Alexandra Carter is Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School, where she is also as an award-winning professor, and a world-renowned negotiation trainer for the United Nations. She also serves as Executive Director of Stand Up Girls, helping tween girls develop relationships for greater self-esteem and resilience. She has appeared on CBS This Morning, MSNBC’s LIVE Weekend and Hardball, Marketplace, and in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Alex is the author of ASK FOR MORE: Ten Questions to Negotiate Anything. Alex believes you don’t have to be the most aggressive person to get a deal done, all it takes is asking the right questions and you can negotiate anything.
[3:25] Alexandra had that moment when she was a law student in Columbia that this was the career path that she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
[7:35] Acknowledgement is a hugely important tool, not just for negotiators, but for leadership as well.
[9:25] The pandemic is changing the way we negotiate because we are no longer in the same room together. Right now, it’s more critical than ever when you’re not face-to-face to lead the negotiations with a question.
[11:40] Whenever possible, Alexandra tries to set up video calls, not just phone calls. It feels more like a conversation than an interrogation.
[12:15] Zoom fatigue is very real. Our brain is trying to process the ‘unknown’ that it can’t pick up on when it’s not in person.
[14:35] The handshake is not the only way to greet someone, to show appreciation, or even to confirm a deal. Through Alexandra’s multicultural experiences, she has discovered you can build connection without touch.
[17:20] Negotiation vs. Mediation. The difference between these two things is meditators are third-party people trying to help bridge a gap between a negotiation. They act as a coach to help both parties ask the right questions.
[23:15] Most people want the same things, even at the higher multi-million-dollar deal level.
[24:30] Alexandra never had a ‘one-time’ client, because she’s made a conscious effort to create relationships.
[26:45] No matter your background, negotiation is for everyone. You don’t have to be the most aggressive person in the room to do it.
[31:50] Relationships create a deal, not the other way around.
[33:00] When you find out the types of objections people have, you find out what they really need.
[36:25] Alexandra’s advice: People start their negotiations in the wrong place. Instead of trying to brainstorm or come up with the right solutions right away, first, start with finding the right problem to solve. Before you negotiate, figure out what’s the first problem you want to solve.
[41:00] Even in a pandemic, you can still ask for more of the things that make life worthwhile, even going out to grow your business and serve people.
Quotable Quotes“Questions have tremendous power.” Click To Tweet “When a leader acknowledges his/her team, people go the extra mile for you.” Click To Tweet “When we can’t see each other, we’re less likely to trust each other.” Click To Tweet “As a mediator, the work that I’ve been able to do with folks has saved a lot of relationships.” Click To Tweet “Most of the time, you can find a way to create value for both people.” Click To Tweet “You don’t have to be the most aggressive person in the room to be a good negotiator. You just have to ask great questions and create great relationships.” Click To Tweet
The Leadership Podcast is proud to announce a new initiative with thoughtLEADERS to provide very short podcasts called “chalk talks.” They’re “bitesize” hacks on common (but challenging) leadership issues. Interested in learning more?
You can only access the Chalk Talks by subscribing to our newsletter at The Leadership Podcast.
Beyond the Uniform offers over 300 free episodes to help military Veterans succeed in their civilian career. This includes overviews of potential career paths, deep dives on necessary skills to succeed, and reviews of other free services that support the military Veteran community. You can find more info at BeyondTheUniform.org.