In this episode, Beth Fisher-Yoshida and Todd Wiesel talk on the role of women in negotiation. We dive into topics like implicit bias and the systemic issues that women face in the workforce. Beth is a certified clinical sociologist, facilitator, educator, mediator and executive coach. Todd is the managing director at The Negotiation Institute (TNI) and coordinator of the WIN Summit, a conference focused on women and negotiation skills.
Guest: Beth Fisher-Yoshida
Guest: Todd Wiesel
Mark: Beth, how are you doing?
Beth: I'm fine, thank you so much Mark for that nice intro.
Mark: Yeah, listen we are super excited to have you and Todd, how are you doing?
Todd: I'm great, it's really a pleasure to be here with you as well.
Mark: Yeah, we are very excited to have you guys as well. I'm truly honored that you would call into the show.
You know, you've both got such unique and interesting backgrounds and it's going to be difficult for me to get through all of it. Todd you come from military background, which I found super interesting. I read about some sort of crowd funding campaign that you may have started to raise money for equipment. That was super cool to read about so we'll get into that in a little bit as well. But Beth, I guess I'll start off with you. Given your background in Sociology, Clinical Sociology as a matter of fact, how do you think your education in Sociology helps you with your communication practice and coaching women in negotiation?
Beth: Thank you. So It's Sociology and plus, plus, plus right? Because it's not just purely Sociology and the clinical part means that its really about applied or practical Sociology so it's more about practice.
Beth: But I'm also informed by Social Psychology and Communication and intercultural communication. So I grew up in New York City and after I graduated college, I lived in Japan for 13 years and then I've come back and I travel a lot and do work globally but I think that being this very tough, strong independent in New York woman going to live in Japan for so long was a little bit of a culture shock to say the least. But I learned a lot. For example, I learned how to sit with silence and I think silence is something that you can really use to your advantage in a negotiation. Some people use the expression while the next person that speak loses, which may or may not be the case of course, but to understand that timing is important. So the cultural influences also shape very much how I see the world, and how I engage in negotiation and what I think about women and the whole role they play in negotiation.
Mark: Interesting. You know what, It's so often that we take for granted how we communicate in the west or how we negotiate in the west over how potentially other people may negotiate and I didn't think we would get to this this early in the conversation but maybe you could expand a little but on the time that you spent in Japan and what you noticed as a big difference in the way that communication happens, not just between business but between women and men and women and women in the workplace.
Beth: Yeah, so two things come to mind right away and one is that, in the west, and especially in the US and especially in the New York area, we place a lot of emphasis on words. We place a lot of focus on talking. Tell me how you feel and just really talking a lot. Whereas there's a very different sense of talking and silence in Japan and Japanese communication. I'm not going to profess to know everything about it but in my experience there that the silence has a lot to do with the communication. And related to that, I also have an art background. I studied art in the US for many, many years, I was an art major in high School and College. And then when I went to Japan I was also studying art. And I had to totally relearn everything about art because the sense of space is very different. So when you have ground, so you have whatever is in the front and whatever is in the background and this is always shifting. And this is also what shifts in communication. So in studying brush paintings, I had a very different sense of space and what's foreground and what's background and I think that correlates very much to negotiation.
As an American women in Japan I had a different experience than Japanese women do because I was allowed to be different or I was allowed to speak out while she's just a Gaijin, she's just a foreigner. Whereas, for Japanese women, it's a little bit more difficult. And then, the nuances, the different kinds of words you use if you're a woman or a man, I just ... you know what, I'm just speaking neutral, I'm going right across. I might have paid attention to the different of kind of endings that women have to soften what they say but I didn't do that and I'll just give one little anecdote.
At one point when I was in Japan I was doing a radio program called Business English with an elderly Japanese man and after one season they told me that they were not inviting me back because my voice was too scary. So I thought that was kind of funny you know, because very often you'll be speaking to somebody "They'll all talk like this" and they go very high pitched and I just don't do that, I have my voice and it was kind of an interesting observation that my tone of voice sounds a little bit scary for some people in Japan.
Mark: Interesting. That's super interesting and I think ... I'll speak personally. I definitely take for granted how different even something like tone or body posture or the way you approach someone for granted, especially coming from where I come from which is in Calgary in Canada. It's very much a western mindset. Very typically western in that we have a strong sort of cowboy history, very dependent on oil and gas revenue, so it's very much a rough cowboy culture. I find whenever I deal with someone who's not necessarily from the west, typically like western United States or western Canada and who may be from another country, how they perceive me is totally different from how I think I'm being perceived.
So I think we often think of others as exactly the same and that's just not true at all. Todd, maybe you can help me with this a little bit as well. Given your experience and work with the WIN Summit, maybe you can give us a bit of background on what the WIN summit is and now that we know that there's different styles to communication and different styles to negotiation given the background you're from, what have you noticed as some of the big key take-aways as how to approach people differently in negotiations when you hear some of the leaders who come to the WIN Summit?
Todd: Sure Mark, Thank you. The WIN Summit origins originally stemmed from The Negotiation Institute. The Institute has been around for over 50 years conducting corporate negotiation training and programs within organizations and we started to notice a significant increase in companies reaching out to us looking for negotiation training that was specifically targeted towards women. And we started to ask ourselves "What is the fundamental shift, where's the shift happening within these organizations that they're looking for that training that pertains more specific women specific negotiation training?"
And after doing a little bit of research and a little bit of discussion with some of these HR director and managers that were inquiring, we found that as companies were devoting more to the actual focus of their women's initiative rather than the lip service of writing "We promote diversity and women within the company", they began to get requests for negotiation training from women. The women within the organization said "If I'm going into this new position or if I'm elevating within the company and moving somewhere, I want to be prepared."
And that really sparked off the idea for the WIN summit, that there are more women reaching incredibly new heights in the work force and we want to be there to assist in and create the structure that will allow them to get there.
Mark: Very cool. Very, very cool. I've been watching and reading some of the stuff that you guys have been doing on the WIN Summit and it's truly, in my mind at least, I think it's actually quite revolutionary to take such a bold new step in promoting women in the work force which I think is fantastic. And I want to jump into that for a little bit.
I was reading a little bit on the concept of unconscious self-bias and what unconscious self-bias is and maybe I'll give this to you Beth. Can you tell people what unconscious self-bias is and how women experience that and how that may hold them back in their negotiations.
Beth: Sure. About a year ago I did a webinar with a colleague of mine on implicit bias and since then I've been asked to speak about it so many times because it's such a hot topic about implicit bias. So the explicit bias is obvious right? We have a bias in something, we're aware of it, we act on it and the other person probably knows we have a bias towards them or something that's happening. Implicit bias is something that is internal that you're not aware of, so if you think of like an iceberg metaphor that a lot of people use sometimes, it's what's under the water. It's not obvious, you don't know it.
Now sometimes other people can detect that you have a bis but you're not aware that you have a particular predisposition to something or not and so implicit bias, how it affects women in negotiation and in the workplace, is a couple of different ways. One is that some people who a woman might negotiate with may have a preconceived notion about what a woman should be, the way a woman should behave in a negotiation, the way a woman should conduct herself in the workplace and so before the woman even speaks, even enters the room, the person already has preconceived notion and then all during the negotiation the person is either confirming or changing what their preconceived notion was, probably looking for different ways to affirm what they already thought.
Now for women, they may have their own implicit bias because culturally the stories we've been told about how women should be and women should be nice and accommodating and things like that, I may ... Like for example, I have that implicit bias about how I should be as a woman, then it's going to affect how I show up in the negotiation. And then I'm going to get certain kinds of responses that, again, affirm that notion I have that I'm still not aware of. So I may think I'm asserting myself but maybe I'm not. Maybe I'm pushing the edge a little bit but it's still very are from what a man might do in the negotiation. And I've been doing some research recently and one interesting comment that came up a few times is ... And this is already out in the public too, is people will say "I didn't even know I could negotiate about that." So we have an implicit bias about we're allowed to or not allowed to even approach whereas men don't necessarily have those same preconceived notions.
Mark: Isn't that interesting. So how do you think this implicit bias, this unconscious self-bias negatively affects women when they're negotiating. Obviously there's a lot of women who think, like you said, "I should be nice. I need to be accommodating. I need to flick my hair a certain direction. I need to do whatever I'm supposed to do as the culture determines." How do you feel like that may negatively affect negotiations for women.
Beth: I think it definitely holds women back from asserting themselves and bringing out the best of what they can contribute and who they can be. I think that we have to think first of all self-awareness is super critical. I think self-awareness is life work. You do it your whole life, you're constantly working on yourself or should be, to become more and more aware of who you are, what you bring, what's important to you and so on. If you don't even know your value, you don't really know what is important to you, then it's really hard for you to even act on that, to court them. And I think what happens is we end up compromising ourselves in the process because we're not aware of what's important.
So continuous self-development and self-awareness then we can become aware of what's really critical to us and then we make decisions all along that are choice points. "Do I advocate or do I not? If I advocate what does that mean? If I don't advocate, what does that mean?"
And It's not to say that everything should be a negotiation or we should always advocate. Sometimes you want to just pass on something because it's not that important. But sometimes if things are important, that's when you really need to think "Okay, this is important to me. What strategies and tactics am I going to use to be able to assert myself to get more of what it is that I need so I can feel better about myself and I can advance myself but not at the expense of other people. And in a very collaborative way so that we all benefit and more forward. If I'm a better person and then I benefit the others around me as well, so however I benefit is a shared benefit." And that's my philosophy.
Mark: Very cool. So there seems to be, and correct me if I'm wrong, there seems to be a mindset difference between women who have become successful in knowing that they can and should negotiate for certain things and they shouldn't be held by some sort of social construct that tells them what they can and cannot do and both of you have had the benefit of seeing some very successful women take part in the WIN Summit. What do you think some of the characteristics that those women have should be taught to other women to help them change their mindset about who they can be as opposed to who society thinks they should be?
Todd: Excellent. I think that State Street this year really summed it up when they put up that statue on Wall Street of the fearless girl.
Todd: I think it was really that idea of fearlessness that defined what it was in our speakers that allowed them to achieve so much, accomplish so much within their life, breaking those norms. Breaking those norms, those societal norms and those social expectations that they have. Michelle Roberts, who's the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association summed it up perfectly when she was speaking in terms of ... And she said it because, it was the way she said it. She said "Don't underestimate the girl."
And she didn't say "the woman" or ... She was saying that it starts young, that it needs to be taught ... You need to teach young that fearlessness and the desire to consistently push yourself farther and to exceed the expectations that are set for you ... Definitely by individuals but more so by society is what really allows for someone to do that. She mentioned that when she ... The job that she now holds has never been held by a woman before. Being in charge of the NBA players union. It's never been held by a woman before and it's something that commands the respect of hundreds of physically fit peak athletes who are seven feet tall, and to have a woman walk into the room and say I'm now the one going to be representing you and negotiating on your behalf, it's something that you might not expect.
You look at basketball coaches, many of them are often former players themselves. They have that presence, they have that walk. They say "I did this once. Listen to me because I've seen it and I've done it." And this is someone ... Michelle beforehand I believe she was an attorney at Skadden. So she had seen the opening, she said in her speech she saw the opening for the position and she said "I like basketball, I like negotiating and I'm going to apply." And it was that level of fearlessness, that I don't care if a woman has never held this position before. This is something I know I can do and something I'm interested in doing" that really set her apart from anyone else that may have applied. She's negotiated the largest contract in NBA Players Association history.
She increased the max salary cap, she's done so much on behalf of the players that she represents, simply because she wouldn't take no for an answer and she wouldn't let society dictate what it was, who it was that she could be.
Mark: Wow. And Beth, do you think this is a function of feeling like women are empowered or do you think this is a function of self-talk? Like "I think I can, I know I can" or do you think this is a function of ... This is just something that needs to change in our society or maybe all of those things? How is it that women can change their mindset to empower themselves more. To make more decision like this?
Beth: I think all the above. And at the same time that some women are asserting themselves and being fearless, it's tough. It's a tough challenge because you're going to get push back from somewhere and you don't know so the way I look at it and the way I also coach other women is whatever situation you're in is tough. Right? So either you're in a situation were you're not feeling like you're really being utilized well or you're in a situation where you have to fight for what you want and so on, so everything feels uncomfortable. Nothing is easy, nothing is a given. So you have to make a choice about "Where am I going to be more uncomfortable. Where am I willing to be uncomfortable because I know at the end of that discomfort there are some benefits I'm getting" So it's not to say there's no pain no gain but it doesn't mean everything is going to be given to you because even if you are evolving and you are feeling more courageous it doesn't mean everybody around you is willing to support you or buy into that either.
But if you don't take the chance, then how do you know? So I would really advise women to develop the skills and knowledge that they need so they can be more prepared so that when they do decide to take the risk and go in and have that more challenging negotiation, they've already been crafting, they've already been sharpening their skills and honing their skills so they can be more effective in the negotiation.
And I also feel from when I was very young that If I didn't do something then that giving up would grow and it would be harder for me to do the next thing. Thank was my belief system so I would challenge myself and push myself into situations that were very difficult but I knew that if I didn't I was going to let everything else around me win and overtake me and then I'd never be able to assert myself. That was kind of my self talk years ago.
And so it doesn't mean today that everything is a breeze and I can just walk in and command anything I want, I certainly cannot, but I know that I have to weigh things that I'm not afraid to challenge something because I know that at the end of the day I'm going to be happier with myself that I did challenge that and tried rather than giving up and not trying.
Mark: Right. I think along the way it's important for people to realize it's not going to be all sunshine and rainbows right away. You're going to face rejection and you're going to face difficult times. We're certainly not ... Personally I don't think we're certainly at a point yet where we've reached a point where women can come in and be at an equal playing field to men. I think that's just a fact, right? I think there's still a lot more work that both mean and women can do to be able to make that playing field even.
And along the way there's going to be rejection and I read an article that you did for Fortune Magazine where you go through Dr. Elizabeth Ross's five stage model of grief, which is denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance and I wonder ... For a lot of people, going through that process, that process of grief where you've been rejected, is quite a long process but I think in order to move faster through to change that's required, sometimes it's nicer or better for people to understand that there is a process and that they could potentially jump from one step to another in order to speed up the gap to be able to get back on the horse to be able to move forward. Do you think that's possible?
Beth: Well you know, funny that ... Depending on the amount of devastation you're feeling about rejection depends on how long it might take you to overcome and to be able to go through the stages but it doesn't mean you go one, two three, four, five and you're out.
Beth: It's going to be an iterative process. You start to make some advances and the you slide back and so on. For myself, what I do is give myself 20 minutes ... It's really funny, I've just practiced this over the years and I allow myself to indulge in self-pity and being depressed and just really upset and "Oh woe is me." And I give myself 20 minutes and I say "Alright that's enough of that."
And then I just get fed up with it because I don't like being in that space and then I say "Okay now what am I going to learn from this and what am I going to do about it." And then I get really scared and strong and then I come back and it's almost like a pendulum. From really depressed and then to like "Alright watch out world" and then I go "okay let's be reasonable about this." And I sort of balance it out.
And that's just something I've done, so I think going back to the self-awareness, you continue to develop your self-awareness and you continue to ask yourself "What happened? Why was I expecting something different? What else was I hoping for? What else could I have done?" And then you use it as a learning ... People say like "learning opportunity?" And they say "ha ha" but actually it is a learning opportunity to let yourself learn. I have to say I've had some terrible conversations over the years. I once had someone say "Don't ever come back." I thought oh my goodness" you know? And I was trying to figure out "What did I do that irked this person so much?" But it was the learning and I was devastated for a while and I had my 20 minutes thing and every once in a while those 20 minutes would reoccur because of that same situation but I wouldn't let myself stay there because if I did then what would happen? Then I'd just be completely defeated or he rest of my life and never make an advance. So I think that there are those stages but the more self-aware that we can become and the more reflective then I think the more we can learn and grow and be better next time around.
Mark: I love that you budgeted time for grief. That's awesome, I love that.
Beth: Now, sometimes I give myself more 20 minute periods for the same grief situation but usually it's like a 20 minute thing and I've become so good at it that 20 minutes really I can feel the shift and say "Okay 20 minutes ... And I look, it's 20 minutes". It's fun.
Mark: Right. And Todd, I mean give your background now with WIN Summit, you've had the benefit, the fortune of seeing some really powerful and amazing women get up on stage and talk about their backgrounds. How do you think we can encourage and empower women to become more effective in their negotiations given what you've seen?
Todd: That's a great question. I think if we're talking about getting it at the roots, really developing it similar along the lines to what Beth is saying in term that this is something that started for her when she was young, but this type of empowerment really starts in the home when you have parental kind of support and the support of your peers and your teachers telling you to push yourself and push those limits and you start to develop it from a younger age as opposed to entering the workforce now as a young 20-something and sort of starting off the first time being pushed to ask for something. It's something that we actually came across at the negotiation institute was an increase in requests, again in negotiation training mostly in terms of conflict resolution for millennials. A lot of companies with their new hires have said that they've found that the millennials are so conflict averse, they're so afraid of even entering into something where they're required to ask or required to tell someone else what is expected of them that it ends up costing both them and the company time and money and effort to correct the mistakes that could have been solved with a simple ... with a little bit of assertion.
And it's something ... So I'd definitely say starting young is something that can be done when you're looking to say in the bigger picture, the broader picture how we can correct this. Oh thank you, yeah but in terms of improving ... Once someone's already in the workforce you can't go back in time. And it's important to know that to be ... I think I saw that, it was probably on LinkedIn, I saw this great quote that "the past is a great place to reference but not a place to dwell."
So it's something, that you can really ... Looking back you can say "I wasn't empowered." Or "I wasn't given those skills." Or "I wasn't taught to stand up but how can I improve it so when I look back ten years from now I can say "Constantly looking for the next way to improve, to develop and to enhance those skills" and really to find ... And I think that that comes from the same role that you have as a child where it's a parent or a teacher, that kind of role model who instills those values ... It's really important to find mentors.
When you enter the workforce, to find someone who does or is in the situation or position that embodies what it is that you're looking to become. Not just saying "Oh Bill Gates. I want to be Bill Gates I want to be Jeff Bezos." But finding someone and saying "What is it about their values, what is it about their personal identity and their personal values or their work ethic that I want to emulate? And who can I find that can teach me how they got there? Because it started at some point. At some point they picked up and they changed and they said 'this is how I want to be.' How did they develop it themselves?" Ask questions and learn from the person who's done it already.
Mark: Yeah. Cheryl Sandberg has done a lot of really great work around that area I think. She's been super amazing in that area.
Okay, switching gears a little bit. Beth, maybe you can answer this one. A lot of our listeners are procurement professionals, sales professionals, negotiation professionals in general and they get a lot of benefit out of hearing stories of successes but more importantly failures that others have been through on negotiations that they may have had in the past. I was hoping you could share with our listeners maybe a negotiation failure that you've been through that other people could learn from, maybe specifically women.
Beth: Okay. What do I choose from ... I think that in my consulting world that I have to figure out how to market myself, engage clients and so on ... And there have been some situations where I either did not close the client, the potential client that I wanted that when I was especially younger I would just assume that the client knew why I was there and I wouldn't necessarily ask for the business and that was interesting. I didn't ask. I just said "Why else..." but people said "But did you ask?" I said "No, well why else would I be there?" But I didn't ask so it was like a nice conversation that never went anywhere, it was just like a dead end but I didn't know at the time that it was a dead end until afterwards. I started reflecting on it saying "Well I didn't ask for anything. So how would they know exactly what I was asking for." And then also I would sometimes think "Well maybe I didn't ask for what I really wanted or what I really thought I was worth" because I was afraid that If I did they would say no.
So then I started saying to myself "Well what's the worst thing they can say? Well they can say no and then what's the worst thing that happens if they say no? Then I don't close them and then what happens then? Well, then I just keep moving on and try to have a conversation with another potential client," so it's not the end of everything although sometimes when we place too much pressure on that one conversation then we're giving ourselves very unrealistic expectations to fulfill. So what I say ... and I've said this to my daughters as well, especially about job interviews or something which is a type of negotiation, I said "you know what? It's just a conversation. Just go in there and say hey it's just a conversation and it goes in line with building relationships, getting to know somebody, showing curiosity, sharing who you are.'" And that framing of "You know what? This is just another conversation" has just relieved so much anxiety and pressure for me and I know for my daughters and some of the women that I've coached. So I found that's a useful tip as well.
Mark: I find re-framing a negotiation as a discussion is actually a really big deal because negotiation has so much baggage attached to it you know? It comes with a lot of negative connotations when you say that word. Depending on who you're talking to. If you just re-frame it as a discussion or a conversation like you said, you automatically create ease and you create ease in the conversation and words are powerful. How we use our words are also really, really powerful. And It's from that I note that I think ... Todd. I'd like to ask you a question.
Beth you might have to jump in on this one as well. What're the words that women who're successful use to describe themselves? Because there's a lot of negative self-talk that I see with women in the workplace and women in general is that they don't feel like they're good enough or they feel like there's this standard that they're being held to that they need to attain. But it seems like, to me, women who achieve a high level of success have a totally different self talk and use different words to describe themselves. Todd, maybe you can expand on that.
Todd: It's actually funny that you asked me because I think I'd be better qualified to talk about some negotiation failures and Beth actually presented at the WIN Summit this past year on the words that are used both by women and about women to show the differences and the connotations and descriptions. I know that that was a key part of the presentation was on how, while man might be described as 'assertive' or 'forceful' a woman might be described as 'bossy'.
Something that at least I noticed at the WIN Summit, and I can't speak obviously for all highly accomplished and professional women, or really any of them for that matter, but something that I noticed was almost the opposite. That they didn't feel compelled to describe themselves in any way at all.
They, rather than trying to impress upon you their level of accomplishment or achievement, they told you what it is that they had done and you kind of got the picture and kind of looked at it and investigated it for yourself and said "Oh wow, she has done this."
They didn't feel compelled to tell you "Oh I'm so-and-so I've been in this and this place or I've done this and this thing." It was something that was kind of "Hi, this is me." And you've got this really almost personal relationship when they're talking to you at the head of the stage and you're siting in the crowd of "Oh I'm getting to know someone a little bit." And then you realize how incredible and how accomplished that person really I without them feeling compelled to tell you how accomplished they really are.
Todd: It's something that I really found from women much more than men in my experience. There's a certain pride element in men where they feel compelled to tell you what they've done. They wear it like a badge and with women, it's much more "Let me talk to you and get to know you and then we can get to the point where you'll understand what it is I've done or what it is I can do for you."
Mark: Interesting. Beth, what're you thoughts on that?
Beth: I agree and I have also it sometimes works against women because, if they're talking to people how expect them to say everything that's on their badge of what they've accomplished, then they haven't done that right? Because they expect people just to intuit. And also as part of the relationship building it would come out.
But this also leads me just to see a little bit of a glimpse ... I'm doing research now actually capturing just those kinds of things. Part of it is about the narrative and the stories that women tell about themselves and to themselves about how they are as negotiators and there are three different groups of people but the women who have more than 25 years experience ... for them, there's so much that they've accomplished, there's no anxiety necessarily. There's a much more relaxed state and they'll say things to themselves like "I know this. I've got this." Because they feel from their experience they feel competent and they don't have the need to prove that they're competent. It's just something in their presence and even their tone when they speak to me when I interview them. Their tone is just so much more confident. I can hear it whereas the women who are just starting out, there's a little bit of more excitement but anxiety about asserting and proving themselves because they still haven't quite made it yet, they're still starting out in their careers. So they're not discouraged yet but they are still anxious and wondering "How am I going to show that I really am worth a chance." Whereas the women who have a lot of experience, they don't need to do that because they know, they know who they are and you can hear that in their voices.
Mark: Interesting. This is a great segway, you really lined this up perfectly. So if you were going to give advice to a young working professional women, maybe in her 30's, what would you tell her and what advice would you give her to help her in negotiations and communication?
Beth: So because there are a million things, I'm going to narrow it down to three and they all begin with P. And one is 'Prepare'. You can never underestimate the value of preparation. Now you are not ever going to fully prepare because then there may be something that comes at you that you're not expecting, but thinking you know a little bit about something and saying "I'll just wing it" ... winging it is not a strategy. So I would never encourage anyone to get in there and wing it. So you really, really want to prepare and you want to be able to understand as much as possible about what's important to you and what you think might be important to the other person and where you want to go with it.
The second 'P' is practice. So really think about what you want to say and how you want to say it and practice with people you know and trust who will give you feedback. Because while you may think what you're about to say sounds great in your own mind, actually saying it out loud and having someone respond to it really shows you what kind of reaction you might get more than what's in your own head.
And the third 'P' is pivot. And if you prepare well, then you're going to have a certain level of agility in the negotiation and you may be walking one away and you realize that the response you're getting is not what you planned but it was one of the other scenarios you thought about and you'll be able to pivot into another strategy that you've already prepared for. So prepare, practice and pivot and if you can do those three things on a regular basis I'm sure you're going to improve your negotiation skills.
Mark: That is fantastic advice and super succinct. I think today's discussion has been a huge, well an eye opener for me. I'll say that. I love it when someone comes in and challenges how we think about, and I saw 'we' as in the collective 'we' as a society, how we think about people's roles and responsibilities and what role they should or should not play in the workplace. Especially when it comes to negotiation. And I know we've got a long way to go but I think that the more conversations like this that we can have the better people will be able to adjust to women's role in society and what it should be, which is an equal playing field.
We're so caught up in this social construct of "this is what someone should be and what someone shouldn't be" that we don't allow enough room for, I think it's creativity, to occur and for people to take on roles that they haven't taken on roles before. And that doesn't necessarily just relates to women, it relates to people of all walks and background and cultures so the more we can listen to each other and the more we can have open conversations like this, the better off we all can be. I want to say that ...
Todd: One additional thing
Mark: Go ahead, go ahead.
Todd: I just want to point this out. Sorry, it's actually not towards women, it's actually more directly geared towards men in terms of improving negotiation and it's active listening.
Mark: Ah yes.
Todd: More so than women, men have a tremendous issue both in terms of communicating with others and actively focusing on the conversation at hand. And the most essential part, I find, to a negotiation or to really any conversation in relationship building, whether it be a personal relationship or a professional one, that listening and truly understanding the underlying factors of what the person opposite you is saying is so integral and it's something women have actually a must stronger grasp of. Which is feel is why they are much more intuitively and naturally actually better negotiators because they really do listen to the underlying needs of the person they are speaking with or negotiating with.
And it's something that I feel and I've heard is frustrating for women. When they negotiate with men that the lack of active listening on behalf of men makes it exceedingly difficult to really portray the information and relay it over that they're trying to get over.
Todd: And they're usually a couple of steps ahead of the curve and the men are falling behind.
Mark: Yeah I think that's definitely a skill that we could all improve on, especially men. I definitely ... Being the personality type that I am, I definitely have an issue with listening and not listening when I should. You're absolutely right. 100% correct.
So, listen, I want to be respectful of both of your time. You've been so amazing today, both of you, both Beth and Todd. I really want to thank you so much for both joining me on the call today and joining us and being available to the negotiation.ninja listeners. I definitely want to do this again because I think there's a lot of information that we can cover and a lot more conversations that need to be had. But for now, if people need to find out what you're doing and what you're up to, Beth where can people find more about you?
Beth: There's two places. One is Columbia University website, the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program. Just look me up there, that's up to date.
I'm active on social media, you can look at that and then my company fyicommunicate.com.
Mark: Fantastic. And Todd, where can people find out more about what you're doing with the Negotiation Institute and the WIN Summit.
Todd: Well like you said earlier Mark, I tend to over share about what we're up to on my personal Twitter, so you can follow me @ToddWiesel and from there you'll be redirected to negotiation.com and summit.com and all of the other work that we're doing over here.
Mark: Fantastic. And for the listeners, just sot hat you know, I will be linking out all of this in the show notes as always, so if you missed a link don't worry about that, just check the show notes and you'll be able to see the linking out to the specific pages. And again, thank you so much Beth and thank you so much Todd for being on the call today. The information that you've given us is truly fantastic. Have a fantastic day and listeners, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me online negotiations.ninja or on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, whatever your media of choice is and if you have questions for both Beth and Todd I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you reached out to them on their respective social media accounts, so feel free to do that as well.
I think the more conversations we have like this, the better off we're all going to be. So again, Beth and Todd thank you so much for joining me and have a great day.
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