Redefining winning: The art of negotiation

For most of us, every day is filled with a series of negotiations. Whether we are trading carpool days with another parent, buying a house or car, or negotiating a merger at work, having the confidence and the skills to advocate for oneself is the key to success. And if you look at history, negotiations among women are as old as time. From famous leaders like Queen Esther, Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to lesser known (but equally important) women in our everyday lives, the ability to promote one’s interests is an integral part of life.

According to Richard Segal, partner at Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, the most stressful negotiations usually revolve around personal relationships in one’s private life and salary in the workplace. The stress is magnified when a person is either unprepared for the negotiation, or chooses not to negotiate at all.

Further complicating negotiations, especially for women, is the perceived gender bias when it comes to the bargaining table. Whether or not there is a true unfairness, achieving one’s goals in a negotiation requires changing one’s mindset and approaching the table with a high level of confidence.

Alexia Gonzalez, founder of {My Man is Not} My Plan, believes that the art of negotiation is also a critical component in accomplishing team goals. Today, more than ever, people have to rely on others to accomplish meaningful projects. Connecting with the right players and having the skill to positively influence their actions can mean the difference between a frustrating, uphill battle and a smoothly executed project. Too often, people give up and sit out when they are unable or unwilling to use negotiating skills to seamlessly get them to their intended result.

Possessing negotiation skills is a lifelong gift. The reality is that most people prepare for only one negotiation: salary discussions. But life, both in the personal and professional spheres, is a succession of negotiations. Often, people (and especially women), lack the opportunities to learn these skills and put them to use. As a result, they lack the confidence to negotiate, creating a vicious cycle that keeps women from building the confidence they need to move forward.

With an explosive surge in entrepreneurship across the world, people need these skills more than ever. Advocating for one’s interests is crucial for people who want to grab opportunities and see real individual growth in the start-up arena. Learning negotiating skills before making the costly decision of investing in one’s dream, can be the difference between failure and success.

We all know people for whom negotiating seems to come easily. These are the people who are not afraid to voice their interests and who don’t fear rejection. But everyone has an opportunity to learn the skills that can guarantee a better outcome, from strengthening resolve, to redefining what it means to succeed. MMINMP has joined forces with key partner, Kluger Kaplan. Join the discussion and panel of experts Richard Segal, partner of Kluger Kaplan, and Jocelyn Cortez-Young, founder of Minerva Capital Group, and president and CEO of American National Bank to discuss the importance for women to advocate for themselves and discover the key to truly winning strategies.

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