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By nature, many women are consensus-builders, but succeeding in business and government also requires being an effective negotiator, NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka said during a recent televised discussion on women’s leadership on “One on One with Steve Adubato.”

Negotiation skills must be honed because it is natural to expect that when you bring an idea to the table that you’ve already tried to build consensus on that it must be the right course of action, Siekerka said.

“You think, why should we have to go back and negotiate? And I think we have learned over time that is not how the game is played,” Siekerka said.

“It’s about being intentional, making sure you have your information straight, being prepared and confident, knowing what you want to achieve – but recognizing that you may have to take a different stance on how you approach ultimately getting to where you want to be,” she said.

The wide-ranging interview also touched on women’s leadership in the context of important public policy debates, ranging from childcare to corporation business tax credits.

“I know we’re talking about women and leadership, but when I talk to you, policy creeps back into the conversation … and the public policy around the state corporate tax,” Adubato said. “There are a lot of progressive liberal leaders saying that the governor … is favoring the business community.”

Siekerka noted sunsetting the 2.5% corporation business tax surcharge as scheduled on Dec. 31, 2023, which returns the tax to 9%, is incorrectly portrayed by some groups as a “tax cut” even though the surcharge was always meant to be temporary. In fact, its repeal is already two years behind schedule because the temporary surcharge was extended once before due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During COVID we said all right, we’ll be patient. We’ll wait another two years … and it’s supposed to sunset now at the end of this year,” Siekerka said. “A promise made should be a promise kept. It was supposed to be temporary, and the governor has said publicly that he believes it should be allowed to sunset.”

Go here to watch the entire Feb. 16 episode, which also features interviews on women’s leadership with Brittany Hale, founder and CEO of the BND Consulting Group, and Catherine Frugé Starghill, Esq., vice president of Strategy & Partnerships at the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.