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LBS Professor on Negotiation Skills for Women Leaders

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Negotiation skills for women leaders was the topic of a recent article in HR Magazine by Kathleen O’Connor of London Business School (LBS).

Dr. O’Connor, who is a visiting professor from Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson School of Management, teaches Organizational Behavior at LBS. Her research has focused on the ways in which people network and negotiate.

She writes, “For some women the prospect of either networking or negotiating can feel inauthentic. Others fear their efforts will be met with a loud and unpleasant ‘no’. So how can they boost their chances of success?”

Dr. O’Connor points to three major points that women in business can turn to in order to not only boost their negotiation skills, but to strengthen their teams and companies as a whole: managing networks deliberately; using goal directed tactics; and hearing ‘no’ as ‘not yet’.

In networking, she advises, one should not only focus on strong relationships but on those that may be considered distant or ‘weaker’.  “Each of us has a network: a set of relationships, some strong and others weak… These weaker ties are critical for connecting us with helpful resources – expertise, advice and information about opportunities.”

O’Connor employs the acronym SHIFT- Separating interests from positions; Hearing opposing sides; Investing in relationships; Framing negotiations as puzzles to be solved; and Thinking creatively.

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About the Author

Maggie Boccella
Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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