June 26, 2019

Writing Sample: Book Review

Book Review: A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating

    …offers an enticing promise: Never be taken advantage of again. Despite the irresistibility of that, I probably would never have bought this book on my own. Oh, what I would have missed!!!

Authors Lee E. Miller and his daughter Jessica Miller, set us straight with documentation for their claim that men and women “see the world differently” and, when it comes to negotiating, that difference works to a woman’s advantage.  Oh, really??????

Though my heavy negotiating years are behind me now that the teenagers are out of the house, my main negotiation strategy is to appeal to the other guy’s “higher self” and maybe I’ll come out OK. I really need to acknowledge the obvious:  that even the most upright individuals seem to have trouble finding their higher selves when sitting at the negotiating table.

Which brings us to their next point — we negotiate all the time.

The Millers do a great job of illuminating the negotiation potential in virtually every human interaction, whether it be asking for a raise or deciding where to go for dinner.  Using what must be hundreds of examples from real live women — athletes to actors, and politicians to publishers — they reveal the common qualities of great negotiators.  Then they explain the 10 Most Common Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them before introducing their readers to the three key tools for getting what you want — Convince, Collaborate, and Create. 

In the last half of the book, the authors tackle the most important negotiations women have IN DETAIL.  They explain the fundamentals of how to negotiate with a man in any situation and then move into the most important relationship of our lives — marriage.  From there we head into the workplace and that bugaboo, asking for a raise.  We learn how to negotiate for a new job and a new car.  The chapter on buying and selling real estate is so step-by-step it can help anyone with their own transaction and should be a “must read” for any woman in the business.  Last, the Millers take us through that most difficult and consequential negotiation — Divorce. 

Did I like this book? For me, it was a page turner.  The examples were so detailed and so universal it was like Deja Vu, only this time you were learning how to do it the RIGHT way.  My husband, watching me eat up the pages, nervously asked if I was now going to start negotiating everything with him.  You BETCHA!  In fact, he might try a little buffing up on the ole’ negotiating skills himself.  Fortunately, this book was preceded by a more manly version entitled UP: Influence, Power and the U Perspective by Lee E Miller with Barbara Jackson. 

What didn’t I like?  I could make something up but, honestly, not one darn thing. 

My recommendation: this book should come with every training bra.  There isn’t a woman on the planet who, after reading it, wouldn’t feel less outmanned in her next negotiation knowing that the way she thinks gives her the advantage; it’s all in knowing how to use it. Most of all, we need to share this with our daughters. 

Imagine what would have been different for you had you had the know-how to negotiate confidently and effectively at an early age.  Why, that cute little sports car might have been yours, after all.  And with it maybe that cute guy, who would have noticed you if only you had caught his eye!  (We won’t go there.) 

Disclosure: I received a free copy of A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating to ensure a complete review based on my personal opinion. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review and the opinion set forth above is that of my own based on completion of reading A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating.  Mary Handfelt