New Story, New Power: A Woman's Guide to Negotiation

Beth Fisher-Yoshida

There are many stories women hear about how they should behave in public and in private, how they should relate to other people, how they should handle their emotions, and how assertive they should be. (A lot of “shoulds” in there!) Then there is the reality of what actually happens when women follow the rules. The world around us keeps changing, but many of the messages of how women should be in order to be well-socialized into society, have not. Plus, there is more diversity in the workplace, in our schools, and on social media, so that there is no one message or way of being in the world.

Many women struggle with the contradictions between what they hear they should be doing and the outcomes they wish to achieve. I wish I had New Story, New Power when I was younger, so that perhaps I could have skipped over some of the “trial and error” (or trial by fire) learning I had growing up.

For example, maybe I would have toned down my NYC assertiveness when I went to live in Japan. Listening is a powerful tool I had to learn, sometimes painfully, and that demonstrating strength and intelligence does not only come from what you say. It also comes from what you do not say. When we listen, we receive information we can use when we connect and relate to others in our negotiations. If we rely on speaking more of the time, we do not really know how to understand the silence of our negotiating partner. Are they silently agreeing or are they just waiting until we finish and their positions have not budged at all?

Effective negotiation requires a combination of skills and confidence. When we feel better prepared we have more confidence. The more we engage and learn from our engagement, the better skills we develop. If we build up the hype that this negotiation is everything or this person is really tough to negotiate with, we frighten ourselves into diminishing our effectiveness before we even enter the room. If we boil it down to the mantra, “this is just a conversation, I am getting to know someone new,” we allow ourselves to relax, releasing good endorphins that can calm us, so that we enter with curiosity to learn more. We lower the hurdles and have fun.

Of course, we still need to know what we want to accomplish in any negotiation because we’ve done our preparation. We can build relationships to connect and learn more, while remaining assertive and firm about getting what we need. In the meantime, we’ve begun to establish rapport so that future encounters will begin from a more positive starting point. And even if it is a one-off and you don’t negotiate with that particular person again, you still have had a good practice session that boosts your confidence to enter into the next negotiation, that much more powerfully.

Redefining Theory and Practice to Guide Social Transformation

Beth Fisher-Yoshida and Joan Camilo Lopez

This book highlights a participatory action research (PAR) approach to working with communities to guide social change, especially transitioning out of conflict. Fisher-Yoshida and Lopez worked with youth and community leaders to combine local knowledge of the unique contexts they are in, with practical theoretical approaches from the academy, to co-create truly innovative approaches. In true partnership they forged meaningful relationships and have been working together for more than eight years. The voices of these leaders are represented in the book through examples and cases of the work they have been doing. There is a step-by-step process outlined in the book that is easily adaptable to any social transformation project.

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Communicating Possibilities: A Brief Introduction to the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM)

Ilene Wasserman and Beth Fisher-Yoshida

This book is foundational for all who would like to understand and apply CMM practices and principles to their work, research and lives. It is written in an accessible style and filled with scenarios and case examples, plus illustrations of the CMM models in use.

The Reflective, Facilitative and Interpretive Practices of the Coordinated Management of Meaning: Making Lives, Making Meaning

Cate Creede, Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Placida V. Gallegos, Editors

This compilation written by CMM practitioners, showcases practical applications of the theory of Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM). In the facilitation section, CMM creates dynamics within groups leading toward improved ways of working together; in the interpretation section CMM offers alternative frames to interpret interactions with one another; and in the reflection section CMM is a means to reflect on experiences and interactions to deeper levels of understanding and learning. CMM is grounded in social constructionism, takes a communication perspective and provides concepts and tools for making better social worlds.

Transnational Leadership Development: Preparing the Next Generation for the Borderless Business World

Beth Fisher-Yoshida and Kathy Dee Geller

Leaders and managers of all cultures are being called on with greater frequency to assume leadership roles in other countries or to lead diverse multicultural teams in their own countries. This book advises readers on how leaders may learn to experience the world with different lenses; realize what they need to know; find new ways to communicate; and be resilient in the face of this unique challenge. This powerful guide lights the way for those seeking to develop their people’s proficiency in leading globally, while respecting, embracing, and leveraging local cultural differences toward better performance, teamwork, employee satisfaction, and results.

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Innovations in Transformative Learning

Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Kathy Dee Geller and Steven A. Schapiro, Editors

This book addresses the disparity between transformative learning theory as espoused and practiced in the classrooms of the academy, and its application beyond. It articulates new models of transformative education that integrate transformative learning theory with other models of change and development. Organized around the themes of creating space for learning; looking through the lenses of culture, diversity, and difference; and animating awareness through the expressive and performative arts, this collection will broaden awareness and aid scholars, students, and practitioners in using transformative learning as an approach to adult learning and social and organizational change in a range of settings.