About Us

Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

She Mediates

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She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

the nice things some people say about she negotiates

"Victoria Pynchon's negotiation skills crush cultural bias, gender barriers and even fears about the tumultuous economy. She taught me to conquer my fears with courage and navigate contentious negotiation, while demanding my market value.  Her one-on-one supportive coaching techniques trump transformation. Working with her has triggered a personal evolutionary spiral into a new way of doing business with confidence, the fruits of which have knocked down walls in every part of my life. I felt supported through the entire process and experienced immediate results."

Judy Martin, Business Journalist & Founder WorkLifeNation.com

"Lisa Gates reached into the very core of my being in order to bring me back into the reality of my dreams. Her talk is real and her methods concise. I no longer doubt what I'm doing...instead I speak, write, and live, knowing exactly why I do what I do and I realize that the goals I have set for myself are entirely up to me and attainable." 

Cicily R. Janus, Writing Away Retreats

Negotiation is a Conversation Leading to Agreement

From today's "She Negotiates" lesson.

If negotiation is a conversation with agreement as its goal, we should not be wasting our time arguing with one another about whose point of view is the best. We should be talking to one another about how we can both achieve as many of the goals we both want to achieve as a result of our conversation.

You do not have to change anyone's mind to give them what they want to get. And you don't have to grudgingly accept half a loaf (a portion of the pie) if, unbeknownst to one another, you possess five items of value your bargaining partner wants or needs, and your bargaining partner possesses a dozen items of value you want or need. In a really effective negotiation, you may find that together you and your bargaining partner can whip up a dozen pies and end up with more than either of you had imagined.

Wouldn't you like to be learning how to do this instead of working on that sanctions motion for your adversary's bad faith refusal to answer interrogatories?

The next game-changing She Negotiates month-long coached course begins on September 16.  Stop trying to change people's minds and start changing the world!

And gentlemen, tell your women friends.  Husbands and significant others benefit from this course as well!  My own happily came back from the gym the other day saying "I did what you taught me; I got two extra months of gym membership free."

yes we can! negotiate our jobs back! at ForbesWoman

Please don't buy me retail

My friend's Women's Bar Association is looking for a speaker. 

They wanted that other woman who speaks on the topic of women negotiating.  You know the one . . . what's her name.  Yes, that's her.  The annual meeting committee gave her a ring and she quoted them $10,000 for an hour keynote.  To be fair, an hour keynote takes all day.  First, you've got to travel, then stay over night, then, if you're really serious about being of service to women lawyers, you get up early and listen to the morning speaker, talk to your table mates, find out what their challenges are, and, then alter, ever so slightly, your noon keynote to deliver exactly what this particular unique group of women need to hear.  You stay after, of course, to answer questions and sell copies of your book, which is, after all, your time, the time you'd be spending anyway spreading the good news that women can negotiate away the glass ceiling and the pay gap and their kids' private school tuitions.  Because that's just how you roll.  So it's never just an hour.

Still.

$10,000. 

"Did you negotiate with her?" I asked.

"The search committee didn't even try," said my friend.  "They figured her price was retail."

I don't mind being second choice.  That other woman, well, shoot, she pretty much started the whole women-negotiating-revolution.  I get it.  So I gave my quote and added, "but I'm not a suit on a hanger at Bloomies.  You don't have to buy me retail.  Remember some of what I taught you about money and value."

"Uhhhhh, make an aggressive first offer?"

"Well, yes.  But that's not what I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about the money is meaningless lesson.  You remember.  You can't eat or drink it.  It won't actually do the surgery nor build an addition to your house.  Remember how it just evaporated overnight right before George Bush left office?  Remember how your house was worth $500,000 on Monday and two fifty on Tuesday?

'Money has a value only because we give it value.  It's only worth what we say it's worth.

"Uhhhh . . . . "

"O.K.  I know.  I talk too much and too vaguely."

Here's the deal.  My price is X + expenses.  That's negotiable.  I don't tell you it's negotiable because as soon as I do you'll start negotiating!  And since it was me who taught you to negotiate, I'm not wild about bargaining with you.  The desire to teach is way to strong in me.

"I'm negotiable.  So is that other woman, the one whose book title is Ask for It!  And money isn't the only measure of value.  It would also be of value to me for your women's bar association to sell my book.  Of course I'll bring it with me to autograph and the like.  But you could also include it on your invitations.  If someone in your Bar Association blogs, they could give it a review.  If you haven't already pledged that you wouldn't give away anyone's email address, you could give me your mailing list so I can stay in touch with your members.  Each of your members also has her own network.  We could brainstorm about ways that you could give me the benefit of my pre-speech networking acumen to get more women to your convention.  It's hard to sell seats these days.  How many people are you expecting?  What if we double that?  Could you pay me my full fee then?

"None of us is a suit on a rack.  And what we can do for one another is so much greater than opening our wallets and shelling out a few dollars that money sometimes seems just laughable.  So let me say this again.  I know you've heard it before but I want to highlight it here again.

"I am a store of value and you are too.  My network, my social capital is a store of the store of value of each member in it.  And in that, you and I are both rich.

"Got it?"

My friend, my student, is smiling, even though I can't see that over the telephone.

"I got it."

"Now what was that offer again?"

 The next game changing She Negotiates workshop is still open for a few last-minute members.  We start on Monday.  Don't be a suit on a rack.  Join us!

(cross posted at She Negotiates)

Negotiating Women's Leadership with the PLUS Foundations

Happy Lawyers is Not an Oxymoron Redux

Pictured:  Chere Estrin, Chairperson, Board of Directors, The OLP;  Editor-in-Chief, SUE for Women Litigators; Editor-in-Chief, KNOW the Magazine for Paralegals; CEO, Estrin Education, Inc.

I've written about happy and unhappy lawyers before - here and here but I've rarely framed the issue as succinctly or as well as Chere Estrin at the Organization of Legal Professionals.  In the sidebar to her article The Secrets to a Stress Free Career, Estrin says work does not give you stress. Feeling bad about work gives you stress. 

What does Estrin know? 

Quite a lot. 

"I used to be the most stressed-put person I knew," says Estrin.

I averaged 90 hour weeks in the legal field as an executive in a $5 billion corporation, traveled three weeks out of four, answered to some big shots who thought they owned the planet, and managed hundreds of people.  It wasn’t much different when I was a paralegal manager.  There were critical deadlines to meet, difficult attorneys to juggle, anxious clients to handle and something called a “minimum billable hours” requirement, now referred to as “suggested” hours in a more politically correct and less actionable environment.  I recently looked at a picture of myself during that era.  I was holding my new-born niece, Cristina, a joy to behold and I looked like I just escaped from a train wreck and stopped by to say howdy.

Sound familiar?  After debunking some stress myths (you should go right over there now to read them) Estrin suggests the following:  

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negotiation - it takes courage

(cross posted at She Negotiates)

I asked one of my consulting clients for a testimonial yesterday.

"Anything," she said, "it's genuinely changed the way I do everything.  It's not just the shift in my business relationship with [BigBiz, Inc.].  I dumped a boyfriend last week because of our conversations!  So, seriously, what would you like me to say?"

My client and I, like the few women commercial litigation clients I had during my twenty-five years as a lawyer (2%?) were quickly becoming friends.  And I was proud of her.  Truly proud.  Like a parent would be.

"I'm proud of you," I finally said, even though I'd been thinking it for weeks.  "You've shifted the power in your working relationship and that was difficult to do.  You were persistent.  You're a first class learner.  And you've been brave."

She laughed, the way we women do when we're praised, wanting the moment to pass instead of savoring it a little, particularly when we know deep down we've genuinely achieved something important in our own lives and careers but don't want to appear self-satisfied.

So I said it again.  "I'm really proud of you.  You've done great work and you never gave up.  You didn't fold to the power of BigBiz, Inc.  You stood up for yourself."

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Closing the Wage Gap Rocking Your World

As the July She Negotiates workshop nears, I realize that the one force that might discourage women from participating is the same force the workshop is designed to (and will inevitably) resolve: the effect of the recession on women's already reduced earning power.

But let's take a look at what's at stake here - your economic future.

Why this is Mission Critical

The wage and income gap is stuck at 33% despite the gains made by women in business and the professions over the past thirty years. That's simply unacceptable to me. And because I know the reason why, I've committed myself to spreading the word and teaching the skills necessary to close that gap NOW.

You Know Why the Wage Gap Persists?

I believe I do.  I'm no social scientist, but I am an expert negotiator with a master of laws degree in conflict resolution and five years of full-time experience facilitating the negotiated resolution of commercial litigation.

I've been teaching women to negotiate for the past two years and here's what I learned - both on the ground and through extensive research.

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No Woman, No Matter How Successful, Ever Has a Pure Business Negotiation

Yesterday at the She Negotiates blog, I posted two quotes by a woman executive (President and CEO) who is blazingly successful in one of the most male-dominated industries in the world - construction of sports arenas.

Here they are again:

After she’d been in business for 15 years, a colleague told [Alvarado] she had two problems.

[Y]ou have a Hispanic company name, so you may be stereotyped [and] when you walk into a conference room to negotiate, you look like a woman.

When her son was five and asked if he wanted to grow up and be a “contractor like your mother and build sports facilities and schools,” he said “with disdain,

“No, that’s women’s work.”

Ba ba bump! (rim shot). Or as the old feminists used to say, "click."

My partner in negotiation-for-women crime is life-balance coach, Lisa Gates

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