Despite all of our progress and growing self-assurance, women still don’t like to negotiate aggressively. That’s according to Selena Rezvani, author of a new book entitled ‘Push back’. It’s not exactly a eureka-worthy proposition, but it is one that merits repeating ….again.
Rezvani proposes two main reasons for our reluctance to embrace a push back style of negotiation. The first is that we tend to place a higher value on relationships than on agenda. The second is our general tendency towards perfection.
Whether or not you agree with Rezvani’s assessments, existence of the problem cannot be denied. In reading Rezvani’s book, I found her approach to tackle the problem to be deliberate and purposeful. The book is organized so that Rezvani can lead the reader along a path to comfortably push back during a negotiation. Rezvani reminds the reader why she must push back, guides her to discover her push back style, and then teaches the tools she needs to execute her negotiation. The tools include detailed instructions on how to move through each of the four steps: prepare psychologically, do homework, manoeuvre through the negotiation itself and follow up post negotiation.
Rezvani also conducted several interviews to uncover advice and inspiration from women who have successfully pushed back in their own careers. She intertwines these wonderful words of wisdom amongst the practical tools she teaches. The result is a book that satisfies both the how to push back and the inspiration to push back.
While the title of the book seems to suggest a purely raw, almost macho approach to negotiation, Rezvani beautifully balances the fact that a woman must push back in her career with the acceptance that relationships are to be valued. She writes “…a true negotiation relies on interdependence. We need to convince and work with the other side to get what we want”.
While Rezvani isn’t breaking new ground with this book, she is still doing a great service to women by forcing us to continually remember that we have a responsibility to manage our own careers and to push back. She helps the reader fight the need for perfectionism and shows her how to push back without de-valuing the relationship with the other negotiating party.
E-reader’s Opinion: If you find yourself with a negotiation on the horizon, reading this book could help improve your skills to maximize that negotiation. Even if you feel you have the practical skills to push back, the advice from the women that Rezvani interviewed might serve to elevate and uplift you before heading into that negotiation.
Your E-reader reviewer is Hetal Kushwaha, Liaison – International Practice, Marks & Clerk Canada. She would like to emphasize that this is just her opinion and it is not intended to represent the views of Marks & Clerk, Canada. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NYC location for the 2013 Women in IP Law Cross Country Networking Event was sponsored by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, along with Goldstein Patent Law. Despite a severe thunderstorm that afternoon, approximately 50 people came to the offices of Robins Kaplan in the Citicorp building for a lively event that featured amazing food, great conversation, and even book giveaways. AIPLA President Jeff Lewis attended in NYC, and spoke on the teleconference – giving his views about the continuing importance of the Women in IP Law Committee.
To see photos from the event please click HERE.