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#5 - Negotiation Masterclass with Abadesi Osunsade

Transcript from interview #5 - Negotiation Masterclass with Abadesi Osunsade

Nicole:   0:04

Welcome to the I ALSO Want Money podcast, where our mission is to democratize, demystify and demasculinize making money. I'm your host, Nicole Kyle, and I'm here with my co-host, Sophie Holm and ally, Harrison Comfort. 


Nicole:   0:27

Today on I ALSO Want Money, we are very lucky and fortunate to have Abadesi Osunsade on our podcast. Abadesi is quite honestly, in my opinion, a superhero. She is a co-founder and entrepreneur. She's an author. She's a mentor and a facilitator, a podcast host, quite literally does it all when it comes to advancing the underrepresented in their careers, particularly in the high tech industry. Now, the main reason we have Abadesi on the podcast today is we all know that base pay is a key ingredient in our wealth journey. So today we really want to drill into how we can start to master those negotiations, how we can get comfortable asking for more and what strategies we can use in order to win in our next negotiation. Abadesi first, let me just say thank you for being here today.


Abadesi Osunsade:   1:17

Oh, thanks for having me... love talking about money and negotiating.


Nicole:   1:21

Yes, exactly, two of our favorite things. Just to open the conversation up. When you first began on your Hustle Crew journey, what in particular were you observing about trends or patterns in negotiations? Specifically, that led to negotiation being a big part of the broader advancement mission you have at Hustle Crew?


Abadesi Osunsade:   1:44

That's a great question. Thanks so much for starting there. What, really, if I'm honest, annoyed me and frustrated me was the fact that I had reached a point in my career in 2016 - the year I started Hustle Crew - where quite a few of my really good friends from university had transitioned from consulting or other professional backgrounds into tech startups. And I suddenly had really, really, really close friends I could ask greedy, pretty personal questions, too. Like how much are you earning? How much equity did they give you? What was the base? What's your bonus structure? And a really good friend of mine had actually gone into a growth role, and then got me, teed up to go into a [business development] at a startup. So I was basically recruited by somebody in my friend's network to leave Amazon and join this tech company. And because we' both been starting new roles around the same time, my friend kind of gave me his playbook and literally said: look, this is exactly how I structured the email in terms of, this is what my salary expectations are, this is what I'm expecting in terms of equity because of what I'm leaving behind. And I literally copied this to a t, of course, modifying it for my own requirements, and my own expectations. And it was one of the most horrifying recruitment experiences of my life. And, you know, honestly, I should have really identified the red flags, but I found myself being pushed back upon by the hiring manager saying whoa, whoa, whoa, where is all of this coming from? Like there's so many demands here, I'm gonna have to - I can't really negotiate above this level. I'm gonna have to pass you on to our VP of international. And I found myself on a phone call with a super aggressive man basically telling me that if I did not agree to the original offer I'd been given the offer, the would be taken away. And I was listening to this guy shouting down the phone at me all the while knowing....   


Harrison:   0:00

Shouting?


Abadesi Osunsade:   3:37

Yeah, literally, literally. Like I was later told..


Harrison:   3:41

And he expected you to come work there!?


Abadesi Osunsade:   3:44

Well, I mean, stupid me, I actually did. I was there the whole time on the phone, kind of thinking this is such a surreal experience because one of my best friends basically gave me this playbook that he's sworn, is successful and has sworn, works for him, worked for friends, and I followed all the rules of this playbook, and I'm now being shouted out, so this is really, really bizarre. And after that experience, I just started having way more honest conversations with that same friend that gave me his negotiation playbook, and tons of other guys I knew who were also in start ups and also in revenue generating roles like myself, just about how they navigated conversations like, how do you negotiate your commission structure? How do you negotiate what your revenue target should be? And it always felt like we were doing the same things, but reaching very different outcomes. So often when they would push for more compensation or push back on what they felt were really aggressive targets, it felt like they could do that with relative ease. Like once they made their case, they were believed and action was taken. It felt like every time I pushed back on what I felt were unrealistic targets, or when I tried to fight for more compensation, the push backs I got implied I was being selfish, that I wasn't being a team player, that I didn't have my eyes on the grand vision and the grand goal... which felt a bit like an attack because it's kind of like, wait, I'm literally here from morning till night and working on weekends, and I'm selfish!? I didn't get that. So I think that really was the catalyst for me, that particular experience, joining a startup and negotiating exactly as my friend had done and getting really different results and then being in that role and navigating more negotiations around targets and compensation in parallel with other guy friends in the industry and realizing I tended to disproportionately have a really hard time doing it. And it was crazy because in university we were friends because I was often the person who could answer the questions. Like what I'm trying to say is, in a very humble way, I'm intelligent. I'm not an idiot, right? So I'm not just going in there.


Harrison:   6:06

You're an economist, by trade from LSE, correct? 


Abadesi Osunsade:   6:09

Yes. Exactly. So you know, I've got a great degree from a great university, great credentials. And some of these guy friends, admittedly, you know, by their own admission, would be like I mean, I barely scraped a 2.1 and I studied philosophy, So I don't even know what I'm doing sales and tech for. And we were just kind of laughing about it because they would be like, I just don't get what you're doing wrong. And I would be like, I don't think I am doing anything wrong. I think that it's just bias.


Nicole:   6:40

It's not you. It's the system. 


Abadesi Osunsade:   6:42

Yeah, exactly.


Harrison:   6:45

I have to admit, I don't think I've ever met a guy or had a guy friend, and having a conversation on salary and thought to myself. Oh, wow, he's underpaid.


Abadesi Osunsade:   6:54

Yeah. A lot of people I know, and particularly a lot of the younger professionals in the Hustle Crew community, and when they tell me what they're being offered, I'm just like, whoa, that's less than I was offered when I first graduated in 2009. Do not accept that. So there's definitely a lot of asymmetries of information. I'm sure not only in tech, other industries, too, which employers can exploit to save money.


Nicole:   7:24

Exactly. And your point there around the lack of conversation around salary and base pay, that we just have as peers is a barrier to raising salaries, right? Like thank God for Glassdoor these days. But in the absence of that, or, you know, even with that, it only goes so far. And if we're not talking about it, we can't use our collective bargaining power, right?  To cause employers to revisit with their offers.


Abadesi Osunsade:   7:50

Yeah, definitely. I did a workshop at the Wing a few months ago, and I asked...


Nicole:   7:55

That's when I became obsessed with you! I became very inspired.


Abadesi Osunsade:   8:02

So you'll remember that I asked people to raise their hands if they had negotiated the last offer they've received, and less than 10% of the people in the room raised their hands. And I think if that was a room full of men, we would have seen a very different show of hands. We would have seen way more people raising their hands because there's an expectation that you don't accept the first offer if you have male privilege, because you won't be penalized for asking for more. Whereas unfortunately for women living in this male dominated society, we are penalized for asking for more. You know, when my friend does it, he's seen as being bold and sensible. And when I ask for greater compensation, I'm seen as selfish. So it's very interesting to see the double standards in our industry play out in really, real ways for us.


Sophie:   8:52

Statistically, what they've found is that women actually asked for salary increases or negotiations as often as men, but they're just not granted them.


Abadesi Osunsade:   9:03

Yeah, that doesn't surprise me at all. That doesn't surprise me at all. There seems to be a dominant narrative that whatever women do not have at work that men do is such because women have not asked for it. And I think it's great that we have a better, more true narrative coming out, which is, actually we are asking for it. It's just that no one is listening.


Nicole:   9:28

Yeah, and I think that truth is so - and I don't want it to be - But I think unfortunately, it's paralyzing for a lot of women because, you know, maybe we've had a history of asking for more in salary negotiations and Abadesi, your story, were not successful as women, more often than not, And, it's quite frankly, scarring. I think for a lot of women. And just wondering, in your opinion Abadesi, what can we do to keep trying and to persist when it comes to negotiation?


Abadesi Osunsade:   10:03

I think it's really important for us to be extremely critical of the stories we believe about work and the workplace. Because so many of the dominant narratives around leadership, and what does a great leader look like? What does a great negotiator look like? What does a great team player look like? All of these are inextricable from patriarchy. All of these are inextricable from the system in which we're living in. And this is a system which by definition is largely controlled by men. Men have most of the power and women are actively excluded from that. And so that, for me, is the most interesting part of the definition of patriarchy. Women are actively excluded from power. So if we have been actively excluded from the conversations about what it is to be a good leader, what it means to be a good negotiator, then that means most of the stories out there about that in the corporate world are very much one sided and very much inaccurate, right? Like if you're creating a story that's leaving half the population out, then it's only true for half the population. So the first thing we need to do is remember that a lot of the stuff that we have been taught, or made to believe is just not true. One of those things in tech, for example, is this obsession of meritocracy, you know, like oh my gosh, like we're only hiring the best and we're only promoting the best. And these are the same leaders that are being busted for sexual harassment scandals. And you're just like, okay, so you don't even have integrity. And yet you're going to try and make us believe that you are only hiring objectively based on people's ability to do the role. So, yeah, we have to be able to take everything with a pinch of salt. And I think connected to that, it's a really important commitment to be kind to ourselves because we are swimming against the tide. If we are women who are in work fighting for more, we are doing that in the reality of a gender pay gap, a devastatingly large gender pay gap, a devastatingly large leadership pay gap. Representation of women at board level is minuscule and improving on a glacial pace. Representation of women in C suite, still not good enough. Representation of female founders in the tech industry. I mean, it's one in five, if that. On the representation of women in the tech industry, receiving venture funding has been static at 2% for the last 45 years. So when you actually look at the numbers. I think it's easy to understand why we can be quite deflated at times, but I don't see that as a reason to be put out or down. I see that as a backdrop for why it's so hard and then that makes me feel like I should be kinder to myself and, not expect to close every deal I go for or get every outcome I wish for because I'm not in the status quo, and I'm dealing with additional barriers and additional challenges that, let's say, my more privileged peers who might be male, don't have to deal with. So I think that's the first thing like most of the times when people tell me anything about, you know, their experiences, navigating work. If they're an underrepresented person, I am going to believe them over the dominant narratives that I've heard because I just know that the reason the state of the world is the way it is, is because the voices of underrepresented people have just been left out of the conversation.


Harrison:   13:50

To touch on male privilege, the last time that I asked for a pay raise, I did it over a beer. I invited my boss out for a beer and it was a Friday afternoon and I don't think that had one of my female counterparts asked their male boss to go out for a beer... I don't think that they would have... I don't think that there would have been that cordial dynamic. I'm not speaking very eloquently, but I feel like as a guy, I was able to use my privilege to create an amicable and easy situation to ask for a raise where my female counterpart would not have had that opportunity.


Abadesi Osunsade:   14:38

Totally. I mean, if I start asking guys out for beers, they are going to be like alright let me slide into your DMs...


Nicole:   14:45

A whole other set of double standards and problems there. And I think it's, you know, you're aware of your privilege, which, unfortunately... isn't true for as many men as it should be. It's really interesting. I'm just coming back to that point around, forgiving ourselves and kind of almost reframing a failed negotiation as if I'm a woman. If I'm a woman of color who has an even harder time negotiating. And I have just tried, like, try and internalize that as a bit of a win. I think it's something that I'm taking from what you're saying, because even getting in the room, even saying it... the cards are already stacked against you.


Abadesi Osunsade:   15:27

Absolutely. Yeah, that's totally it. I mean, just what we have to do is amp up the courage. It's harder for us. It's scarier for us. And so the fact that someone's even like making the move and being like, all right, I'm going to do it. I'm gonna try and have this conversation even though failure and rejection are potential outcomes. Hey, good for you !


Sophie:   15:53

And I think another one that's really important is the language that you use when negotiating any kind of negotiation really. Whether it's you know, salary or equity or bonus structure or revenue targets or whatever it is, don't question yourself. Don't excuse anything. You need to really have a very particular language when you go into those negotiations. Is that anything that you kind of teach in your workshops and that you preach?


Abadesi Osunsade:   16:23

Yeah, absolutely. So there's a really good book that I recommend everyone go check out. It's called: Ask For It, and it's by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. I don't know how to pronounce it...


Sophie:   16:36

Do you want to try that 12 times?


Abadesi Osunsade:   16:40

Linda Babcock. Let's just stick with her. Ask For It by Linda Babcock. But it's fascinating because Linda spent her time helping graduate students get jobs, and then she would survey them afterwards. So she would see her MBA students finish their MBA, go out into the workplace. And then she do a survey after one year, after five years, after 10 years, and what she found out was that women and men were earning very different amounts of money, even in the same roles, even with the same credentials, and she couldn't work out why. And she committed herself to coaching all of these individuals on negotiation and measuring the different outcomes that people achieve and the main message of the book is that because of the double standards that women face working in a world with a patriarchal society. When we start behaving like men or like trying to follow the tactics that men use like I shared at the beginning of the interview, we face harsher penalties because the super gendered society that we live in has created very specific expectations of our gender roles. Where men are expected to ask, and expected to push back. And women are expected to be compliant and expected to just go with the flow and be happy with and be content with it on. And it's really important, therefore, while things are the way they are, they are changing. But for now... still the same way, given that it's really important that as women, we accept that and we communicate our negotiation strategy in a way that doesn't verge too far from the expectations of what people have for women in the workplace. So credit, for example, in the book she talks about this idea of being ruthlessly pleasant. Way actually is not even it. Hang on. What is the word? Relentlessly pleasant. So Linda Babcock says that it's really important for women to be relentlessly pleasant, and she's like you can be firm and what you're asking. And you can also be bold in what you're asking for. But it's really important that you do it in a way which is pleasant, because to the point we're making earlier about these additional invisible barriers we're facing. There's this expectation that we are pleasant. And when we come into the negotiation table with our resting bitch face or whatever, people are already on the back foot like, Oh, what is she on her period? What's this gonna be about? I'm already disengaged. I already don't care. But when we go in there all smiling and being like, I'm so pumped! I love being on this team. I just want more money. Then people are like, oh, great, you love being on this team. Let's talk about how much you love being on this team. So we, unfortunately, have to do a little more work. Um, because, let's face it, smiling can be exhausting, especially when you might be actually quite frustrated that you're underpaid. But that's the challenge that underrepresented people... women or other groups have to face in a world that wasn't designed for us because that's really what it comes down to. We're operating in a world where it's not designed for us. I really like this analogy that I read once, which was kind of like imagining that work is like a video game, and then your identity is the level of difficulty. So if you're a straight white male working... you are on easy. If you're a straight white woman, maybe you're on medium. And then if you're a black woman, you're on hard! So you know, it's just an analogy. But I just find that really, really helpful. And I need to be more strategic. I need to use some special moves to pass the boss of this level of difficulty. And sometimes that special move is... I'm going to be relentlessly pleasant. I'm going to come to this table and make it as collaborative as possible. I'm going to come to the table with the idea that as long as we reach a happy outcome, I am still happy. But ideally, I would like to have more. Language is so, so important. That's what the research shows. I don't really like that, if I'm honest with you. I don't like that I have to do more, but I like having money. So, I will do that. I don't mind.


Sophie:   20:57

I love that. I also love that you just said that out loud. I like having more money. I mean, we all do, right? And I think we need to say it so much more,   


Nicole:   0:00

Agreed.


Sophie:   21:04

And we need to have women in powerful positions say it more. You know, part of the reason they're there, is because they like money. So just talking about... you mentioned a couple of things like relentlessly passenger, so language is obviously a big thing to think about when you go into negotiations, but what are some of the other best practices or ways to prepare before you go into a negotiation?


Abadesi Osunsade:   21:28

Yeah, that's a very important question. So the first thing I honestly think the two key parts are preparation and practice. So preparation is just doing all of your research. Like, you know, if it's a new opportunity, you should really be benchmarking.  What's a realistic salary? What's a realistic compensation structure like, are you in an industry where people just get cash? Are you in an industry where people are earning on top of earnings? Are you in tech where you're negotiating equity, and trying to understand the value of that equity you need to like, do your research know what the strike price is, all that kind of stuff? What would be the impact after tax, all that kind of thing? So research, research, research. And when it comes to research... literally  the other day I posted a negotiation video on YouTube, and the first comment was, how do I find out how much I'm worth and you know, Glassdoor. Indeed, Google careers, like all of these resources, are great. But sometimes you also just need to be a bit cheeky and just ask people what they earn. And I know it's not a comfortable conversation to have, but the worst thing someone can say is, I don't feel comfortable telling you that. And then it's like, OK, great, like you're still friends. But when someone who is at the level you are at in a competitor gives you their salary, that is such valuable data, that is what a benchmark is. You know this is someone, like me, earning this amount. That is a true real piece of data I can present to you... that's where you really have power. So, you know, just preparation. Doing the research. It's not just about understanding what you need and what is fair for you to ask for. It's also about understanding the other side of the table. So whoever you're negotiating with is gonna have their own resource constraints, their own priorities, their own challenges. And the more you can understand that... kind of like a game of chess, right? You spend a lot of a game of chess, or any other type of strategic game, anticipating your opponent's moves as much as you're planning your own. And a negotiation is exactly the same. Ultimately, you need to get to a place where you're both saying yes, and you can only do that if you really try to understand what the other person wants. And another thing that most people forget is in every negotiation, you usually want to concede something, and that's why I always encourage women to ask for way more than what they want. So if your list of things is 10 items, just pump that up to 12, so you can concede two things that you don't really care about. But they don't know what you care about! And I think women are really bad at that because we already undervalue ourselves, as a result of growing up in this society where we're like, constantly objectified, constantly undervalued. We've internalized our own low value, or inferiority. And then when it comes to valuing ourselves, it's incredibly difficult because my sense of self is extremely diminished as it is. And even if you told me like, let's say you and I were the same age, same degrees, same experience, same everything. If you can't right now and told me that you do my job for more, I would still think it's because you are somehow incredibly more special than me. Like I just would find it hard to believe you. So it makes it even more important for us to, you know, in this preparation stage, also prepare for the fact that we tend to diminish our value and then, amplify whatever we're asking for with that premium. So I always tell people, do a mark-up. The more underprivileged you are, the more that mark-up should increase. So if you've decided, you need to ask for 50K... if you're a woman, make that 55. If you're a black woman, make that 60. Like if you're a disabled black woman, you should probably be asking for 65, 70. The more underprivileged we are, the more we doubt ourselves. So yeah, I would say that's really important. And then finally, practice is so much tied to that. Our confidence in fighting for our worth is super low. We don't really have that many opportunities to do it. And then, like I said before, when we do it, we get shouted at, screamed at, told you're not being a team player. So they're all these complex emotions that we have to navigate before we even get to the point where we feel comfortable saying, I'm really happy with the offer, but I want more. So the more we practice saying that, the more comfortable we get with it. And if we can practice as a role play, where someone on the other side can reject us or push back, then even better. Because then hopefully we won't be triggered in the real life situation.


Harrison:   26:07

Abadesi, how important is it to build up an immunity to the word no? And almost even be motivated to turn a no into a yes, or potentially even just walk away from a negotiation entirely?


Abadesi Osunsade:   26:22

Yeah, I think it's so, so important to get comfortable hearing the word no, to get comfortable saying the word, no and absolutely know your red lines and know when you can walk away. I remember one of the longest standing members of Hustle Crew actually sat in on a job interview for a start-up if I was interviewing with, like, way back. So I met this guy at an event and he literally was like, yeah, come meet at our offices, and let's talk. And we sat down on the table and he's like, oh, hey, here's this new guy. He just started to ask him to join. And the founder starts like talking me through the role, talking me through what he wants. And I was just like, look I'm gonna stop you right there. This isn't gonna work for me. I'm not interested in doing that. And you're paying way too little. So I'm just gonna save us both time and go now on and this guy....


Harrison:   27:07

Did you feel such a rush of empowerment after doing that?


Abadesi Osunsade:   27:10

Yeah, totally. I was just like, I have better things to do with my time. But it was cool, because once I had done that once, it became a lot easier to do that. And, you know, the new starter that had joined that day ended up joining Hustle Crew, like he always tells me like a man like, I still remember that very first day I met you cause you're just like you said. You didn't want that job. And I was like, Well, I didn't know people could do that. I was like, dude, it's your life. Of course, you can do that. So, yeah, I always tell people to do things they're scared of, you know, like Eleanor Roosevelt said, and just put themselves in situations where they will get rejected, and they will fail because one of the messed up things about patriarchy I learned from studying like a ton of research is that women are socialized to put other people's discomfort before their own. So I think the only way we could move away from doing that socialized behavior we've learned is to your point, Harrison, just like saying no more, pushing back more and also the courage to be disliked.


Nicole:   28:17

Yes, which is so hard for women being told for our entire upbringing, that being liked and being the good girl is the only way to get anywhere. And that's that's not going to serve us well in negotiations. It's not going to serve us well in capitalism and patriarchy.


Sophie:   28:33

It's not gonna increase our market value exactly. 


Nicole:   28:36

Exactly. Abadesi, as you're chatting there, I have this image of almost like a negotiation muscle that we need to build up and flex and just... to your point about practicing and your point about getting comfortable and trying at least things uncomfortable. No, it's something we've gotta work on.


Abadesi Osunsade:   28:57

Absolutely. It's totally a muscle, and I think having that analogy is helpful because it's a reminder that unless you are exercising it, it will not get stronger. Right? So if you're not  negotiating today and you do nothing to practice it or get better at it or investing in your skills, a year from today, you will still be bad at negotiating. That is almost certainly a fact. To that point of like, oh, my God, I don't want to be liked. It's like, OK, so what is more important to you: to be liked, or to have a deposit on your own apartment on day?


Sophie:   29:30

Well, and I also find that we think that doing and action will have this outcome that somebody is not going to like us. But I'm not sure that's always the case.   


Nicole:   29:42

Yeah, it's in our heads, right? 


Sophie:   29:45

Like sometimes you can have surprising outcomes where actually the other party will just respect you even more for standing up for your beliefs, or just saying no to your point. I think one thing I just want to pick up on, the how to value yourself, and kind of understand: what is your market value? If you were to go out. You know, one thing you mentioned was talk to your peers. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no. I come from the tech world, too, and I practice that. Another thing I just want to pick up on is, how important is sponsorship internally, when you talk about negotiations and valuing yourself?


Abadesi Osunsade:   30:22

Yeah, I think it's really important, especially if you're in an organization. A lot of the people listening to this they're not necessarily thinking about negotiations in the context of a new role. They're probably thinking about negotiations in the context of a large organization or maybe even a smaller, medium size organization... one where they would like to be developing their career. They're trying to get more responsibility, get more experience, get more exposure. And they're trying to think of how they will negotiate to achieve all of those things. So, yeah, when it comes to sponsorship, it's such a high impact way to get results because, and this is unfortunate, there's been a lot of research that shows things like women are more likely to be interrupted in meetings by both men and women. And that's just a fact, right? We can't change anything about that. That probably means that a lot of women are saying things that no one's really hearing. Or that aren't really sinking in. And how does that apply to an organization, Right? So how does the CEO decide who to put forward for this new client pitch? If the only way that's decided is in a team meeting, where certain voices are louder than others, and certain voices are being interrupted. Now, where a sponsor comes in... a sponsor is someone with more, usually some of more seniority,  or clout in the organization.


Harrison:   31:51

A louder voice at the table.


Abadesi Osunsade:   31:53

A louder voice at the table... they can like, step in. And they can. They can be your brand ambassador. They can be the person that puts you for it for an opportunity that you otherwise wouldn't necessarily have been exposed to, or just like wouldn't have been considered for. And people who are listening as professionals should also be thinking like, okay, you have a goal. It's a promotion or it's to relocate, or it's to work on a specific project. Who in the organization has more privilege than you and more power than you and agrees with that goal, and can help you reach that goal? That's what your sponsor should be doing. It's not recommending books for you to read or whatever. I mean, sure, that stuff is great, but it's the stuff that gets you the outcome that you want in your career, in a tangible, tangible way.


Sophie:   32:41

But I think even if you don't think that they necessarily agree with your goal, try and convince them of it because you know you need them on board. I'm a big proponent of sponsorships and mentorships, for that matter. I think they are absolutely critical in any negotiation.


Abadesi Osunsade:   32:57

Totally.


Harrison:   32:59

You know, we've talked about in negotiations there is a bias against women when they ask for raises, promotions, etcetera. Do you think any of that is related to the fact that privileged straight men are terrified of women becoming more powerful in organizations? And if there's an up and coming black woman in the organization, potentially such as yourself, they don't even know how to think about their reality, if you became their boss?


Abadesi Osunsade:   33:33

I think so. Yeah, I think that's absolutely the case. Sometimes I'd like to flip the scenario to extreme examples to see if that's the case, right? So, like, let's imagine it was a matriarchy. Yes, so let's imagine that for like thousands of thousands of years, women have held all the power and we have actively excluded men from it. So it's just like, Yeah, let's go wild. And, I don't care what men want to do. And let's just like, imagine that this meant that I have created this ideal corporate environment where I can walk around topless and bra-free, doing my thing, having a great time. And now suddenly someone comes to me and they're like yo, they want us to start letting men in. We're gonna have to start wearing bras. I would be like, oh, hell, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm like, Let's let's not tell them it's about the bras, though. Okay, let's make this look a bit more highbrow than that. But, you know, I can empathize with that. I can empathize with that feeling of I like the way things are. I don't want them to change. So you know I'm a person, too. I get that. And I think that is absolutely, absolutely reality. Like who likes change? No one likes change, really, except when the change benefits them in some really, really great way. So, of course, people are actively preventing change from happening because the change is going to impact them in a way that is either scary or unknown, but most likely negative.


Sophie:   35:07

If you're an introvert, some of these things might not come as natural to you. 


Nicole:   35:12

Yeah, like the preparation will.   


Sophie:   35:16

Exactly, or even speaking up for yourself, or even going to ask for a sponsor or, that's not something that necessarily is within their natural DNA. What's your key advice when you mentor or sponsor introverts?


Abadesi Osunsade:   35:33

Yeah, that's really great thing like. One thing I'll say is that introverts that I know in my life tend to do really, really well in like, 1-on-1 situations. And like hopefully for the most part, most of your negotiation conversations will be 1-to-1, and hopefully for the most part, they'll be with someone that you already have a bond or connection with. And if it's someone that you've been working with a while, hopefully someone that you trust, so you can take comfort in that. Like you're rarely gonna have to be like negotiating with a crowd or a panel or a group. So that's the first thing to remember. The second thing to remember is that not all negotiations have to happen in a format that you're not comfortable with. So, for example, I have done salary negotiations where I have made a business document. So I have written out in a business document. I was hired on this day to fulfil this role these are my goals. This is how I achieved against my goals. And now, 12 months later, 18 months later... my responsibilities have expanded to include these things. Now, when I first accepted the role, my responsibilities did not include these things. But since my responsibilities have expanded and since I have a history of hitting my goals, I would like to increase my salary X percent in line with the new responsibilities. What do you think? And then I did the hard bit of making my case and doing the ask in writing. And then we got on a call where I could talk through all of the things that I'd already shared and then get feedback from my manager. So it actually benefits us to  start the conversation as early as possible, keep our expectations very low and just be like, hey, boss, I know pay reviews are happening in three months, so you've still got time. But I just want to flag it to you now, that I definitely I want to be considered for top end bump. And I think I deserve it because of all the value that I've added to the team. And I'm going to make you case for why I do deserve it. And I just want to know when you think is a good time for us to sit down and talk about that. So you know, it's like you need to signpost a bit more. And again if you're an introvert, this signposting tactic works really well, too, because you can signpost in slack, and signpost in your regularly scheduled one to ones, you can signpost in an email, and you can, choose to have a conversation in a way that feels really comfortable to you.


Sophie:   37:59

One thing I did a lot, and I'm definitely no negotiation expert, but I gathered evidence throughout the year. And whenever I got praise from another senior member with the company, or our external clients or whatever it might be, I would save that. And I attached it to every review form, so that there was hard evidence that couldn't be argued with.


Nicole:   38:26

Yeah, taking the subjective out of yeah, out of the negotiation. One of the things you always Abadesi, is the negotiation is only over when you say it is.   


Sophie:   38:39

I love that.


Nicole:   38:40

I swear I need to put that up on my wall, and internalize that as a positive affirmation, daily affirmation. But it's it's such a powerful thing to internalize, and as we think about closing out, the theme of our podcast is getting women comfortable saying something like, I also want money, and with respect to negotiation, and with respect to your mission at Hustle Crew is there an I also statement, so to speak, that you have internalized in order to become an entrepreneur, get positive results in negotiation, and build this career advancement community.


Abadesi Osunsade:   39:18

Yeah, I think for me it's the fact that I also want a voice at the table. You know, we say this phrase so much, but I know that there aren't that many people in our industry that have experienced life, the world, our industry, the way that I have because they don't look like me. And unfortunately, we are in a world where people treat you based on how you look. And that means that I, and all the other people like me, have really unique experiences to share. And if we're not sharing them, then that means that all of the incredible data we've been able to collect is just going to waste and being left on the side and processes, solutions, products are being designed for a minority of people. So I also want to have a voice, the table I want to be a part of the conversation on. I want to turn all of these experiences I have into value.


Nicole:   40:15

Exactly and that hashtag I also want a voice, or even going as far as hashtag, I also have a voice, right? Our voices are here and they just need to be heard and they need to be amplified. And I think it's exactly what you've picked up on there, which is which is fantastic. Well, Abadesi, thank you so much for being with us today on the podcast. We really appreciate all of your insight and your wisdom and your stories about negotiation...


Sophie:   40:40

And energy. 


Nicole:   40:41

Of your energy, of course. Thank you so much for the time. We really appreciate it.


Abadesi Osunsade:   40:46

Thanks so much for having me on the show. I hope listeners found this useful, and if they'd like to find out more about me and the work that I do, they can follow me on social media. It's just at Abadesi at Hustle Crew Live.


Nicole:   40:56

Thank you for listening. If you like what you're hearing, join us in the #IALSO movement. This means, take to your social platforms and post a #IALSO  statement. Follow us on Instagram at IALSO podcast. And, of course, subscribe. This podcast is produced by Harrison Comfort, and the theme tune is by Malin Linnea.


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