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Pushback: How Smart Women Ask--and Stand Up--for What They Want

ISBN: 978-1-118-10490-3
224 pages
April 2012, Jossey-Bass
Pushback: How Smart Women Ask--and Stand Up--for What They Want (1118104900) cover image
Popular leadership blogger gives the low-down on standing up for yourself

In Pushback, top leadership consultant Selena Rezvani argues that self-advocacy is critical to success. Yet women initiate negotiations four times less often than men, resulting in getting less of what they want—promotion opportunities, plum assignments, and higher pay. This book shines a light on the real rules of holding your own and pushing back for what is rightfully yours. Drawing on interviews with high-level leaders, Rezvani offers readers in the first half of their career the unedited truth about how women have asked their way to the top and triumphed—and how you can too.

  • Includes interviews with top business leaders such as Marie Chandoha, CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management; Cindi Bigelow, President of Bigelow Tea Company; Fizzah Jafri, COO at Morgan Stanley; Rosemary Turner, President at UPS; and Irene Chang Britt, Chief Strategy Officer at Campbell's Soup
  • Offers a reliable and methodic approach to negotiating and navigating tough conversations
  • Highlights compelling facts and research from the world of psychology and leadership

Insightful and accessible, Pushback is a timely resource for savvy women who want to leverage their skills, promote themselves effectively, and fast track their careers.

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Foreword ix
Lois P. Frankel

Preface xi

1 Why Push Back? 1

2 Find Your Pushback Style 23

3 Prepare Psychologically 45

4 Do Your Homework 73

5 Maneuvering Through the Conversation 105

6 Follow Up 141

7 Push Back to Own Your Career 165

Notes 187

Acknowledgments 195

About the Author 197

Index 199

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Selena Rezvani is the co-owner of Women's Roadmap, a consulting firm that elevates more women into leadership through assessment, design of gender-inclusive policies, and coaching. Rezvani is a commentator on NPR's 51 Percent: The Women's Perspective, writes columns for The Washington Post and Forbes, and is the author of The Next Generation of Women Leaders.

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“[Pushback] is a powerful account, highly recommended for any business or women's issues holding.”
—Midwest Book Review

“Pushback is a must-read for women in or seeking to enter the workforce. Selena Rezvani shows that you can use your assets as a woman and ask for what you want—whether a promotion, a new challenge, or a raise.”
—Katharine Weymouth, CEO, The Washington Post

“Leveraging sophisticated strategy and pragmatic action, Selena Rezvani equips women with the tools to negotiate for more than money. Better work assignments, job flexibility, and even the ability to hold your own in a debate await in Pushback—a required text for all professional women.”
—Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Ph.D., president, Center for Work-Life Policy

Pushback is a brilliantly written book. Chock-full of bad habit breakers, Pushback teaches women how to become resilient negotiators. If women take Selena's advice to heart, I know they will be thrilled with the outcome. The lessons in Pushback will allow every woman's career to leap forward!”
—Janet Hanson, founder and CEO, 85 Broads

“Power is about 20 percent conferred and 80 percent taken. Good things don't come to those who wait; they come to those who ask, negotiate, and push. For women—or men—to get what they deserve, they must get over the platitudes and attitudes that hold them back. Reading and implementing the wisdom of Pushback is a great way to start.”
—Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University; author, Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don't

“‘Can you do any better?’ Not only is this a key question during a negotiation, it's one that women first need to ask themselves. Through in-depth research and candid interviews with top female executives, Pushback delves into why many women view negotiation as intimidating and empowers them with the roadmap they need to find success—and the money, status, and esteem that come with it—by turning any negotiation into ‘a conversation that ends in agreement.’”
—Jim Hopkinson, author, Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You

Pushback performs the service of arming women with the single most compelling career advancement strategy at their disposal: negotiating skills. Rezvani's day-to-day bargaining tactics are simple to apply, yet intensely effective and stunningly powerful.”
—Linda C. Babcock, Ph.D., James Mellon Walton Professor of Economics, Carnegie Mellon University; coauthor,Women Don't Ask

“Any woman who has ever swallowed hard and accepted less than she should at work will benefit from this book. Selena provides a template for negotiating gracefully and powerfully for what you want, need, and deserve.”
—Sally Helgesen, author, The Female Vision and The Female Advantage

“You must read Selena's new book, Pushback. In an age of intellectual capital where value added is so often subjective, it is absolutely vital for women leaders to highlight their contributions and ask for what they want, and this dynamite book will teach you how to find your own voice and style for effectively self-advocating.”
—Manisha Thakor, coauthor, On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance

Pushback is a compelling playbook for taking charge. Selena Rezvani nails the personal tools—from negotiating persuasively to thinking strategically—for the leadership of which all managers are capable and on which all firms depend.”
—Michael Useem, professor of management, director of the Leadership Center, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

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April 02, 2012
Negotiate a Raise to Get Your Good Work Rewarded

Census statistics show that women still earn 77 percent of what men earn. Despite this pay gap, women still negotiate four times less often than their male counterparts, resulting in less advancement opportunities, fewer plum assignments and lower pay. Why does this persistent problem always seem to exist?

In Pushback: How Smart Women Ask – and Stand Up – For What they Want (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-1181-0490-3; April 2012), top leadership consultant Selena Rezvani argues that self-advocacy is critical to success and teaches women the essential art of asking for what they want and of pushing back to get it. Emphasizing that a full 60% of woman’s career success hinges on her “pushback” skills, Rezvani  shines a light on the real rules of holding your own and asking for what you want. Through actionable tips from successful female executives, such as: Marie Chandoha, CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management; Cindi Bigelow, President of Bigelow Tea Company; Fizzah Jafri, COO at Morgan Stanley; and Rosemary Turner, President at UPS, Pushback addresses professional women’s most pressing issues:

  • Why negotiation represents the single most important skill for Gen Y women -- and how learning the art of negotiating early can increase a woman’s overall happiness and wellbeing later in life.
  • How working mothers can and should use negotiation as a lever for getting support and accommodations -- from employers to family members.
  • Five forms of self advocacy that the next generation of women leaders must know in order to succeed in business and move into top positions.
  • How women can successfully bargain using their natural assets - whether for a new job, a flexible arrangement, paid leave, or better compensation and benefits.

“More than anything, people negotiate less than they should because of low expectations.  By setting our sights high and equipping ourselves with new skills, we can get “yes” decisions from others - thereby improving our professional and personal lives,” says author Selena Rezvani.

Written in a "from-me-to-you" style and filled with poignant personal anecdotes from successful female executives, Pushback is essential for any women at any spectrum of her career who wants to fast-track her success.

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Pushback: How Smart Women Ask--and Stand Up--for What They Want (US $26.95)

-and- Million Dollar Consulting Proposals: How to Write a Proposal That's Accepted Every Time (US $24.95)

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