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May 19, 2010

La Roxy in The Capitol

A few months ago, I got this intriguing email:
Hi Roxy,

I've been reading your blog and I'm fascinated by the data you've uncovered. Have you considered turning your experience into a presentation?

I am an aide to a Congressman and [a member of] a group dedicated to promoting the ranks of women among legislative staff in the U.S. Capitol. Our members are involved in negotiations affecting not just their own personal gain, but often deal in public policy decisions as well. As such, we have a real interest in exploring how people react to women as negotiators and, well, "askers."

So here's my ask for the day: If you are ever in Washington, DC, would you consider speaking to our group about your experiences and what you've uncovered? We couldn't pay for airfare, but we could put you up in a [...] guest room and provide a meal or two.

Thanks for your consideration,

A Reader
Which brings us to Monday at noon, when I found myself in a room in the U.S. Capitol surrounded by a group of advanced askers, talking to them about the issue I most care about: women and negotiation.

What's your idea of heaven? This may just be mine.

These women work as congressional aides, which means that a large part of their job involves researching issues, attending meetings and making policy recommendations on behalf of various individuals, groups and lobbyists. That also means they spend all day asking and being asked. For favors, information, advocacy, contributions, collaborations, promises, assurances and more -- with sprinkes, please.

For our session, their concerns were focused on two particular questions: How to make sure they are compensated fairly, and how to be better negotiators when brokering the kinds of agreements that are their daily bread.

I gave them ideas, answered their questions (still owe you one about scoring discounts -- stay tuned for a post on that subject, sometime in the next week) and asked them questions back. At the end of the meeting, I gave them an asking challenge. I'll post it on the next page and invite you to join.

All in all, I loved every minute of my first speaking engagement as The Daily Asker! And I hope they did too!? ;)

If you'd like me to come talk to your group, don't hesitate to get in touch. Write to me thedailyasker at gmail dot com.

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