Negotiate Like a Pro, Whatever Your Field: Top 5 Tips from Julie Foudy

Julie Foudy, World Cup Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, National Soccer Hall of Famer, Author, ESPN Broadcaster

Retired midfielder Julie Foudy is just as tenacious at the negotiating table as she was on the pitch. The first woman to be recognized with the FIFA Fair Play Award, Julie is not afraid to stand up for what’s fair, whether she’s fighting against child labor or advocating for gender equity in sports. These days she is teaming up with her husband Ian Sawyers at the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy (JFSLA), which empowers the next generation of young female athletes to become leaders. We asked Julie to share best negotiation advice. Here’s what she had to say:

One of the qualities I love most about women is how we build teams, community, and chemistry. However, one of the attributes that can hold us back comes from that same pallet. We hesitate to push for what we need or what we deserve, worrying it may adversely impact the larger team. Here is what we need to keep in mind when negotiating:

1. Own. Your. Awesome. Do not deflect when people tell you how good you are at what you do. Say “thank you,” and appreciate the compliment sincerely.

2. Do not be afraid to mention your success on projects, in a particular moment, and/or with other colleagues. Practice saying it in a way that matches your personality. And, as hard as it may be for you to say out loud, rehearse it in front of a mirror or with a friend so you get more comfortable with it. Set goals or incentives to help make sure you say it in key meetings—or you won’t.

3. Celebrate others genuinely. Their success is your success. There’s nothing more appealing than working alongside a colleague who wants you to be successful. The best leaders foster that culture.

4. Knock on the door. Sit at the table. Get in the room. Make it known you are curious and seeking more in a healthy way. You don’t know it all—yet—but you are learning and growing. People want to reward that mindset. Be present.

5. Asking for more money, more benefits, or more perks doesn’t mean you’re not a team player. It simply means you do what every successful person has done for centuries: You recognize your value.

Take Julie’s word for it: You can stand up for yourself as an individual AND be a team player at the same time. And remember: There’s no better advocate for the fair pay you deserve than YOU.

Need additional resources? Here are a few to help get you started: