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Stern Honors Students Learn Important Negotiating Skills from Cardozo’s Prof. Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin

Prof. Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin leading Honors workshop

Stern Honors Students Learn Important Negotiating Skills from Cardozo’s Prof. Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin

On Wednesday, November 2, 2022, students from the S. Daniel Honors Program at Stern College for Women attended an interactive workshop led by Prof. Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin, clinical associate professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. The workshop covered the essentials of navigating conflict and difficult conversations through principles of negotiation.

The students first learned about the three types of negotiators: the competitors, those who value being right or winning over the relationship; the accommodator, those who value the relationship over winning; and the avoider, those who do not find a benefit in conflict. Then the students engaged with partners in a mock negotiation exercise concerning a fictitious band desperately in need of a substitute drummer.

Among the important things students learned to do in a negotiation:

  • Think about all of your options.
  • Think about the assumptions you are making and gather as much information as possible about the other side.
  • Think about the points of interest on both sides, and the zone of agreement between them.
  • Remember that positions limit your results. Making deals by looking at the interests of both sides allows for a much better final deal.
  • Do not just listen in order to respond. Listen and really hear what the other side is saying.

It was a return visit to SCW for Prof. Greenberg-Kobrin, who led a similar session for the Honors program in 2018.  “I invited her back because she gave a fantastic, interactive presentation, and it is so important that young women learn to feel comfortable negotiating and that they understand that negotiations are not a zero-sum game,” said Dr. Cynthia Wachtell, founding director of the Honors program, who organized the event.

“I have had alumnae who graduated from the Honors program years ago tell me that the negotiating skills they learned were vital to them both personally and professionally,” Dr. Wachtell added.  “So many things can be negotiated in the workplace – salaries, titles, benefits, vacation days, relocation costs, and more, but too often young women feel too scared, anxious, or intimidated. My goal is to change that.”

Many thanks to Vered Gottleib for her help with the writing of this article.