DC Recap: Changemaker Chat with Kate Clemans

Kate (Nov 14, 1973) during her days as a women’s rights leader in New Zealand

Kate Clemans. Footsteps we can follow.

In May we were lucky enough to spend time with Kate Clemans, President of Crowell & Moring International. From the immigration legislation Kate drove into law in New Zealand to the role she continues to play as a master negotiator around the world with C&M, Kate provided us with a rich appreciation of how she gets things done + tips to get us through our next high-level meeting.

Most of us need a bigger stage than we have. Do not limit yourself or your career by only what you can see, most of us need a bigger stage than we currently have to accomplish the caliber of impact we are capable of. Keep questioning the limitations or caps you’ve placed on your goals– they are self imposed.

March on, but follow up, too. It is great that the large global women’s marches were so well attended and supported in January, but the follow up has been less impressive. If we are banding together and supporting an issue, we “should march, but we must also have a call to action that supports a mission or goal with legislation in mind.”

The power of silence. When you are on a call or in a meeting, there’s “power in remaining quiet, in listening.” And always sum up at the end of a meeting (and offer to share out recap notes!), then it is your version of the story people will remember .

The art of negotiation is something that Kate has down pat; whether it’s for a new car or a trade deal with China, Kate uses the same principles to guide her actions.

  1. Good negotiation starts with the ability to read faces, in particular- watching where people’s eyes go and noticing who and what they are focusing on, will give you the opportunity to understand their motivations and interests.
  2. Determine what makes people ‘tick’, begin to engage and empathize with your counterparts, you need to be savvy, and understand the motivations of folks at the table.
  3. The best way to learn how to negotiate is to watch others; see what they do well, what you could pick up, and even what you would have done differently.
  4. It’s all in ‘the close’; many people can negotiate well, but the key is to master ‘the close’. The art of the close comes down to the summing it all up. Structured something like, “We agreed on your thoughtful/inspired/creative suggestion that we do…, the next steps are…” This should be done quickly and with strong conviction.

We thank Kate for her energy, tenacity and motivation– she has, and will continue to, shape a positive pathway for women around the world.