Over the next few days while attending the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) I will post a few blogs that discusses my take-aways from the sessions. It is a good way for me to make sense of the material and it offers non-attendees a glimpse at the content and discussion. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Tonight, the keynote speaker was accomplished author Sara Laschever, co-author of two best-selling books including “Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Negotiation–and Positive Strategies for Change” (2007) and “Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want” (2009).”
While it is no secret that women may struggle with negotiation Laschever’s sobering comments about the role we play as leaders and managers in helping to shape the the culture of negotiation in the workplace really stuck with me.
“Both men and women expect women to accept less and concede more,” Laschever said.
Think about that for a minute. While I do not believe that most people consciously go out of their way to treat people differently, do we have a different threshold of understanding/support/advocacy for men than for women?
If her words are true, then what does that mean for how we hire, advocate, provide feedback and promote? What can we do to create an atmosphere that continuously checks our own innate biases?
The second part of her keynote that I have been reflecting on is about the concept of knowing what your employees want from their work experience. Laschever said that we can manage people better if we truly understand their goals and long-term objectives. I believe it also helps us to serve as better advocates for them in the process.
What do your employees want from their current position? What opportunities are they seeking in the future? It is important to separate what YOU might want for them and instead focus on helping them achieve their goals.
What do you think about Laschever’s comments? What resonated for you?
Follow the discussion at #WLI11