How to win contracts and influence colleagues: the Saïd Business School way

Think about the most influential negotiator in your workplace and, chances are, the person most likely to come to mind will be a man.

It seems gender has a lot to answer for when it comes to the art of getting your ideas listened to and decisions made.

But, the good news is, with a bit of learned behaviour it doesn’t have to be a barrier for women looking to achieve in business. And, thanks to the brilliant minds of Tim Cullen, Alison McQuater and the Said Business School, the Women of the Future network now knows a few of those trade secrets.

The recent Women in Negotiation day in Oxford was great for confidence boosting and giving liked-minded women the chance to come together and realise that they, too, can make a difference and find a voice in their organisations and careers.

It’s no mean feat to take a room of ambitious women and salt dough handprint help turn them into skilled negotiators. What each of the exercises and role playing sessions actually demonstrated, however, was that women do, in fact, have all the characteristics necessary to have real influence.

They just need to believe in them.

Successful negotiation isn’t about ruthless behaviour and underhand tactics. It’s about relationship building, honesty and integrity, listening and understanding the salt Dough Recipe motivations of the person you are trying to persuade. An authentic approach leads to partnerships based on trust. And, empathy not aggression, will take you a long way.

Could you secure a good price by digging the dirt and lying about what’s achievable, knowing you can manage expectations once the contract is signed? Possibly. Would it be a good working relationship and would they ever work with you again? Probably not.

A day that reminds us all we can be true to ourselves and get results, is a good day. A day that also reminds us about the importance of connecting inspiring women, is a very good day indeed.

Thank you Said Business School and Women of the Future for helping us take a step back to recognise how we can move forward successfully.

Article by Jackie Scully, winner of the Community Spirits Award 2015

Further information on the course offered by the Saïd Business School, can be found here.

Further to the success of the recent Women in Play Dough Recipe Negotiation events, Saïd Business School is delighted to offer an exclusive 10% discount for members of the WOF Network when booking onto The Oxford Programme on Negotiation 19 – 24 June 2016. For more details contact

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