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Negotiation Tips That Work for Women

Margaret-Neale-220x300Compared to men, women tend to be less successful at negotiating— especially compensation—not because we’re bad at it. But because “we simply don’t do it,” says Margaret Ann Neale, the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of Getting (More of) What You Want. “We’re socialized to want to be liked, and when we negotiate, we’re perceived as being demanding, greedy and not nice.”

Studies have shown that’s true even if women follow the exact same script that men use. “We’ve all drunk the same social Kool-Aid, so it’s women as well as men who penalize women for asking for more,” Neale notes.

But when you’re open to negotiating, you’ll see that more things in life that you consider unchangeable—at work and at home—can actually be transformed into opportunities to get more of what you want. Use your leverage and be more effective with these five tips from Neale:

#1 Reframe how you think about negotiation. “Move away from thinking of it as a battle,” Neale says, “to thinking of it as an opportunity for problem-solving.” When you expect a fight, you’ll behave in ways that ensure one. “Your body language and your responses will likely encourage a fight as you filter your counterpart’s words and interpret his or her actions through the lens of a battle,” Neale adds. But when you come to the table to help find a solution, the other person isn’t forced to take “the other side,” and together you can reach an agreement that makes you better off.

#2 Raise your expectations. After all, if you don’t think you can improve the status quo by much, you won’t be motivated to enter a discussion. “It’s always easier not to negotiate, so when it comes to pay in particular, it’s important not to underestimate your worth,” Neale adds. Also, keep in mind that salary is just one component of your compensation. More vacation days, the flexibility to work from home, specific resources—they’re all possibilities that up the ante.

#3 Prepare a package of proposals. Come with just a single issue, and there can be only one winner and one loser. “You need to take the time to put together a set of proposals of things that you really want and figure out what is reasonable, what is optimistic and what you will walk away from,” says Neale, who notes that preparation is so important that it takes up two chapters in her new book. “And then pair your asks with solutions to a concern of your counterpart.” For example, when Neale negotiated to join the Stanford faculty, she presented a list of resources—a lab, doctoral student support, administrative support, etc.—that would help her do her job well and help Stanford to stand out.

#4 Tap into your superpower. “When women are negotiating on behalf of others, they are lions,” Neale says. In fact, women do 14% to 22% better than men in mock negotiations when they are representing other people. So when you’re getting negative pushback, especially over salary, don’t think that it’s just your interests on the line. Instead, “think that you’re doing it for all the other women who will come after you—your daughters, your granddaughters, your female friends,” Neale recommends.

#5 Seize opportunities. The best time to make an ask of a superior? Possibly when your boss is having a bad hair day. Definitely hold off on asking for a promotion if he or she is just back from the hairdresser or is wearing a spiffy new suit. Neale’s research found that the more attractive a man or woman feels, the more likely they are to believe that the status quo—specifically, people’s positions—are as they should be. Spinach in your boss’s teeth? Tell her, then dust off that wishlist!


Small Attitude Changes, Big Money Impact
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Posted in Uncategorized, Speaker Articles, Communication Skills

What Would You Have Done In Ellen Pao’s Shoes?

Ellen PaoThe upside to Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins: It brought workplace sexism out into the open, making it part of the national conversation for several weeks. But even after the court ruled against Pao, women everywhere continued to talk about the subtle and not-so-subtle forms of sex discrimination that take place in the office. What’s the best way to handle them? Could Pao have stood up for herself more?

“I believe women shouldn’t have to consider whether they confront sexual discrimination; I believe they should only have to figure out the most effective way to do so,” says Norine Yukon, former CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas and current board member for the Texas Conference for Women and several health care corporations. And that, of course, depends on the circumstances and your personal style. But generally speaking, here’s what Yukon and Victoria Pynchon, a lawyer and negotiation consultant, would have done in Pao’s shoes.

You are at a meeting and a man asks you—the only woman present—to take notes.

“I’m a lousy note-taker, so I can say in all honesty that I won’t take notes in fairness to the team.”—Yukon

“I have actually had this happen with a judge, and I responded: ‘I’d love to, Judge, but I’ve found that [a man in the room] is a far better note-taker than I am.’ After suggesting someone else, you could add an explanation, ‘Whenever I’m the note-taker I find it limits my ability to fully participate in the discussion.’ The key is to be respectful—and to praise something about the male replacement.”—Pynchon

You come to an important meeting and there is no seat for you at the table, so you’ll have to sit in a back row. Everyone else at your level is at the table.

“Good communication among team members is key, and communications are better when people can see and hear each other. Also, overt physical isolation can be more than symbolic and can impact decision-making. In this case, I would take a moment to scan the room and see who is sitting where, then pull a chair up to where I want to sit, squeezing in by asking folks to kindly make way. People will usuall find a way to make room for one more.”—Yukon

“Don’t let yourself be sidelined. Why? Because it’s difficult to be heard when you are sitting behind everyone else and it’s bad for your optics. Instead, ask the administrative personnel to please bring you a chair—don’t go get it yourself. You are an Alpha Dog, act like one at least until the revolution requires different behavior of the ruling class. But do remember to say please and thank you to the office staff.”—Pynchon

At meetings, you are constantly interrupted by men, or what you say is ignored.

“It is better to speak with the individuals privately first, and then if the behavior continues, call the offender out to his leader and to the group. I have always tried to not fight fire with fire, because that just ends up burning a lot of people. But I have to admit in some cases, the only way I could stop obnoxious male behavior was by sarcastically interrupting the interrupter.”—Yukon

“I’d say, ‘Excuse me, Joe, but I hadn’t finished what I was saying.’ And when they take credit for your idea, say, ‘Great add-on to what I was saying earlier, Joe; thanks for picking up where I left off.’”—Pynchon

You hear that a business dinner with important players is planned, and only men are invited.

“I would first try not to make any assumptions about the reasons I wasn’t invited. Then I’d go to the organizer of the dinner and ask how the invite list was put together. Depending on that response, I might ask to be included, or I might decide not to make an issue of it. You have to pick your battles because you can’t win them all.”—Yukon

“Go to the man you are closest to among invitees and say, ‘Hey Bob, I understand there’s a business dinner tonight with key players. I’ve got a half dozen questions for Harry, who I’ve become pretty tight with during the [case or some project]. It must have been an oversight to leave me off the guest list. Can you adroitly get me on it?’ This lets him and the group save face and consolidates your importance to the effort without having a confrontation about why you weren’t invited.”—Pynchon

On a chartered plane during a business trip, your male colleagues start talking about female porn stars and Victoria’s Secret models.

“I have been in many situations where inappropriate conversations were started. Almost without exception, I have been able to look these guys straight in the eyes and remind them that I am in the room and that the conversation should stop. Try not to be intimidated even if one of the guys is the boss. I also recommend personally following up with individuals who are ‘leading’ the inappropriate conversations.”—Yukon

“I’d say, ‘I’d love to give you a woman’s perspective on sex workers and soft porn but I’m afraid it would make all the guys uncomfortable’—thus making all the men uncomfortable. I guarantee you that they will change the subject and a few of the more conscious players will realize that making people uncomfortable in conversation is a two-way street, not a one way back alley.”—Pynchon

One day, you are informed that you are being moved to an office that is out of the way, toward the back of the building, away from the “power corridor.”

“Unless there is a construction or remodeling project underway that is causing physical disruption, I would take this as a potentially serious sign of a decision already concluded. To me, this is not limited to females, as I have seen it happen to both men and women who are either out of favor or who have been geographically demoted due to a new employee or new corporate structure. In any case, I would have a conversation with my boss to see what I could learn, and then I’d update my resume and start contacting recruiters.”—Yukon

“Never go with any ‘flow’ that marginalizes you. Instead go to a superior who has your back. Explain how the rearrangement hurts your group—so this isn’t about your ego—then say, ‘I’m happy to talk to HR myself but thought you might want to talk to Carol before I did. What do you think?’ In all of these conversations, you speak as a colleague from a position of power, not a position of weakness. You’re saying you can handle this yourself, but that you want to give a superior the opportunity to use her muscle.”—Pynchon

At the end of the day, our experts agree that speaking up for yourself is always better than keeping quiet. “It’s good to make an effort to grease the wheels of courteous social interaction,” Pynchon says, “but when people are being damaged, diminished or dismissed and polite conversation isn’t working, please feel free to make a ruckus.”

Just make sure that in your response, you “stay authentic, stay fair and stay true to your principles,” Yukon adds.

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Micro-Workouts: The Secret of Busy, Fit Women

Sure, hour-long workouts are great if you have the time. But for the other 362 days of the year, you need to exercise more efficiently. Hello, Micro-Workouts! “The idea, backed by science, is that if you work out smarter, you don’t have to work out longer,” says Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute and creator of the original 7-minute workout that was featured in the New York Times.

Fast Track to Health

The key is interval training: alternating bursts of high intensity activity with brief recovery periods. “One minute of vigorous exercise is approximately equivalent to two minutes of moderate exercise, so you can get the same, if not greater, returns in less time,” Jordan explains.

You can shave off even more time with the right sequence of exercises. “You’ll work harder and need less recovery time with each individual exercise if those muscles get a relief when you move to the next exercise,” Jordan says. In other words, you save time by overlapping recovery periods with your active minutes.

7 Mighty Minutes

So how short can you go with your workout and still have it count? “Some exercise—even a few minutes—is always better than nothing,” Jordan says. But for a complete body workout, he found seven minutes to be the optimal minimum.

His 7-minute training plan works all the major muscle groups and involves 12 simple exercises (think jumping jacks and wall sits). You do them in 30-second bursts, alternating with 5-second transition periods. The best thing about the workout: Jordan created it with the working person in mind, so it can be done in an office or cubicle—and you don’t need any special equipment or clothes. “I’ve actually done it in a suit, but you probably don’t want to do it in a dress or skirt,” he adds.

Get the free “Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout.” (It includes more than 20 different body weight circuits for beginners to advanced exercisers.)

Beyond Calorie Burning

Microbursts are also a great way to boost energy throughout the day. “Imagine how you feel standing up and going for a walk after sitting for a while,” Jordan says. “That’s all it takes to promote blood circulation and push more glucose and oxygen around the body.”

To rev your metabolism, break up long periods of sitting with short bursts of activity such as standing and walking to the bathroom or up and down a flight of stairs. “Ideally, you want to be getting up for a couple of minutes at least every hour,” Jordan adds. Stuck in a chair during a marathon meeting? Try stretching your back and shoulders and discreetly raising your knees up and down under the table as though you’re marching. You will relieve tension—and may feel like you could hoof a real marathon.

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Exclusive Interview: DKNY PR GIRL Gets Advice-y

Alert TMZ! Aliza Licht, aka DKNY PR GIRL, has a past: The smart, funny and oh-so au currant voice on Twitter was once a science geek. “It’s true—I majored in neurobiology and physiology in preparation for medical school,” says Licht. But before she got there, she realized her true calling was for a career in fashion—and after a few years in magazines and almost 17 years at Donna Karan International, the senior vice president of global communications shares her career advice in her first book, Leave Your Mark. Here’s what she told us.


“Life isn’t a dress rehearsal—so you have to go for it. But it takes hard work and dedication and you might not always get what you think you deserve. It doesn’t matter. Handle yourself with professionalism and remember that in business, your personal brand is your greatest asset. Mind your reputation and the rest will come.”


“Never really believe you have succeeded. I am in the middle of my journey. I can always learn more and do more. People who get satisfied with their success get stagnant and ultimately get blown away by the competition. I am always looking ahead to what I can do next to grow as a person and to expand my horizons. They say in PR you are only as good as your last piece of press coverage. I think I have been trained to never rest on my laurels because of that.”


“I don’t believe in three-year plans or five-year plans. I believe in short–term goals. I believe that if you give 200% to what you’re doing right now, your next step will become apparent. There are many paths one can take and there are no wrong answers.”


“The relationships one builds at a company are the key to success. Having a boss that supports your growth is everything. Longevity is only possible when your job continuously evolves and you’re always learning.”


“It’s never too late to start over as long as you can handle the hard work and patience it takes to make a switch. It can be daunting and disappointing, not to mention costly, but if you’re really passionate about succeeding in another field, you can do it! To start, do the research on your chosen field and start educating yourself on everything you need to know. Next, canvas your network. Who do you know and who might your friends know? You will be amazed at how many connections you can come up with. Once you feel you are ready, try and set up as many exploratory interviews as you can. Assess what skills or assets you can bring to the job. How might your last experience add value to this new field? Last, be willing to start at the bottom with bells on. Your attitude is everything!”


“For me it is always about the community first and foremost. There’s a reason that it’s called social media. You have to be social! I believe in authentic engagement, in real time. I don’t use content calendars; everything I do is off the cuff. When you are speaking to people from all over the world, you have to find the common denominators so people can relate on global scale.”


“I think the DKNY Cozy is the most essential summer sweater you can own. We all know how the office air conditioning can make it feel like winter in July. With more than twelve ways to tie it, it’s the sweater you can leave on your chair and wear it a different way every day of the week!”

Aliza Licht will be leading “The Skills You Need to Build Your Career” panel at the 2015 Texas Conference for Women on October 15. Follow her on Twitter @AlizaLicht @LEAVEYOURMARKxo.

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The Four Anchors of Work-Life Balance

Mireille Guiliano, internationally best-selling author of “French Women Don’t Get Fat”

Work-life balance is one of the great challenges facing today’s women. It’s so easy to lose oneself in our fast-paced, electronically-connected world, trying to keep up in a whirlwind of multi-tasking and responsibilities, sacrificing all else to “make it.” Though relentless self-application may feel virtuous, in reality it backfires, leading to stress, poor productivity, lowered immunity, grumpiness and, yes, even weight gain.

Everyone’s situation is different and each woman needs to create the optimal work-life balance strategy for herself, but no matter the circumstances I believe you cannot achieve work-life balance and maintain a joie de vivre without these four “anchors” in your life:

1) Good health: Stress is the biggest health issue for women, and learning to reduce stress can have a big impact on your overall wellbeing (and waistline).

2) A functional social network of friends and family: You need at least a small network of people you can trust, and a wider network of people you can speak with openly and comfortably (outside of work). Just knowing you have support available is stress-reducing.

3) A solid employment situation: This means you are reasonably happy in your job and career, feel pride in the company or organization where you work, have respect for your boss and senior management and have co-workers with whom you work effectively. In turn you are treated with respect and courtesy and fairly compensated.

4) Time, space, principles and policies for yourself: This is the anchor that most frequently gets lost in the prioritization. At a minimum, it’s vital to take a daily plage de temps-a “beach of time”-that can be as little as ten minutes for some breathing, yoga, listening to music, mindless chores, whatever relaxes you and helps you feel centered again.

I always encourage women to set small, manageable goals to improve work-life balance. For two weeks, write down your stresses and work-life imbalances, then, keeping the anchors in mind, set small goals for improvement, no more than three at a time-no need to make yourself stressed about trying to reduce stress. Once you have achieved these goals, set three more, then three more and then declare victory-you’ve probably reduced your stress as much as you realistically can without drastic life changes. As the changes slowly take effect you will feel yourself becoming happier, less stressed, more productive and ultimately more balanced.


Texas Conference for Women speaker and internationally best-selling author Mireille Guiliano was a long time spokesperson for Champagne Veuve Clicquot and former president and CEO of Clicquot, Inc. (LVMH). Recognized as “an ambassador of France and its art of living,” by the French daily Le Figaro, USA Today further dubbed her “the high priestess of French lady wisdom.” Her books, “French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure,” “French Women for all Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes and Pleasure,” “Women, Work and The Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense and Sensibility” and “The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook” have all received international praise and acknowledgement.


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Networking Online Strategically

Cindy Morrison
You’re at a cocktail party and there’s someone you want to meet. So you set your sights on that person… work your way across the room… and you finally meet face to face. You don’t want to seem too anxious… so you play it cool. You look for your “in”… and you go for it. Sure enough the next day, you get a note from that “big wig” and he liked what you had to say. Yes, he tracked you down and not only are you now on his radar, he wants to know more about your business or even better he wants to do business with YOU.

That’s the ideal networking situation, right? What if I told you the cocktail party was a virtual room and you never actually met? You might think I’m crazy, right? Well, if I didn’t have proof I might think I was crazy, too. But networking strategically through social media not only works, it can expand your potential past your town, your state and your comfort zone.

Let me give you an example. I read on Forbes.com that StartupPrincess.com was one of the number one websites for women. So I marked that on my “I want to meet” list. Silly? You bet, but since I’d signed up for Twitter, I had decided not to let it take over my time unless it was worth it. That’s right… time is money and I didn’t want to waste it.

So one night during the Golden Globes, I struck up a conversation with @StartupPrincess. She tweeted that she liked Sandra Bullock’s dress. That’s funny because I did too! And so it began. We chatted off and on during the night… what we liked. What we didn’t like. But never was there a conversation about what either of us did for a living.

But obviously something struck a chord with @StartupPrincess because she checked out my profile on twitter (attached to my tweets) and suddenly I had an email on Monday from the site, asking me if I’d like to be one of their FairyGodmothers — their answer to a contributor. Would I? I could barely answer the email fast enough! Of course I would love to be a part of StartupPrincess.com. That was my first real “get” on twitter.

So, when you use social media to waste time (hello?! farm animals on Facebook) or feel you’re constantly preaching your business, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Would you really walk up to someone powerful at a cocktail party and ask them to play games or yell your business at them? I don’t think so. Instead you might think about making a meaningful connection. What do you have in common? What do you have that’s of value? With some strategic networking you might be surprised the avenues for you that open up.

By the way, email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you the 5 steps to making a real business connection on social media. I’m a living example that this works AND can make you connections that improve your income.


Texas Conference for Women speaker and Emmy-winning TV broadcaster Cindy Morrison successfully reinvented herself after the economy led to corporate downsizing and left her unemployed. Leaving her 20-year career behind, Morrison wrote “Girlfriends 2.0” to empower women to upgrade their “Girlfriend Network.” She has since been speaking on the topic and has launched a successful consulting business, Reinvention 2.0, a business-focused approach to her Girlfriends 2.0 concept.


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A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing To Waste

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Why Typical Networking Doesn’t Work

Tory Johnson, founder of Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle

I wish I had a dollar every time someone told me that networking just doesn’t work. I hear it from jobseekers who show up at events and leave empty-handed. I hear it even more often from small business owners who aren’t generating bites, let alone sales, from their extensive networking efforts.

Last week I met a lovely woman who’s an accomplished golf instructor, but she doesn’t have nearly enough clients to sustain her. It’s a common challenge among many solopreneurs.

“I network every week, sometimes every day, but nothing works,” she told me. I probed to figure out what exactly that looks like-where is she going and what does she say? She explained that she attends speed networking events where she has 30 seconds to pitch about her services.

I asked her to give me the precise pitch she uses when addressing a luncheon with 50 women small business owners.

“Hi, my name is Jan Jones and I’m a golf instructor. I’ve been teaching golf lessons for more than 20 years and I was trained by the top pros on the best courses in the world. I offer hourly lessons, half-day programs, and a full 18-hole special package. I would love to help you develop an interest in this wonderful sport. Thanks very much for your time.”

Not too shabby, right?

Wait! Before you answer, consider this: I asked why she thought all 50 of those women were in the room? “To get business,” she said. RIGHT! They’re all looking to make money, which is the most important thing to know as you deliver your 30 seconds.

I told her to rethink every word. This is my suggested revision:

“Hi, I’m Jan Jones. Did you know that millions of dollars in business deals happen on the golf course? If you’re not on the green, you’re missing your share of that green. As a seasoned golf instructor, I get women quickly up to par to swing a club with confidence. That leads to successful connections for you. So let’s talk golf to grow your bottom line now.”

Both scripts are 67 words, but there’s a BIG difference, eh? One is all about YOU and your credentials and services; the other is all about THEM and their number one goal of generating new business. Which do you think gets better results?

Let me go a step further. That same golf instructor who is seeking businesswomen as clients could alter her pitch when talking to other potential target markets: single women looking to date and women who are focused on fitness.

Instead of talking about golf leading to business connections, she’d tweak her focus to the interests of her audience. To the singles, she’d tout how many guys on Match.com say the love golf. Or she could reveal an impressive statistic about the salaries or net worth of men who play golf being higher than those who don’t. (Don’t kill me: I proudly married for love, not money, but every girl has different motivations!)

When talking to a fitness group, her pitch would focus on how many calories are burned while hitting balls or playing a round of golf-and how much more fun it is to take up golf than to hit the gym for grueling workouts.

You get the idea. Talk is a cheap way to generate business RIGHT NOW, as long as your words are properly positioned for your target audience.

This is something everyone can implement immediately whether building a business or looking for a job.

And if you need help with YOUR pitch-or any aspect of your career or small business success-visit with me at the MeetUp during the Texas Conference for Women Career Fair.


Texas Conference for Women keynote Tory Johnson is a New York Times bestselling author, the workplace contributor on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and the founder of both Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle.


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Four Tips to Get the Most from the Day!

Now that you’ve done your pre-conference preparation, you’re ready to hit the ground running at the Texas Conference for Women! This video features four easy tips to get you through the day successfully.

Many thanks to Linda Waters, owner of Back to Business and the Confidence Beads , and to Technology Therapy, for sponsoring and creating these videos.

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