Attuned Leadership for Women Podcast

Episode 025

Essential Negotiation Skills: A Woman’s Guide with Lucia Kanter St. Amour


Negotiation is not just for the boardroom – it’s a skill we use every day. Join me and negotiation expert Lucia Kanter St. Amour as we dive into the art of negotiation for professional women.

She shares how to flex your negotiation muscle in all areas of your life, from work to home. In this show, you’ll learn practical strategies and gain the confidence to advocate for yourself and those around you. Let’s make every conversation count!

Two white women on the cover of a podcast episode image discussing the topic of cringe-free self-promotion for women leaders.

About Lucia Kanter St. Amour

Lucia Kanter St. Amour is an attorney of 25+ years, one of only a small handful of women negotiation experts, and bestselling author of “For the Forces of Good: The Superpower of Everyday Negotiation.” Lucia has lost count of times she has either entered a situation outside her comfort zone, or was forced out of comfort. As a VP for UN Women, CEO, law professor, and special needs parent, she is an example and an advocate of getting uncomfortable while remembering not to forward your mail there; and facilitating more comfort for those who have lived too long without it.

Quotes from the Episode: 

“Negotiation is not just for business. It’s everybody’s business.”

Lucia Kanter St. Amour

“No doesn’t necessarily mean no. No isn’t necessarily the end if you understand negotiation.”

Lucia Kanter St. Amour


00:04:05 – Defining Negotiation Beyond Business
00:05:04 – Debunking Myths About Women and Negotiation
00:06:03 – The Everyday Nature of Negotiation
00:07:09 – Power vs. Leverage in Negotiation
00:09:07 – The Underestimated Power of Listening in Negotiation
00:13:02 – Gender Roles and Negotiation
00:16:08 – The Role of Planning in Negotiation
00:17:23 – Leveraging Intuition and Body Signals in Negotiation
00:18:11 – The Subtlety of Silence and Observation
00:22:22 – Leveraging Everyday Situations for Negotiation Practice
00:23:03 – The Role of Negotiation in Addressing Attrition and Burnout
00:25:34 – The Impact of Negotiation on Career and Compensation
00:27:35 – The Role of Negotiation in Structural Changes and Allyship
00:28:41 – Expecting Pushback and Persistence
00:31:42 – Negotiation’s Role in Advancing Women and Minorities
00:42:51 – The Importance of Negotiation in Professional Development

Mentioned In This Episode:

      • Virtual Executive Roundtable “Communication That Gets Buy-In & Compels Action from Teams and Stakeholders” March 26th, 12-1:30 pm EST. Free to participate. Join Dr. Crystal Frazee and 10 guests, all women in upper leadership managing teams, for peer-to-peer discussion about navigating their personal communication challenges, as well as how to elevate team communication dynamics. If you want to RSVP, email me at [email protected]. If it’s a fit, I’ll send you a calendar invitation to the event.
      • Episode 020: Reclaiming an Economy that Works for Women with Misty Hegeness

Connect with Lucia Online:
Lucia’s Website
Lucia’s LinkedIn
Lucia’s Book – For the Forces of Good: The Superpower of Everyday Negotiation

Connect with Crystal on Social Media:
Crystal’s Website
Crystal’s LinkedIn
Crystal’s Instagram
Crystal’s TikTok

FREE Leadership Resources from Crystal:

Get updates about Crystal’s upcoming book! REVIVE: The Working Woman’s Unexpected Guide to Recovering from Burnout

Want to search for specific topics from the show or learn more? Scroll to the bottom of the page for the chat box to type your question and get an AI generated answer from this show’s content.

Prefer to Read? Here’s the transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.


Dr. Crystal Frazee: Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Negotiation seems like such a taboo topic that sometimes just for attorneys and mediators. But my guest today, Lucia Kanter St. Amour, says it’s a muscle that professional women need to flex every day, not just at work, but at home with service providers and even with our children. I’m so excited to share this episode with you because you’re going to learn the ins and outs of negotiation from a new perspective. It’s going to shift thinking of negotiation as a nice-to-have skill to a need to have. And you get to start developing that skill right now.


Dr. Crystal Frazee:

Where do established and aspiring women leaders go to get answers to their biggest challenges, like how to deal with double standards, break free from hustle and burnout, drive change without being bossy, and how to raise visibility by doing less, not more? I’m Dr. Crystal Frazee, your host and a women’s health and leadership expert and author. I’ve spent the past 15 years developing the answers to those questions. I believe that your body has all the wisdom you need and that without much effort, you can leverage it for things like faster, better decision-making, creating a magnetic presence for influence, and even navigating perimenopause so your performance goes up instead of down. In this show, I will teach you what traditional leadership approaches overlook, how to leverage your body wisdom to break free from time and energy traps, shatter barriers, dissolve the good woman programming that stops you from living on your terms, Level the playing field at home and work and be the most powerful leader you can be. Get ready to rewrite the rules of success and satisfaction using the practical strategies of attuned leadership for women.

Main Content: 

Dr. Crystal Frazee:

Hey, hey, if you’re just tuning in to Attuned Leadership for Women with today’s episode, I want to start by telling you that you’ve jumped into a podcast series all about how women can elevate their communication for greater impact and success, and to minimize those bias and energy traps that can sometimes hold us back. This series started with episode 023. So I invite you to go back and plan to catch up. But now we’re going to focus on today’s episode.

I have a very special guest. I have Lucia on the show, and we’re jumping into all things negotiation and more. Before I have Lucia start sharing some of her ideas with you, I’m going to go ahead and introduce her.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour is an attorney of 25 plus years, one of only a small handful of women negotiation experts. And the first in my personal realm, by the way, she is a bestselling author of the book ‘For The Forces of Good: The Superpower of Everyday Negotiation,’ which I have really enjoyed. And I encourage all of my women leaders to add this to your reading list. As a VP for UN Women, CEO, law professor, and special needs parent, she’s an example and an advocate of getting uncomfortable while remembering it’s a temporary place to be. In her career, she’s lost count of the times she’s entered a situation outside of her comfort zone or was forced out of it. And she’s here to teach you, as a professional woman, how to leverage these moments of discomfort in your own life. bring negotiation into conversations, and how, in the bigger picture, we can use these skills to advocate for comfort for those who have lived too long without it.

Lucia, thank you so much for joining me for the episode today.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Crystal, it is absolutely my pleasure. And thank you for having me. And hello to everyone listening. I’m really pleased to be here. Awesome.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: I was thinking about the best way to start the episode, because honestly, if I’m transparent, I wouldn’t say I really have very strong negotiation skills. I’ve learned a lot in reading your book. And I just think that it might be a good place to start with what is negotiation? It’s something you kind of breathed your whole life, but for those who are listening where it’s not something natural, like what are we talking about from a big picture here?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Wow, that’s a great preliminary question. I’m going to back up one second and take something from your intro where you said that negotiation is something that, in particular, more professional women need to be doing. I would remove the word professional from that. I know that this audience is more professional women and I definitely want to be speaking to this audience. That’s an important note though, that professional women are actually negotiating a little more than women just as a general category are, or I should say, non-white cisgender males are, okay, to be even more inclusive. So, in fact, there was just a study that came out of Berkeley Haas School where it said, you know, quit, I saw this headline, it’s quit saying that women aren’t negotiating. Women are negotiating. And I thought, huh, gosh, that doesn’t track with my experience in my research. I’ve read a lot of the studies. And so I thought, huh, there’s something, my spidey senses are tingling here. What do you mean to stop telling women they’re not negotiating if they are negotiating? So I actually looked at the study and it turned out that it was a study of 3400, not just MBA students, but women students, but MBA women students at quote unquote, top business schools.

And I thought, OK, that is kind of a closed circle. This is a demographic that you just studied of women who already kind of think of themselves as negotiated. This is not a general population study. So I actually found the headline to be sort of misleading and not be that. But and this is now getting to your original question, what is negotiation is in the context of MBA. Students and recent graduates, so people in business. This is this other myth and mentality that we have about negotiation. It’s for business. It was one of the reasons that when I had to choose my BISEC categories, that’s the universal categories for how you’re going to categorize your book. I said it’s not going to be under business. That was a big hoo-ha, like, no, you have to put it under business. That’s because negotiation in the BISEC is a subcategory under business?” I said, no. The whole point is to actually generalize it and take it out of the business context to show how it is this everyday skill. The thing I always say is, it’s not just for business, it’s everybody’s business. Exactly. That’s really the conceit of the book.

When you say, what is negotiation? Negotiation is getting your toddler to eat their peas. That’s a negotiation. And it’s an excellent demonstration of the difference between power and leverage, which are not the same thing. And we can talk more about that. So if you are not a professional and you’re a mom, you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re a part-time working mom, whatever, you’re negotiating every day. So if you can start to internalize that voice that you are actually a competent everyday negotiator, it is transformative.

The other thing, I’ll tell you what negotiation isn’t. It is not a synonym for conflict. It is not, as I said, a synonym for business. It is not a synonym for salary negotiation because that’s the other thing. I get that’s the top question I get, usually panicked. Lucia, how do I negotiate my salary? I’m like, okay, time out on the field, sister. First of all, Let’s reframe your vocabulary and not call it salary negotiation, but compensation package negotiation, because salary is just one aspect of it. And sometimes, guess what? Salary actually is not negotiable. So there are other aspects that you can negotiate. So if you can reframe that context into a much bigger pie, then you’ve got a lot of other ways to negotiate it. And guess what? The negotiation doesn’t start at the offer. It starts in the interview process, too. So the other thing negotiation isn’t is something that people want to read a book about. They don’t want to read a book on negotiation crystal. They just want to know how to do it. So if you’re going to write a negotiation book in a world we live in now where people don’t read, I mean, I read, I have a degree in English literature. I read two or three books a week, okay? Generally speaking, people are scrolling social media posts these days. They’re not reading. So you have to design a book for a non-reader. For one who doesn’t want to read about it, just wants to know how to do it. When I talk about negotiating, I’m talking about it in a nuanced way that is both specific and general, and that really peaks under the hood of historical negotiation for women and taking it out of the mentality that negotiation is stereotypically thought of.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: I love that. And I appreciate it because from what I’ve learned from you so far, it really did destigmatize and demystify it for me and made it something that was very comfortable to think about and practice some of the skills that you shared in the book.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Yeah, interesting. So you just you use the word stigma and before you use the word taboo. And that’s fascinating to me because I think it may be that that look, it’s true that women actually negotiate less than than non-cisgender white men. And I say white because it’s just it’s just true that it’s a very white male dominated field just as has been. So women have been negotiating between four times and eight times less often. than men historically. And when you say stigma and taboo, well, yes. So here, here, here’s the unfortunate news is I’m going to be honest with, you know, we’re, this is good. I’m the person who’s going to tell you that when we go shopping, when a pair of jeans makes your ass look big, right? I’m that friend. That’s what friends do. So I’m going to be honest, which is. that when you do start out negotiating as a woman, guess what? You’re gonna actually get more pushback also than men get. So just, and it’s something we gotta, well, okay, so you expect that and be prepared for it. And it also means the idea is it’s everyday negotiation. If you’re not practicing the skills in everyday contexts to build up those muscles, But then you want to negotiate your compensation package. Well, that’s a fairly high stakes scenario. Well, of course, don’t feel ready for to do that if you’re not practicing it every day. And the idea is it’s just like a baseball. You got to keep stepping up to the plate in order to get the hits. All right, you’re not gonna you’re not gonna win every time. That’s why when people I’ll record a podcast with them and then they’ll they’ll market the podcast as him. Lucina can’t to make say two more talks about how to win every time with negotiation and I’m like, no, no, I have never said that and I never would say that. No, you don’t win every time the best hitters in baseball. Okay, I mean like the guys in the Hall of Fame. Their batting averages don’t go north of 350. So for all the non-baseball people out there, that means that for every 10 at-bats, they’re getting a hit three and a half times. Only three and a half times. Those are the best guys. Well, what’s happening the other six and a half times? They’re striking out, they’re getting a base on balls, that means a walk, or they’re popping it out to center field and it’s getting caught, okay? But they’re not getting a hit. So it’s no different. That’s what you’re learning, though.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: You’re learning. They’re learning.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: So that’s why you got to got to keep doing it.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Mm hmm.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: So, yes, you can tell I’m very passionate about this.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: I love it. It’s excellent. And I mean, you’ve already kind of we’ve already spoke to that. There is some cultural conditioning, some norms that, you know, listeners may have been exposed to. I’m from the rural south and I call myself a recovering southern belle and that certainly shows up in what I think of as kind of being hardball and being assertive and something that I’ve worked through. So, you know, just for the listener to think about, well, what is that narrative? What is the role modeling or what is the specific language you’ve been taught not to use?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Absolutely. It’s the deeply ingrained societal gender roles are a lot of what’s at the root of the gender gap in negotiated outcomes. The research supports this. In so many cultures, girls are encouraged and expected to be accommodating. We are concerned with the welfare of others, which, by the way, is what actually makes us very good at negotiating on the behalf of others, but not so much for ourselves. We are supposed to be relationship oriented. And then a lot of these ways that we’re conditioned, and insidiously so, I mean, in obvious ways and in some not so obvious ways as well. These clash with the more, what are seen as, and you just used this word, assertive behaviors considered to be essential for negotiation success, right? So it’s incongruent, right?

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Absolutely. Yes. This kind of goes to another theme that my listeners are used to me talking about, which is the likability trap and the double bind of, yes, you’re expected to be one way while also, especially in the position of leadership being another. And so, I don’t know if you think that the likability trap is something in particular that women kind of get hung up on or that they need to think about communicating in negotiation moments differently than men.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Right. That likability trap is certainly a theme that I’ve noticed with women and that one that I’ve experienced myself. And I think at one point when we were chatting before the podcast, you had asked me if there was, what was your question? It was something like, if there is something I would change or something I would tell my younger self or something like that. And I said, yeah, it would be to not be so concerned with people pleasing. Because I was also that way, very concerned with people-pleasing. And I wish I hadn’t been. It took me too long to unlearn that. And that’s what I would tell the next generation is don’t be overly concerned with people-pleasing. Now, you can still be an effective negotiator and be nice and be likable. I mean, people who are nice get more than people But being nice and playing nice are not the same thing. And I talk about that in quite a bit of detail as it pertains to game theory and negotiation. And if I had to name the number one negotiation tool, and negotiators and mediators like me are often asked this question, what is the number one skill? And you’re gonna get different answers from different people. Like a lot of people will say planning. Planning I think is maybe the number two, but the number one skill is the quietest one of all, and it’s actually listening. And the thing is, women today are so encouraged, like speak up, step into your confidence, step into your, what is it? The tell your truth, speak your truth. And I’m like, okay, okay, yes. And recognize that there is a ton of power and being relegated to a listening role, which is something that’s happened to me in my profession, which has been male dominated, especially labor law, right? I’ve been in union rooms where I’ve been the only woman in the room and especially starting out. And I mean, I’m 110 pounds after Thanksgiving dinner. So I’m with these big guys with no necks. You know, they put me in this chair in the corner, they would literally say, go sit in the corner, and a chair where my feet didn’t even touch the floor. So I looked and felt ridiculous, right? What but they didn’t realize is they actually just placed me in the most powerful position in the room. because I’m sitting there observing and listening in a way that none of them are because they’re so busy talking and I have had several experiences where I have noticed something and I’m like, wait, wait, that, no, that doesn’t, I actually saw a document where that contradicts, that doesn’t add up and I’ve noticed lies, I’ve noticed inconsistencies in evidence, I’ve, and I’m the only one who saw it and my observation of that has completely completely shifted the leverage of the negotiation. So let’s please not underestimate the power of silence. and listening. So yes, yes, speak your truth and step into your confidence and all those things we see with the buzzy social media words. And let’s also remember that sometimes it’s sort of, this is, again, it’s consistent with the classic superhero story that being underestimated, being shunted to that corner And actually, you can leverage that, you can pivot that into something super stealth. So use that. Use what is at your disposal. And if quote unquote, all that is, is listening and observing, which by the way, are skills that are analog and portable, then use them.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Right. I mean, when we think about how to leverage something like negotiation more in everyday life, what I’m hearing you say is that women can actually trust in their innate abilities. And I think that one of the myths that you’re demystifying here is that somehow it’s taking on a whole set of attributes that are uncomfortable when in fact Much of it is leaning into strengths you may already have, but didn’t realize they were a part of negotiating well.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: That’s exactly what I’m saying. And then that’s the good news. The good news is you actually already have these skills. You actually already know how to do this. You just haven’t necessarily been practicing them and or haven’t been practicing them in a way where you’re sort of thinking about it in terms of negotiation. And you just also said something about trust your innate skills, and that gets back to this whole like, get out of your comfort zone thing. We see that a lot, get out of your comfort zone. And I’m like, okay, yeah. And let us please remember that women have been operating outside of a comfort zone since like the Bronze Age, okay? So maybe we could return home to ourselves. Maybe it’s time for that. And sure, visit your comfort zone, but don’t forward your mail there. come home to yourself. So that’s why I bristle a little when I see again, the social media buzzy words, I’m like, yeah, okay, let’s unpack that a little bit. Because let’s also remember to pay attention to our intuition, right? Your interoception, your interoception is essentially the information that your body is feeding you, both conscious and unconscious. And that generally originates from your respiratory and cardiovascular and nervous system. So you’ve got the cognitive information that your brain is feeding you. And there’s a lot of focus on that. What I’m saying is pay attention to the information your body is sending you, because it’s every bit as important as the cognitive information. It’s the, you know what, I’m not gonna walk down that dark alley because I’m getting a bad feeling about that, right? And so you don’t, and you turn left instead, and you don’t get mugged. So it’s actually the thing that doesn’t happen. So it’s sort of hard to measure. And so when we’re told to get out of our comfort zone, that can actually be a fairly dangerous thing. It’s essentially saying, ignore your intuition because, oh, here’s another one, conquer your fear. You actually don’t need to conquer your fear. If it’s your intuition alert, it’s your interoception, that’s really the appropriate word. If it is your interoception that is alerting you, pause, stop, assess. pay attention to it. And it’s the same thing in negotiation. And the way that works so well with planning, which I consider the number two skill, is that by planning ahead of time, it actually allows you to be that much more present in the moment, in a negotiation, so that you can pay attention to your interoception. I mean, think about it.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Doesn’t that just sound boss? Well, it’s, you may not realize this, but it’s totally on point with attuned leadership. That’s right. Listening to the messages from your body and then understanding what to do with them correctly, you know, to reach your, your desired goal. Maybe, can you give, make up a story about feeding your child peas and how listening to your body and planning can help in that scenario?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: All right, I would love to. Because it’s a beautiful illustration, especially of the difference between power and leverage. So, as between you and your toddler, you are the more powerful party. Okay? You’re just bigger, you’re stronger, you have more control over your fine and gross motor skills, you have more experience, you have more resources. All around, you are more powerful. If you want to get your toddler to eat their peas and they don’t want to eat them, your toddler is the one with the leverage in that situation because only they can eat the peas. So that’s the difference between power and leverage in a nutshell. Yeah. It’s a great example. It’s a great example. The thing about leverage is it shifts. It’s shifty. And it can shift throughout the course of a negotiation. So one thing you do in the planning stages of negotiation is you assess that. You say, hmm, who does leverage favor? Who do I think leverage favors in this negotiation? And then recognize that How can I affect that leverage? How could maybe an outside force affect that leverage? Then notice during the negotiation when it actually might be shifting based on, say, new information that comes into play that you didn’t have before, that the other side didn’t have before, or whatever. In the case of the toddler and their peas, here’s what you don’t do. You do not get into a power struggle with your toddler over peas. Interoception. You are now like you’re irritated. They need to eat their peas. They’ve got to eat their peas. You’re maybe frustrated after a day of work. You’ve got things going on at your job and you just don’t need this, right? So the instinct might be to get into the power struggle over the peas. Stop. Pay attention to what your body’s telling you. Reassess, right? That’s not going to be effective. Maybe ask yourself, Well, why is it important that my toddler eat their peas? I mean, really, why do they need to eat their peas? All right, let’s answer that. Well, because they need to be healthy, and they need to grow, and because that’s what good parents do, and I want them to be strong. And okay, now we’re getting somewhere, because now we’re getting at the interests that the peas serve. which is nutrition so that they’re strong, they’re well-nourished, so that you’re a good parent. Identity. Right. Right. You identify as a good parent. What kind of parent would I be if I didn’t make them eat their vegetables? Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. Okay, is there some other thing that could satisfy those interests, right? Like, can you create the illusion of a choice too? Can you say, okay, which vegetable would you like with your macaroni and cheese for dinner, right? Give them some agency. Would you like purple cauliflower or green peas? Ask yourself also, does it need to be green? Maybe it doesn’t have to be green. Maybe it could be white. It could be white cauliflower, right? There’s lots of different colored vegetables out there. And if you’re asking them, giving the illusion of a choice, which vegetable would you like? Would you like purple cauliflower or green peas? Oh, I’d like purple cauliflower. Again, the vegetable, having a vegetable is non-negotiable. We are giving them a choice of the vegetable. So now they’re a lot more likely to eat the vegetable because it’s not just being foisted upon them without any choice. Children need agency. People in negotiation need agency. You can also use things like saying yes to mean no and saying no to mean yes. So, Mommy, can I watch a Little Mermaid after dinner? Instead of no, you haven’t eaten your peas. Yes, just as soon as you finish your peas. Or, There’s the using a third party as an audience, as an excuse, as leverage. So their favorite uncle or aunt coming over for dinner and hungrily devouring their peas. And this is someone who they just want to be just like Uncle Mark. And so they’re going to copy Uncle Mark and eat their peas. So I’ve just named probably six different ways, tools you can use to get your toddler to eat a vegetable and to ask yourself, well, to question what purpose is being served here. So if you can identify the interest, then you can identify other ways to serve the interest. You’ve now just blown the doors off of, you know, then you can brainstorm, then you can get creative and then offer that agency.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: That’s great. And I’m thinking back to this morning trying to get my youngest to have her vitamin. Oh, that’s so funny. Yes. I’ll try it differently tomorrow. So if we take this then to a scenario, I don’t know, maybe like there’s a woman president leading a company and she’s trying to appeal to the board to change funding for a particular initiative. The board is resistant, they’re not sure this particular initiative has some political charge and they wanna stay neutral of that, but there’s some benefit for the city and the surrounding community if they were to push through. How can we translate from the P’s into that kind of scenario?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Yeah, a lot of the same, it all still applies there. So one of the things as a mediator, I often get asked, how many cases have you settled? And my answer is always the same, none. I don’t settle cases. The parties settle cases. If I’m tracking my so-called wins, and a lot of mediators do, they’ll track their wins, the cases they’ve settled, and I’m like, well, that impacts my impartiality as a mediator, because sometimes that makes it about me and my success. So I’m invested in making sure this settles, right? So that’s gonna make me less effective. If the parties have a deal and they’re walking out of the mediation thinking, huh, it doesn’t seem like the mediator really did anything. That’s how I know I’ve done my job. It’s a little bit of like the Jedi mind trick. So it gets a lot back to agency. So what I would be doing in that situation is I would be doing a whole lot of listening, the art of questions and listening. What are your concerns? Problem identification. What problem are you actually trying to solve here? And make sure it’s really the root problem and not just a manifestation of the root problem. All right. So oftentimes I especially found this on corporate boards and I’ve served on many boards. People jump too quickly to decision-making and solutions and options, too quickly to options, when actually they haven’t identified the problem sufficiently. So I’d say go backward, maybe take a step back to make sure you’re solving, identifying the problem, the root problem, and then solicit an idea. Especially with a board, agency, what are your thoughts? What are your ideas? As a mediator, The best mediated outcomes are those that they’re their own ideas. I help them get there, but they originate from the parties themselves. It’s not something that I impose on them. And in fact, they even think that it was their idea originally, even if it was my idea originally. Yeah, I lead them to a place where they are the ones who actually say it. And it’s the thing I’ve been hoping they would get to since they walked in the door, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost count. They walk in. I’ve got two parties and they’re giving their opening statements. And I’m looking at the doc and I’m like, OK, I see how this resolves, though. And it’s so obvious to me. It’s so and then I think, OK, that’s so obvious. Surely they’ve thought of that. Surely they have. And in most of those cases, no, no, no, they haven’t. They’ve never thought of that. But it was so obvious to me from the beginning. But I can’t just say that. Right. That’s actually not effective. I have to get them there. and for it to be their idea that gets back to that agency. Because if it’s your idea, if it’s your creation, well, then you get more compliance too. Then the idea executes well. It’s one thing to have a deal. It’s another thing to execute it. That’s part of negotiation too, is looking around and going, okay, who could thwart this deal? Who could interfere with it? Who could just make it all fall apart?

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: And usually leaders know exactly who that person is.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Leaders often do, leaders often do because a really effective leader is one who’s doing not as much talking as they are, good, here it is again, listening and observing. So me in that situation, I would not be doing a lot of talking. I would be listening and observing I said, what do you mean by that? What are your concern? Why do we don’t want to do that? We don’t like, okay, what, what are your concerns? You’ve got to tease it out of them. And it gets also back to identifying the interests and the needs, you know, why, why, and why do I want to use this funding source too?

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Right. Right. So, so what are my own interests that may be unconsciously a part of, where I’m going with this and the way I’m communicating and the way I’m showing up, but also the other party, what are their motivators or possible pain points that they may care about? Yep. Yeah.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: And you’ve got to tease that out. It’s deep listening. And I say that, you know, people, and then there are people listening to this podcast right now going, well, I’m already a great listener. You know what? And I say this with all the love in my heart, I bet you’re not as nearly as good a listener as you think you are. And the reason I say that is because one of the foremost expert in negotiation who had this, it’s a white male, another white male. And he’s got a book as well. He was on a conference call. He talks about how he was on a conference call where he was using some software that actually tracked how much time each speaker spoke. He finished the conference call thinking like, wow, I really didn’t contribute much. He didn’t really talk very much at all during that call. Then he looked at the data and he actually had talked like 30 percent more than anyone else. This is a guy who was like a really highly trained negotiator and teaches listening and everything. That’s why I say listening, I mean listening to people like they have never been listened to before. That’s what I mean. And that is also something, Crystal, that takes practice because you’re probably not doing it already the way that I’m talking about it.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Right. Yeah. I think to really hear someone else, we have to let go of our own agenda and just really focus on reiterating to make sure what we’re hearing is what we’re hearing.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Well, it’s reiterating not just what you’ve heard, but the why it is important to that person. So you’re getting to the meta message as well. And then what happens when you do that is you get either verification or you get clarification. They either say, yes, you’ve got it. That’s right. And it encourages them to say more or you didn’t get it right. And that’s OK. Don’t worry about getting it wrong. Because they’ll say, well, it’s not really so much that I’m afraid, just that I’m nervous. They’ll start to fine tune it themselves. So really, your job as a listener, if you think about it this way, is to help the talker talk. It’s to help them work through it. And it is very much not the same as waiting quietly for your turn to talk. It is not about you. And it actually means resetting your intention to listen many times, many, many times, you know, and say a five minute loop, you would have to reset your intention to listen, you know, maybe a dozen times.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Wow.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Yeah. Yes. Yes, absolutely. And I, you know, I’m talking a lot right now, which is sort of ironic, but because it’s because I’m supposed to. So when I talk, I talk. And when I listen, Crystal, I listen.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: It’s kind of comforting to hear that, you know, step one is listening. Step two is planning.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: And well, I would say in order of priority, what I think is more most important, step one is actually planning. OK, I just think it’s the number two priority. Got it. Most negotiation experts will name planning is the most important. But I name listening and not but and and I name listening as well. And guess what? I’m still practicing. Practicing myself and I was just in a negotiation the other day where I was like, I’m I like I feel like wow He really blew it. I really blew it and I was out hiking with my dog on the trail afterwards like what? How did I misread that? How did that go so south? And I was really troubled by it. I was upset because I thought, wow, I really wanted that deal. And I was actually able to salvage it. And it turned out it was just a miscommunication. It came down to terminology. It was like this industry-specific way of doing things that I didn’t understand. And so when I used this other framing of it, they thought I was trying to hustle them. And fortunately, we were able to figure that out, that it was just a miscommunication. And we ended up making the deal. But yeah, I assess myself constantly. Like, okay, how did that go? What could have done it? I do a debriefing. Sometimes I do a debriefing with a mentor, with a professional mentor as well. Or sometimes I prep with a mentor. I’ll say, look, I’ve got this coming up. Or I’ll say, can we do a practice conversation? And I give them sort of the background of, okay, you’re gonna be this person and this is what they’re about. And then she is that person and I’m me and we do a practice conversation. That’s a great tool. If you have someone in your life, you can do that with you. Do a little role play ahead of time. Wow.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Really effective. Yeah. Yeah. And it helps also feel what’s happening in your body before you’re in the right scenario.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Exactly. Crystal. Yes. Oh, you so get it. This is so satisfying for me.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Well, if it’s okay, let’s shift to maybe something timely for our listeners with the skyrocketing rates of attrition and burnout that is rising here with our women leaders at all levels. So senior leaders, as well as just entry level, what role do you feel like negotiation plays in building resilience for women right now or assertiveness to have needs for their wellbeing met?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Right. Obviously, I think it’s pretty critical. The thing is, it’s it’s not just up to individual women to negotiate, to make these sea changes. Right. And if we do it that way, it’s just it’s drip by drop by drip by drop. So it still needs to happen. But I think the latest statistic was something like at the current rate, it’s going to take two hundred and fifty seven years to close the gender pay gap. Okay, so yeah, so what we also need are structural changes. So let’s just take for example, just for example, whether your organization is tracking caregiver status of its employees, is it? Check it. If you don’t know the answer to that, find out because U.S. companies are losing thirty five billion dollars per year by not tracking caregiver status of its employees. And guess what? Caregivers are. Seventy five percent of them are women globally. And they’re women who are either caregiving for no pay. or low pay and or are doing it on top of their quote unquote real job. So they’re trying to do it all. And I don’t just mean childcare, but I mean elder care, which is going to become a big problem for us coming up really soon. So yes, 75% of women who also tend to contribute 40% to household income with their jobs. For women of color who are in the poorest families, that actually jumps to 86%, that their income accounts for 86% of household income. So if we are not supporting caregivers with structural programs, whether it’s on-site, whether it’s an employer-sponsored program, although also counties and cities need to be doing this as well, or paid leave policies or even lactation rooms for mothers. So they actually can or can be with their child, you know, if you’re coming back to work after a pregnancy. And the other thing that’s happening, and this is all it’s all tied together with the care work as well, is that when a woman takes leave to have a baby, she takes a globally a seven percent pay cut per child, per child. It’s ridiculous. In the US, it’s a 4 percent. Inversely, per child, men realize a 6 percent pay increase. If you add that onto the fact that you didn’t also negotiate your compensation package to begin with, and economists have calculated this. it actually calculates out over the course of your career to well over a million dollars. in forfeited income, well over $1 million. So by not getting uncomfortable negotiating, you are actually sacrificing more comfort in your life. And that’s the ROI on just not negotiating your first compensation package out of school. Let’s say you graduated from a four-year college. I think in 2020, Two, according to Forbes, I’m doing this off the top of my head, the average salary for a college graduate at that time was 55,000 a year. And then on average, white cisgender male will negotiate that to be $66,000. And let’s say you’re the woman who doesn’t. So now you’ve already started off with $55,000, $66,000 for exactly the same job. Then if you pile onto that, their caregiver statistics, the child penalty, and then the increase for men, and then you then take it out for 25 years, look at how much comfort you just forfeited from avoiding that single negotiation.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: So I would say- An additional support in your house that could be, you know, all kinds of extra.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Exactly. So I would say it is of critical importance that we aren’t just doing it ourselves, but we are bringing along, we are mentoring other women. We are being allies of women who will get even more pushback than, and look, I’m white, and I don’t get that much pushback anymore, but I still do. Women of color, when you look at the gender pay gap, for example, it’s something like 83 cents on the dollar that women are making. But when you break that down for Black women, for Latino women, it’s more like 60, I believe, 60 cents per dollar. So we’ve got to be having the allyship as well. And does it solve the problem? It doesn’t solve the problem It does, every little bit helps. Every little bit helps because what we need to be doing is changing the conditioning. So it will take some time. And we also need to be actively working towards, you know, legislation, things like tracking caregiver status of all employees, and then what programs and policies can you implement to support them. We need to also be actively working on the structural changes too.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: So for listeners, if you are already an organizational decision maker, these are great points that Lucia is bringing up within your organization that you can look into advancing. And if you’re an individual leader, Whether you are a business owner, you can implement some of these as well, but if you’re an individual leader, they can be things for you to be keeping in mind to advocate for yourself. And I will also link in the show notes to the episode with Misty Hagenist, who’s a gender economist. She has spoken to a lot of the things that Lucia has talked to here, and her work is specifically adding governmental tracking for the care economy. So we touched on a couple of like gender based things that may be happening, but there are certain ways that women should expect to navigate gender based biases when they are in negotiation situations where they’re whether they’re talking to a woman or a man.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Right. So like I said, women also, when they do negotiate, tend to get more pushback. So be ready for that and recognize that This is so opposite to what we’ve been taught as women, which is no means no. That no doesn’t necessarily mean no. That no isn’t necessarily the end of the negotiation.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: I love that. Can you say more? I will say more.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: No can be followed up with some other questions. For example, what are your concerns? I’ve already mentioned that question in the board meeting. What are your concerns? Because that can open up another thread that the discussions are still over. I’m going to break it down even more for you because I do meet many women who say, I just can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t negotiate. I can’t. How do I even start? How do I even start? And I say, OK, here’s what you do. This is like just a very beginner exercise. What you do is when you’re shopping for something, whether it’s online or a brick and mortar store, either one, you’re going to ask either in person or using the live chat feature or a customer service email, whatever. Are there any other offers or discounts that apply to my purchase today, you start asking that every time. And if the answer is no, the next question is, are there any coming up. Because, like, is Labor Day coming up? Fourth of July? Because so many places have the sales. Do you have any coupons? Like, how fast do you need this stuff, right? Can you wait for the next coupon to come up? Or how is your inventory on this item, right? Keep the conversation going as long as you can. And sometimes, sometimes just the sheer fact that you’re not going away is what will get you something more than what you started with. So they just want to get rid of you until they’ll say, oh, fine, right?

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Yeah. That’s the strategy my kids use.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: And this is something I actually discuss in the book as well. Again, I’ve tried to take it out of the business context, although all of it is applicable to business, but I talk about how kids are actually natural negotiators. We lose that over time and women lose it more. And there’s a bunch of reasons why kids are national negotiators. One of them is persistence. Another one is that they’re entirely undaunted by mom saying no. Right. And a few other things. They’re curious. They ask tons of questions. You know, asking a lot of questions is another tool. Asking them with good timing and in the right way. Right. People don’t like to feel like they’re being interrogated. But artful questioning is a very key negotiation tool as well.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Nice. What about other everyday situations. So you mentioned shopping. Are there other services or times where you feel like we could have a starting point for these low stakes moments?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Oh, gosh. You know, even at the grocery store, it’s negotiating for a parking at the grocery store, which is what another negotiation author has called the tacit coordination negotiation. I’m serious. Recognize that when you’re at a four way stop with other cars, that is a tacit coordination negotiation, right? You’re not interacting, you’re not talking, you’re not texting with each other, you’re not having a discussion about who’s going to go next, but you are figuring out who’s going to go next. It happens quickly, and you may not recognize it as a negotiation, but this is part of the training, that you can spot these little passing moments in life that are actually types of negotiations. So that’s one category, tacit coordination. Another would be purely transactional, which is generally the grocery store, right? Buying something at the grocery store is pretty much transactional. Then there’s negotiation that has to do with a relationship, right? And I would say that getting your toddler to eat their peas is in that one. Most negotiations fall into this one, it’s the hybrid. It’s a hybrid relationship and transaction. So let’s say, for example, you’re a parent and your kids are in school and you’re being asked to serve on a committee for the fundraising for the school. All right. There’s a lot of negotiation opportunities there to practice, not just with the committee itself in terms of What’s the goal? Problem identification. There it is again. What’s the goal? What are the means that we’re going to get the goal, right? How are we dividing up tasks for the committee? And then the actual, if you have to go out and ask for money, that of course is a negotiation too. So these are all everyday ways. I mean, with your spouse, how are you dividing up just labor, just the labor of maintaining a home and a family. Take a look at that. We talk about 50-50. Well, it’s not really 50-50. If it is 50-50, it’s not 50-50 all the time. That’s not how it works. I hope that on average, it’s 50-50 when you look at everything over a span of years, but it’s not 50-50 on a daily basis. That’s just not realistic. Still, it could maybe use some assessment. everywhere, from the moment you wake up in the morning in your bedroom, to downstairs in the kitchen, getting ready to get everyone out the door, to the grocery store, at your kid’s school, at work. It’s everywhere. When I am in the world and I am at home, I’m like the guy with the hammer that everything is a nail. Like to me, I see negotiation everywhere. And so much so, so much so that I have to restrain myself sometimes to go like, you know, just pay the money. Just don’t, just don’t. Just stop, just don’t. Let it go, right? Because I enjoy it and I’m always practicing. So that’s another thing is to do recognize the situations where maybe you just don’t. And I should say this is important. Not every situation can be negotiated. I’m not naive, right? So like the military. No. When you’re given an order, you do the thing. Are you going to be court-martialed? When you’re a part of a labor union in a union shop workplace, you’re not going to be negotiating your compensation pact. In fact, you can’t. Don’t over-correct. Practice and be strategic. Be strategic and be discerning. Mm hmm. It’s an art. It isn’t. And this is finally it’s not a petulant demand. It is a skill. It is a strategy. It is an art. It’s not a well, it’s our turn. It’s my turn. I deserve this. That’s not negotiation.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Mm hmm.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Yeah. Oh, there’s so much really finesse and there is an art here. I love that you use that word about listening to the other person’s motivations or fears or anxieties or desires. It’s so beautiful, everything that you’re saying, because it takes this masculine and sort of ugly and overbearing way that we may have in our minds of negotiating and instead makes it something that’s approachable and accessible and something that we can work on in very simple ways. And we get to be in control in deciding where we practice so that we’re ready when the stakes are high.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Exactly. Yeah. You have to be willing to screw up. All right. So but screw it up in the low stakes ways. You know, when I go to another country, I learn the language first and I go to that country and I speak their language and I do it badly if I have to. I don’t care. I do not care if I am doing it badly, because the point is, first of all, that’s how you learn by doing something badly for a long time until you get good at it. And number two, it’s appreciated. They appreciate that you’re trying.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: and they’re going to help you. I was going to say in 2024, one thing that I really want to bring more of into the show and more into my leadership trainings and workshops is just talking about how if we have any privilege, if we’re in any positions of privilege, how we need to really build allyship and support for minorities and women of color. And so I know we touched on it a little bit, but I just want to give you space if there’s anything else you want to say and what role negotiation can play in doing that for other individuals who may not have as much privilege in our communities or workspaces.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Yeah, it’s something I think about quite a lot, particularly with my role with UN Women, because, you know, you look at, for example, and it’s all it gets, it gets to the climate crisis as well, because you look at, for example, women in, say, rural Ghana, where they are the main food providers and farmers for their communities, and where so Ghana is, I think, accounts for like, 0.4% of the global population, and they contribute, I think, 0.04 to global emissions, where by contrast, the United States is 4% of the population and contributes 25% to global emissions. So when climate crisis makes it harder or impossible because of droughts or floods or whatever, for those women to produce food for their communities, and then they cannot be educated because of that. They cannot work outside the home. It’s also their pharmacy. So nature is their pharmacy. So medical medical care is impacted and often have to turn to things like sex trafficking, you know, in order to make ends meet. These are these larger cultural generational, global climate negotiations that we are having on a large scale. And so whatever you can be doing in your own pocket of the world to do something about that, I don’t care how small it is, because I often think that people wait for like, they’re waiting for their big moment on a national or an international stage to make their big impact. And I firmly believe that change happens by doing whatever you can in your pocket of the world to help level the playing field. And so that’s what I encourage people to do. With that big picture in mind, which seems so big, I’m like, well, what can I possibly do about that? It’s the why bother voting, right?

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Logic, you know?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Right. Well, then you’re right. Nothing’s going to change. So you figure out, open your eyes again, listening, observing, start noticing, notice. it, you know, your privilege, notice that if you just get to speak your truth, right, because you get to do that, and others who can’t, okay, so what can I do? How can I help that person mentor somebody from the next generation, or equal gender, it’s going to help you as well. There are a lot of things you can be doing and within your organization, notice who’s not speaking up at meetings. right? What what’s going on there? Is it just their style? Is there some other way they could be contributing? Because they’re not comfortable speaking? Could you be getting their feedback in writing via email or something? But notice who’s participating? Who’s not? Are there trends there? Just start noticing and then ask yourself, okay, what can I do to help even this out?

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Mm hmm.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: I love this. I appreciate all that you’ve shared and all that I have put in my mind for ways to enhance and elevate my own negotiation skills and also ways to leverage that in supporting my clients’ initiatives, my family’s wellbeing, and also in partnering with others. to do that as well. And your own well-being. Your own well-being. Yes. Let’s not forget me. Yes.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: It’s okay to want things and to go out and get them. It’s okay. You can do that.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: Yeah. That’s a good reminder.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: It’s not selfish.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: It’s not greedy, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So where would you like people to find you if they’d like to connect?

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: I am, you know, just Google me. I’m so on the internet, exhausting. I don’t do much social media. I mean, I’m only on LinkedIn. I don’t have I’m not anywhere else on any other social media, but LinkedIn. If you just Google me, and my books are on Amazon, I’m on sabbatical this year writing my fourth book, which should release fall of 2025, which is a sweeping epic complex dual timeline women’s historical fiction novel based on primary sources. and that’s very, very consuming. But if you just Google my name, you’re going to find more than you bargained for.

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT: And I’ll share her links. They’ll be on the show notes page. Lucia, thank you so much for being with us and being a part of this valuable communication series, just breaking down things for women so that they’re accessible right now.

Lucia Kanter St. Amour: Well, thank you. And thank you for anyone who has actually listened for a whole hour. I mean, wow, I’m very impressed and grateful and honored. So thanks to you. Yeah.

Dr. Crystal Frazee: Okay, before we sign off, I want to let you know that I’m hosting a free Executive Roundtable virtual event for 10 women leaders who want to both elevate how their employees communicate and address their specific challenges when it comes to getting buy-in for their ideas. This event is going to be Tuesday, March 26. from nine to 1030 Eastern Time, and there’s no fancy signup page. There’s 10 seats, and when they’re filled, they’re filled. So if you are in upper leadership, managing a team, and would like to participate in the round table and claim a seat, just message me at crystal(at) if you want to participate. And if it’s a fit, I’m gonna send you a calendar invite, and that’s it. Easy peasy.

Thanks so much for listening to Attune Leadership for Women. I am so honored to be in your earbuds and to be able to share my ideas and the wisdom from my expert guests. I write, record, edit, and publish the podcast myself to reach women leaders that are looking beyond just career success and want less stress and deeper life satisfaction as well. Don’t forget, you can get the transcript, show notes, and links to free resources for each show at And if you haven’t yet, rating and reviewing the show on Apple podcast or sharing the show with a friend or colleague is gonna help me reach that mission. So take one minute after the show and do one of those two things, rate and review, or forward this to a friend who needs to learn some of these amazing communication skills. Have a great week ahead. Be well and stay attuned. Bye.