Program & Agenda


The primary focus of the workshop is to develop persuasive communication, negotiation, and leadership skills. Workshops are conducted by professional facilitators and are limited for optimal participation. Participants separate into two groups (postdocs and women faculty/scientists) for the day’s activities to allow them interact with each other and with the facilitators. The facilitators work with one group in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Participants are expected to attend both morning and afternoon sessions.

The entire group meets together for lunch and a final wrap up and evaluation session.

Sample Agenda

7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Welcome, sign in, and opening remarks
8:15 a.m - 12:15 p.m. Postdocs: Communications Workshop
Faculty/Scientists: Negotiations Workshop
12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
Presentation and Q&A with facilitators
1:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Postdocs: Negotiations Workshop
Faculty/Scientists: Communications Workshop
4:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Evaluation and Wrap Up
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Reception

Session A: Communication Skills

Many accomplished professional women feel they are less effective than they wish when leading or participating in discussions, meetings, or group negotiations. They struggle with feeling unheard, with “old boy” gangs that dismiss them, with reactive rather than strategic behaviors, with physical stress and tension, and with ineffective speaking voices. The keys to success in such arenas are both strategic and physical: how one presents oneself and one’s ideas is a key to their acceptance. This workshop, which combines theater training, leadership training, and faculty development in an interactive format that encourages highly personal learning, is designed to enhance women’s abilities and confidence in such situations. It will 1) teach participants techniques used in theater and leadership programs to enhance performance; 2) using role-plays of their own cases, coach participants in strategic management of discussions and negotiations. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cases of personal ineffectiveness in meetings and negotiations and to wear comfortable clothes.

Session B: Negotiating Skills

This session will address the varying challenges in negotiation scenarios that women face as they advance in their careers. Course content includes key concepts of negotiations or interest-based solution finding.

Outcomes of this course are designed to deliver the following:

  • You will understand the value of BATNA - “best alternative to a negotiated agreement”
  • You will identify your personal negotiating style or pattern as well as the positive and negative aspects of different styles
  • You will practice case studies specifically designed to the challenges of your discipline
  • You will examine the sources of power and the ethical uses of power strategies
  • You will analyze difficult conversations and determine potential means of changing the tone of such conversations through changes in your own actions

Finally, you will practice with a coach and observer to study a challenge faced by one person in your sub-group so that finding positive alternatives to your own case studies can be further developed. A side benefit of attendance is building a net work of women who face similar challenges to your own so that you can mentor each other as you build a successful career future.


Facilitator Mary Beth Stevens HeadshotMary Beth Stevens
Ombuds at Los Alamos National Laboratory



Nancy HFacilitator Nancy Houfek Headshotoufek


Ernestine TaylorErnestine Taylor
Consultant in Human Resources
Adjunct Faculty/Certified coach, Center for Creative Leadership


Jane TJane Tuckerucker
Jane W. Tucker & Associates


Lee WarrenLee Warren
Associate Director,
Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Harvard University