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Women’s Equality Day: Cultivating Leadership, Communication and Negotiation Skills

Brooke Wenig
Candice Murray
Lucille Nocona
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Databricks celebrated Women’s Equality Day with a talk by Coco Brown
Databricks celebrated Women’s Equality Day with a talk by Coco Brown

Databricks is committed to fostering an environment that promotes equality and inclusion. For Women’s Equality Day on August 26, we invited Coco Brown, founder and CEO of Athena Alliance — a digital platform dedicated to revolutionizing leadership — to present a talk about women in leadership and the path to the boardroom. This talk highlighted the importance of creating leadership opportunities for women.

At Databricks, we have a broad interconnected network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that create and curate leadership and professional development opportunities for our employees. These include our Latinx, Black Employee, Queeries, and Women’s Networks.

The Women in Customer Success (WiCS) group, which is a partner to our Women’s Network ERG, is one example of an employee-led group focused on supporting women at Databricks. The mission of WiCS is to build a community that strengthens our culture of inclusion while supporting professional growth and leadership development for women. Chris Gilbert and Carrie Anderson, co-executive sponsors of WiCS, also invite other leaders in the company to participate in the monthly meetings to provide women with more executive face time.

This past month, the Women in Customer Success (WiCS) book club focused on learning more about the art of negotiation by reading and discussing “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz. If you don’t have time to read the book, here’s a fantastic 12-minute summary. Below a few WiCS members spotlight their favorite quotes from the book that sparked a lively discussion about negotiation techniques:

Chengyin E.
Data Scientist
“‘No’ is not a failure. We have learned that ‘No’ is the anti-’Yes’ and, therefore, a word to be avoided at all costs. But it really often just means ‘Wait’ or ‘I’m not comfortable with that.’ Learn how to hear it calmly. It is not the end of the negotiation but the beginning.”

Lucille N.
Executive Assistant
“There are three types of ‘Yes’: counterfeit (which is utilized as an escape route), confirmation (an affirmation with no promise of movement), and commitment (an authentic agreement that points to action). Aim for a ‘commitment’ Yes.”

Nicole L.
Solutions Consultant
“Slow it down, make your counterpart feel in control, and show a sincere interest in his/her experience. Repeat back the last few key words, uncover the information you need with calibrated ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions, and lead the conversation toward a compassionate and solution-based outcome.”

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