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Negotiating Skills: Lifelong Impact

Association Forum
Tuft President Jill Christie participating in the panel, Fine Tuning Your Negotiating Skills, at the Women’s Executive Forum, March 7, hosted by Association Forum.

The Forum brought together current and future women leaders in the association and nonprofit communities to establish connections and engage in discussions about unique issues facing women in the industry. During the event, Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, DMD, executive director of the American Dental Association, was recognized with the Woman of Influence Award 2019.

In her remarks, Christie said: When women are effective at negotiating “they are significantly more likely to feel empowered and successful in management roles.” She said: “Negotiations go beyond salary. Good negotiating skills are critical to navigating your career path, helping your team/organization grow, managing your workload, and much more,” said Christie.

Christie stressed that negotiation skills can be learned and practiced for better results. Critical steps to effective negotiating include:

  1. Do your homework: Come to the conversation prepared. Keep in mind negotiations can be unpredictable. But having a solid understanding of what’s at stake and where each side is coming from will help you think on your feet.
  2. Be mentally prepared. Quiet your inner critic. If you do your homework, you’ll boost your confidence. Also, remain calm and professional; don’t show anger, annoyance, etc.
  3. Do active listening. Get inside the heads and hearts of the people you’re negotiating with. Understand what’s important to them and you can do a better job of understanding where the negotiating point is.
  4. Know when a course change is needed. Re-frame the discussion. Step away from a sticking point, move in a different direction and then come back to it. Or, postpone and revisit the discussion at another time.
  5. Know when to walk away. Always know your walk-away terms. But remember that in any long-term relationship (business partner or co-worker), everybody has to feel they’ve gotten something out of it.

Joining Christie on the panel were Jennifer Scott, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and moderator Karen Horting, CAE, Executive Director & CEO of SWE.