Whose Is Bigger?
September 14, 2009
by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
Pre-blog content note: Thanks to all of you for voting for my SXSW panel! We're waiting to see what happens next. I'll keep you posted.
Recently, I had an email exchange with my pal, Smokie Sizemore (isn't that just the best name EVER?!?), of the Smart Woman's Club (full disclosure: I'm an honorary member and their resident social media expert) on the topic of negotiation.
One of the most impactful things I learned about negotiation was from my father, a retired union executive. He explained to me that the mark of any successful negotiation is not when one person gets EVERYTHING they want.
But rather, when both parties get their basics met (with a little extra), but they've both given up something important (not critical) to them. If you get everything that you want during a negotiation, and the other party doesn't feel as if they've won, it spells trouble for your future working relationship. And, the next time you have to "meet them at the table", they're going to be particularly hard-nosed whether the item under debate is important to them or not.
Thankfully my first business coach, Karen, taught me to identify what I truly wanted from a deal at the outset and then identify my "walk away" point. Knowing AT LEAST those two things going in has made me more willing to give on some things and made me willing to fight for what I know I need.
We often read books and articles and hear from negotiation experts who say that women don't know how to negotiate or don't negotiate effectively - and sometimes the advice they give women swings the pendulum too far and makes women believe they need to be unnecessarily "aggressive" in order to get what they want.
You know what I always say: if you don't A-S-K, you don't G-E-T; but part of the cache that women bring to the table naturally is our ability to get what we want (just try coming between a woman and her family) and give a little without feeling as if it's a statement about the strength of our womanhood.
Thanks so much for your kind words. Isn't Smokie just the BEST?
And, yes, it's ALL about the A-S-K!
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Posted by: Lena L. West | September 15, 2009 at 03:19 PM
Lena--I always love your posts and thank you for connecting me with a coaching colleague and friend I have not see in years--Smokey Sizemore!It's a small world! I just finished packing a case of The Sassy Ladies Toolkit up for the Women Entrepreneurs Group at Brown University. They bought it cause I remembered the mantra---if you don't A_S_K you don't G_E_T! Thanks Lena!
Posted by: Wendy | September 14, 2009 at 09:20 PM