Sep 2012 | | Comments
We all need what Vicki Medvec has got—a better way to negotiate what we want while making the other person feel good about giving it to us.
Medvec of Lake Forest, is the Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She’s also the Executive Director of the Center for Executive Women, a consultant who regularly works with Fortune 500 companies like General Electric and Abbott Labs, and a mother of two savvy teenagers.
Talking about her expertise in negotiation, Medvec gave a dynamic keynote speech for a May event at the Chicago History Museum, which celebrated 18 Women’s Boards and the $675 million they have raised for Chicago’s civic good.
You Can Negotiate Better
As Medvec explains, it’s not that women don’t negotiate well. “In fact, they’re fierce negotiators for their kids and organizations!” she declares. (This helps explain how a relatively small number of women raised that mighty $675 million for others.) “They just don’t negotiate for themselves with the same conviction as they do for others,” she says.
4 Negotiating Pitfalls for Women
According to Medvec, research has determined at least four reasons for this poor self-advocacy:
4 Better Negotiating Strategies
Medvec recommends strategies to overcome these issues and create win/win outcomes.
As an example, Medvec describes her work with the female CEO of a small pharmaceutical firm, whose job required extensive travel. The CEO became pregnant and thought she needed to quit. "Women don't think to negotiate a change for themselves, the way that men do," Medvec states. "So I helped her craft a proposal."
The firm was about to bring two new drugs to market at the same time; a situation that the company had never faced before.
The CEO proposed that it was in the company's best interest to reassign her traveling responsibilities to the sales force, so that she could focus full time on the successful launches. Her board agreed. She helped the company see and solve a problem. And she created a better future for herself in the process. Win for the company, win for the CEO.
Whether you are negotiating in an employment, volunteer or family setting, Medvec’s strategies can empower you to craft a better future for yourself and others.
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