Guest blogger Diana Matthews: "I spoke from the heart"

Diana Matthews

Diana Matthews

Hello! I’m Diana, the distribution manager and tour director for Dream, Girl, a documentary film showcasing the unique stories of ambitious female entrepreneurs. A big part of my job is being the frontline contact for individuals who are interested in hosting screenings of the film for their communities. As we lead up to our launch in June, I will be answering emails and chatting on the phone with hosts about what they have in mind for their events, going through logistics and yes, selling the film and closing deals.

A few months ago, I would’ve described myself as a negotiation wimp, at best. Negotiating is something that wasn’t part of my vocabulary before I had this job. The thought of engaging in a back-and-forth about money absolutely terrified me. But it was brought to my attention that negotiation would be a significant component of my role with Dream, Girl. I was nervous, hesitant and downright scared of having these types of conversations with our hosts. To help me get comfortable with this important part of our work, my employers connected me with Alex from Ask For It, who showed me how vital negotiation is to good business and how fulfilling it can be.

Alex and I hopped on a one-hour call to go through some examples of the kinds of negotiation situations I may find myself. I started out rigid, timid and standoffish — but by the end of our session, I was talking about the value of our film with ease because I was able to speak from the heart. I feel very lucky to be a part of a company that completely aligns with my values and beliefs, so when I was encouraged to talk about the value I see in this film and communicate that to our hosts, the words came naturally.

I learned that negotiation isn’t about driving down the price and cutting corners to gain an advantage over someone else.

It’s a collaboration that seeks to identify what everyone brings to the table, and how those products or services can benefit everyone with a stake in the conversation.

Although I’m not yet totally comfortable with negotiation discussions, the way my perspective has shifted has allowed me to find space for exploration and creativity in discussions that can so easily become anything but. Making negotiation a part of my vocabulary has allowed me to open up to possibilities. Dream, Girl’s mission is to uplift and empower and a vital part of that is listening to and working with the perspectives and needs of your audience.

When you are able to do that, the possibilities are endless.

Want to share your own negotiation story? We'd love to hear it! Contact Lily at lily@askforit.co to learn more about guest blogging. 

Comment

Alexandra Dickinson

Alexandra Dickinson is the CEO and founder of Ask For It, a boutique consulting company working to close the gender wage gap by effecting change at both the institutional and individual level. We work with companies, schools, organizations and individuals through a combination of trainings, workshops and consulting. Our goal is for women and men to be paid based on their talents and skills, regardless of gender, and for our company to have been an important part of that change.