Working an altered schedule can give you greater control over how you spend your time.Read More
As a weekly contributor to Forbes for nearly the last two years, Lelia regularly shares her insights into career fulfilment, negotiation, and workplace dynamics for women. Her work had been translated into 6 languages and published in 13 countries.
Interested in a specific area? Check out the topics below.
There’s a lot of great content about how to research your market value and understand your worth, but just having the data isn’t enough. You have to believe you’re worth it.
Many of us struggle with feelings of self-worth, asking ourselves, “Do I really deserve what I’m asking for?” Personally, it took me years to get comfortable naming my speaker fee without immediately discounting it.
Here are three key tools to get comfortable with naming your value:Read More
A client recently reached out to tell me she was “in a pickle.” She’d gotten a job offer with a salary that was 43% more than she’d made in her last position and she felt torn about whether or not to negotiate for more. She texted me, “My gut says NEGOTIATE and make Lelia proud, but my head says the salary is awesome and appropriate.”
This kind of “pickle” comes up often for my clients. There’s a tension between being happy with the offer and the feeling that they “should” negotiate.
As she worked through her feelings, she realized she felt a responsibility to negotiate. Even though this was a fantastic salary offer, campaigns telling her to “lean in” and “#ask4more” made her feel guilt and self-doubt about accepting the role as offered. These well-intentioned campaigns can make women feel like gender bias and ending the wage gap are their responsibility to fix, when they’re actually systemic problems we have to navigate. Here’s how we should approach it instead.Read More
When negotiating at work, it helps to practice. You don’t want the first time you say the words out loud to be in a high stakes meeting with your counterpart. If you haven’t prepared, you run a high risk of negotiation word vomit. Role play with a trusted friend, partner, or advisor to help you find language that is comfortable, authentic – and will make your case more convincing.
There are four types of practice negotiations to try with your role play buddy, each of which will help you ace the real deal.Read More
A classic negotiation tool is to overcome the “myth of the fixed pie.” Generally speaking, if I eat a piece of pie, that’s one fewer piece you can have. Instead, we want to make a bigger pie.
Consider this example. Sadie is a scientist and Jolon is a chef, both of whom are traveling to a farm to buy rare plants. There are a finite number of plants, and each of them hopes to purchase all the plants that are available.Read More
According to the book Getting To Yes, “The reason you negotiate is to produce something better than results you can obtain without negotiating.” You want to go into the negotiation with a clear sense of what you can do if you don’t reach an agreement, in other words, what is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).
Think of your BATNA as your special invisible sidekick reminding you that you don’t have to agree to unfair or unfavorable terms in your negotiation. It serves as a reminder of when to walk away. (My BATNA definitely wears a red cape.)
If you’re using the news, popular media, or the latest episode of House of Cards as an example, good negotiators are stern, demanding, and uncompromising. However, when researchers identify the characteristics of successful negotiators those aren’t the traits that come up. Instead, top negotiators listen carefully, collaborate, and empathize with their counterparts.
If you had to associate these qualities with one gender, which would it be?Read More
When women are asked what prevents them from negotiating, the most common answer is “fear of damaging the relationship.”
Negotiation doesn’t have to be adversarial. With the right mindset, it can be quite the opposite. The authors of Getting To Yes encourage counterparts in a negotiation to “sit on the same side of the table.” They suggest that instead of thinking of two attorneys battling it out in front of a jury, imagine instead you’re judges working together on a joint opinion.Read More
Have you ever walked out of a negotiation only to immediately ask yourself, “What the hell just happened?” Both personally and professionally, there have been many times where I’ve been so concerned about the other person’s needs that I either didn’t articulate my goals or – worse yet – forgot to even consider what I wanted.
Because my heartstrings were pulled, I’ve found myself taking on client projects I actively didn’t want and that didn’t pay enough to justify the aggravation. If I had created an ideal client profile and list of deal breakers beforehand, I would have known what I was looking for (and what to avoid like the plague) with each new prospective client.
Sometimes, even with our best efforts, our negotiations won’t go how we’d like. And then what? And then we think that every future negotiation will obviously fall apart, result in a no, or generally be a torturous, unsuccessful misery fest.Read More
I am absolutely horrible at remembering people’s names. Moments after an introduction, when someone has just said their name, it’s already gone. I’ll go back and try to remember the introduction, but when I call back the memory, it goes something like this:
Me: Hi, I’m Lelia.
Mystery person: Hi, I’m [beeeeeeeeeep].
This has become such a frustrating problem that I’ve researched ways to get better at it. They haven't worked. But I did learn that one reason that it’s difficult to remember names when meeting new people is that we’re so focused on making a good impression that we forget to listen. Psychologists call this the “next-in-line effect”.
This happens all the time in negotiation. You can be so worried about what you’re going to say next or how to respond to that last point that you can forget to listen to what the other person is saying.Read More
Growing up, the local skating rink was the coolest place to celebrate your 12th birthday. Two-thirds of the way through the party, the staff (who all wore referee uniforms) would initiate a massive game of Red Light/Green Light.
To start, we would skate as fast as our prepubescent legs could carry us until a ref yelled, “Red light!”, at which point, we came to a screeching halt. The more talented among us would crouch on their skate’s brakes, poised to launch into motion at full speed at the next declaration, “Green light!”Read More
If a friend told you they wanted to set you up on a blind date with their cousin, what’s the first thing you would do? Google the cousin, right? The same should apply to someone with whom you’re negotiating. Getting to know your counterpart can help you decide how to approach the conversation based on their personality, what they value and how they like to receive information.
Let’s say you want to hire me to write branded content for your business. Through some light internet research, you would learn that the other part of my business focuses on public speaking and my best friend lives in Dallas (I write about him often). If you were asking me to decrease my contract fee, you could offer me the paid keynote at an upcoming conference or include a trip to your Dallas office to sweeten the pot and encourage me to offer a lower rate.Read More
When was the last time you negotiated?
According to researchers Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, most women say it’s been months. Some women I’ve worked with say they’ve never negotiated. One grad student told me the last time she negotiated was with her parents – to increase her allowance over a decade ago.Read More
According to a new survey from PayScale, the advice women have been getting about sharing their salary history may be wrong. Almost universally, the recommendation has been this: don’t answer the questionRead More
You know those moments when you’re at a dead end in a conversation with your boss, partner or airline customer service rep? Whether it’s explicitly stated or not, your counterpart is saying, “There’s nothing more I can do,” or “This conversation is over,” but you’re not ready to throw in the towel.
I’ve hit many such roadblocks recently. Over the last week, I’ve been booked on a total of 16 flights trying to fly to and from two (2!) client events. While my travel karma is usually excellent, I found myself negotiating with many an airline employee due to weather delays, unrealistically tight connections, and a particularly embarrassing personal first – waking up 30 minutes after my early morning flight departed.Read More
A client recently remarked on that weird moment when a potential employer asks for your salary range. She wondered, “Should it be X% over what I'm making now? Based entirely on salary calculators?”
When money is at play in a negotiation, we tend to prioritize it above all else, often at the expense of our ultimate goals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of money, but focusing too closely on the numbers can cause us to lose sight of the big picture.Read More