sloppy work. Why can’t you get your act together! You should be ashamed of yourself!”

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How to Ask for More at Work

Three years ago, I had some friends over for a casual get together on a summer evening. There were introductions, the usual small talk, wine, and snacks. The conversation turned to work.

A friend complained, “I’m totally getting burned out at work. And I know I’m getting underpaid, but I don’t know what I should do. Should I look for another job? Ugh, a job hunt feels so daunting, like so much extra work.”

To this, another friend, a really smart and ambitious woman I looked up to, made a comment that lit a light bulb in my head.

She said it rather nonchalantly. She said, “You know, you could ask for more. If you’re good, there’s always room in the budget. You can always ask for more. But you gotta ask well.”

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Going Stag, Taking Shots and Asking with Confidence

Yours truly at the first Get Bullish conference, looking like I'm asking, "Will you be my prom date?"

Yours truly at the first Get Bullish conference, looking like I’m asking, “Will you be my prom date?”

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I was a nerd in high school. Senior year, I edited the high school newspaper, and was about 20 pounds overweight. I wore glasses, of course, and liked to dress in baggy pants and t-shirts. I had few friends. Undaunted by my lack of popularity, I asked five boys to be my prom date. They all turned me down.

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Negotiation Prowess at Inaugural Get Bullish Conference in Miami

I woke up this morning dreaming of palm trees and a Miami sunrise along my jogging path. Had I dreamed it all?

Nope.

This weekend I spent a delightful 24 hours in Miami, where I led the seventh iteration of Hands-on Workshop for Negotiation Prowess at the inaugural Get Bullish Conference, produced by the impressive Jennifer Dziura. #BullCon blogger Emily Brown covered the event here.

Here’s a short video of yours truly, explaining what Negotiation Prowess means.

When we hear the word negotiation, the most common knee-jerk reaction is to think of money. And money is a sensitive issue, because we associate it with personal worth. Every time I speak on the topic of negotiation, I try to widen the scope of thinking around negotiation. In reality, we negotiate nearly every facet of our lives. Every day, we set and reset boundaries by negotiating conflicting desires and interests that we encounter in ourselves as well as in other people.

On the flight to Miami on Friday, I was reading “A is for A$$hole: The Grownup’s ABCs of Conflict Resolution” by one of my negotiation mentors, Victoria Pynchon. She defines negotiation as a

resolution of a problem by way of communication, and communication is not simply the language of words, but also of feelings, hunches and intuition…[and the] constant enemy of clear communication is fear.

I bookmarked this page, because it encapsulates the heart of my message in Negotiation Prowess. The message being, of course, that we need not let fear talk us out of taking action on asking for the things we desire.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 3.45.25 PM

Fear blinds us into thinking we are more limited than we actually are. The intent of mock-negotiation sessions in Negotiation Prowess is to overcome fear through action, by practicing the ask in a safe space and being open to feedback for improvements. At #BullCon yesterday, the attendees and I had the great pleasure of engaging in mock negotiations at the pool-side cabanas of the Surfcomber Hotel. Not a bad way to grow the negotiation muscle.

miami113013-group

The caliber of attendees really impressed me. They hailed from all over the country and from careers in academia, international development, technology, and media. They are future leaders, founders and CEOs, who are serious about growing their negotiation skills.

At mock-negotiation session, I partnered up with a woman who initially thought she had very little bargaining power and was unsure how she could articulate her value to a prospective employer. But once we dug deep for her value, she found she had a lot to offer and great negotiation skills to boot.

“I’ve worked ten years in this field, starting from the very bottom and I’ve done just about everything at the company,” she said. “I know the median salary is X, and I would like to ask for the top end of the range, but I don’t know how to ask for that.” So I probed her a bit further, to see if she could back her value proposition with specific details, facts, and figures. “My role in account management is very hard to quantify,” she said.

So I asked her to tell me a story in which she played a crucial role in saving an account. She realized she had a great story to tell, of how she once saved one of the most widely recognized luxury brands from leaving the agency. She accomplished this through her calm demeanor and relationship management skills. She realized she could articulate her value by qualifying her skills, tying them to a specific benefit her employer received from them (i.e. saving a huge global account), and projecting confidence.

In the beginning of our session, she thought she couldn’t negotiate for herself. Once we got into the mock negotiation, however, she surprised both of us with how well she actually did. After countering my initial offer, she leaned back into her seat and calmly said, “well, I appreciate the offer. I’d like to think this overnight.” To which she later added, “Tell me about the company’s employee benefit program. Is there room for improvement in my vacation package?” From the perspective of a hiring manager eager to fill a position, the first statement creates a sense of urgency, and the second statement brings to the negotiation table non-monetary compensation.

I’m deeply grateful for many who made the Miami workshop possible. I’m really grateful to Carol Frohlinger, another great negotiation mentor who connected me to Jen Dziura. I’m grateful to Gwen Taylor, my collaborator and mentor who gave me the encouragement I needed to say yes to this wonderful opportunity.

2013 Fall update

Starting this month, I now work as Director of Business Operations at TreSensa, NYC-based mobile tech startup that leverages HTML5 to distribute game content across various platforms. TreSensa has been a consistent and generous venue sponsor for several of my equity classes and negotiation workshops in the past. It also happens to be where my life partner Charles Parra works as a SVP of Product. We are blessed in that we don’t mind spending about 23 hours out of 24 hours in a day within 10 feet of each other. I first started doing contract work for TreSensa back in May, translating games into Japanese. Over time, the scope of my work eventually increased to financial management, administration, and now content distribution. I went from working part-time to full-time. I feel very fortunate in that I’m able to use the full range of my skills — linguistic, analytical, and operational — in this new position.

I continue to hold workshops and speak on the topic of workplace negotiation for professional women. Two weeks ago, Hands-on Workshop for Negotiation Prowess, a follow-up to August’s workshop was held at Sapient Nitro. It was a great event featuring guest speakers Heather John, attorney at Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt, Kim Baird, IT recruiter with Connections of New York, and Kim Rudolph, recruiter with Google.

Kim Baird, Kim Rudolph, Heather John, and Ji Eun (Jamie) Lee at 10/16/13 Workshop

Kim Baird, Kim Rudolph, Heather John, and Jamie at 10/16/13 Workshop

My goal for the workshops is to create community learning experiences, where knowledge is shared and skills developed through interaction among professional women.

It takes bravery to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. And courage to negotiate, or even mock-negotiate, for yourself. At this workshop, the attendees impressed me with their bravery, courage, and action.

Audience engaging in mock-negotiation 10/16/13 workshop.

Audience engaging in mock-negotiation 10/16/13 workshop. Yes, men are welcome, too!

I have a number of speaking engagements coming up. Next week, I’m leading the inaugural Athena Leadership Lab workshop on negotiation at Barnard College. The following week is a webinar on workplace negotiation for the Smith College Alumnae Association. Later in November, I’m leading another hands-on workshop for GetBullish conference in Miami.

Blessed with the abundance of work.

On believing and asking.

To negotiate is to set, reset and push boundaries, to see yourself in control of your situations, and to act in good faith.

Faith starts from within.

Speaking of which, I’ll let you in on a secret.

I pray sometimes as I walk, to no god in particular, but to myself.

I pray,
Please help me be persistent and disciplined.
Please help me create, do, and serve.
Please help me see that the answers are within me.

I pray for the strength to counter the voice of doubt and judgment with intuition and compassion. To continue to push boundaries when the next step forward seems to fall in the dark, only to land in the light.

With my negotiation coaching, I walk the tension between self-actualization and material achievement. The former follows the latter. To ask is to take initiative; to be rewarded is its positive outcome.

What binds the two is confidence, the belief and trust that one can do. What underlies belief and trust is faith.

So I try to build faith by praying.

I’ve been praying because I’ve been doing things outside my comfort zone. I’ll keep praying as I push forward the boundaries of what I do.

See, back in April, Coach Jennie of Audacity Rules asked me to be bold, within an hour of meeting me. She asked me to present a webinar on negotiation for the Hungry Entrepreneurs, a group of moxilicious doers and makers.

The first flash of thought when she asked me was, “but I’m not qualified.” The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee reared its ugly head. The second flash of thought was to squelch doubt and accept this juicy challenge, my first webinar.

Last month, I gave another webinar for the Daily Muse readers on the topic of negotiating a raise at work.

Can I just tell you I was a nervous, anxious wreck in the days leading up to the event? To have this webinar advertised to the entire Daily Muse readership (a subscriber base of about 30,000 as of July 2013) felt like coming out for me – as a negotiation coach, as someone with an unconventional approach, and another upstart.

I came face-to-face with my impostor syndrome, the irrational fear of being found out a fake fortified with webinar anxiety. Which is ironic because the first thing I tell anyone when it comes to negotiating is to not be afraid.

I have to walk the talk. So I mustered my faith, went for a long run, and trusted that I would deliver.

In the end, both webinars went really well, allowing me to reach more than hundred young professionals with my message (and potentially more as the recordings live on).

This is just the beginning. I want to be bolder and reach bigger audiences. Plus I missed the live, face-to-face interaction that a workshop allows.

This coming Tuesday, I’m taking the message live in a hands-on workshop geared towards freelancers, solopreneurs, self-starters who work for themselves. I’ll be trying some new methods and challenging attendees to communicate their value.

Let’s dream big and ask boldly.

Confronting life

First.

I’m stealing from a monk.

I read this New Yorker profile on Ittetsu Nemoto, a Zen Buddhist monk who works with suicidal people in Japan. He is a life coach, in the ultimate and literal sense. His workshops are near-life experiences for those who want to die.

I read the article twice, second time underlining segments that really moved and resonated with me. I underlined and circled this:

Nemoto believes in confronting death; he believes in cultivating a concentrated awareness of the functioning and fragility of the body; and he believes in suffering, because it shows you who you really are.

He believes that suffering produces insight.

He also believes that helping people should be like eating, something you just do every day: routine, essential, and beneficial.

He helps people confront the fear of living.

Fear is a great motivator. When we’re afraid of losing something, we work hard to keep it. A job, a relationship, an apartment, a precious stone. Sometimes fear motivates us to act.

But sometimes fear holds us back. It keeps us from speaking up, being bold, going for the things we want. This is the fear I want to see people overcome.

The message is simple. Don’t be afraid.

Sometimes the fear in our heads is an echo of an irrelevant past. I want to help people focus, get past the fear, and act for the present and beyond.

Second.

I’m learning more and more that it’s not about money. Yes, I’m talking about negotiation. It’s about value. If you are good at what you do, the tremendous value you bring to the table will speak for itself.

I live in an expensive city with chaotic streets full of busy people. When you live here, it’s easy to confuse money with value and success.

I believe you have to dig deeper to understand each person’s success. Just as everyone has their own journeys and frustrations, they have their unique definitions of success.

The freedom I relish is extremely valuable to me. It affords me the opportunity to be a student again and to aspire for a different kind of success.

And today I am blessed by the abundance of ideas, of words, and of confessions.

Third

I was wrong.

I thought this stump of a formerly thriving money tree was dead. Last winter, it had grown too big for our bedroom, so C chopped it down to its trunks.

Two weeks ago, I noticed it was sprouting green leaves.

This was taken last weekend.

This was taken last weekend.

To be honest, seeing this kinda spooked me. It’s like the living dead, a zombie. Blind to its shortcomings, unstoppable in its quest for water and light.

But I had to respect its incredible will to live. So we started watering it again.

This was taken this morning.

This was taken this morning.

Flourishing and thriving, on its path back to gloriously beautiful.

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