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Former Member

On Tuesday, July 12, SAP Silicon Valley welcomed Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Margaret (Maggie) Neale, to the Palo Alto campus as part of the University Speaker Series, a thought leadership program that drives SAPsv employees to learn, grow, and engage.

SAP’s Chief Learning Officer, Jenny Dearborn, kicked off the event by welcoming Maggie to the stage. During her talk, Maggie shared how we can get more of what we want, through the power of negotiation.

Maggie started her discussion explaining that people often view negotiation as a battle, and this is something we must change. By viewing negotiation as creative problem solving, you can allow yourself to create solutions in which you are better off than the status quo and your counterparts may be better off than their alternatives, as well. Despite the collaborative nature of problem solving, Maggie cautioned to avoid the “allure of agreement.” Negotiation is not about reaching an agreement, but rather a “good deal.”

While Maggie’s negotiation concepts are universally applicable, she explained that women are less likely to benefit from negotiations, let alone negotiate at all. Two major reasons for this are that women don’t even consider negotiation an option or they are uncomfortable negotiating

in the first place, because they fear they will be perceived as too demanding or greedy.

Despite this, when women do negotiate, they are more likely to get a “better deal” for someone else, rather than themselves. Maggie encouraged the audience to think of who they are representing when they negotiate: a team, organization, family, or all those that will come after. With this mindset, you can get more of what you want and also benefit others in the process.

Lastly, Maggie assured the audience that adopting a problem-solving orientation can lead to an increased comfort with negotiation. And ultimately, Maggie pointed out, if you don’t ask, how will others know what you want? They won’t! So, why not try?

Get of taste of Maggie’s talk in her Periscope interview with SAPsv and Jenny Dearborn held prior to her talk.

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Blog by Lauren Maser / Joe Fanucchi