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J.Lo's former COO Jeff Lee on the art of the deal - get top tips

26 August 2020

Panel for negotiation webinar

Lawyer and advisor, Jeff Lee along with author and founder Other Side of the Table Sam Trattles talk about negotiating.

Jeff was appointed Chief Operations Officer to Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez in 2018. He is a graduate of Stanford and Yale and has also practiced as a lawyer and consultant to the Miss Universe competition.

“Men have always had an easier time getting what we're worth. Yet as we celebrate Equal Pay Day around the world, it has never been more important to stop looking at this debate as giving up ‘half of the pie’,” says Jeff.

“Women don't just hold up half the sky: we need them to reach for the stars.

“I've negotiated for (and against) the world's most powerful women, from representing Jennifer Lopez in the boardroom to backing Vice President nominee Kamala Harris for her Senate seat and defending Fortune 500 CEOs under attack.

“I've trained under some of the greatest negotiators in the world, and I've learned things from women I never would have from the men.”

Three tips for negotiating your pay:

1. Groundwork: Neither Rome nor your pay raise could ever be built in a day. Do all your homework on how much leverage you have, and what non-monetary perks you may be willing to accept. Have your allies prepare the ground for you. Have a list of your achievements over the year ready to discuss, so you can frame the negotiation. If you come in knowing the playing field and your counterpart's goals better than they do, you'll have the upper hand.

2. Mindset: The only thing you can control going in is your own mindset. View the negotiation as the establishment of a long-term relationship, a puzzle-solving exercise for both sides rather than a land grab. We often leave value on the table upfront in exchange for the goodwill it earns over the long term.

3. Lifeline: Know when to hit the brakes, call for help or just terminate the negotiation to keep you from entering the “death spiral”. The worst thing you can do is promise something you can't deliver. Have these lifelines to delay or reboot things in your favour.

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