Street smarts in action

WS talks to labor leader Amy Dean

by on
in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

San Jose, Calif., has the highest minimum wage in the United States, thanks in large part to Amy Dean. At age 36, Dean is the dynamo who combines intelligence and people smarts to run the South Bay office of the AFL-CIO in San Jose. Dean spoke with us about her approach to negotiation and diplomacy in her rough-and-tumble world.

WS: How do you bring opposing sides together?

Dean: You have to assume people don’t have a bad motivation from the start. That may be hard to do if you’re up against an adversary and you think the worst of him. I’m not naïve. I know people will fight for their side and sometimes act up. But I’d rather give people the benefit of the doubt and see their nasty or inappropriate behavior as a sign of fear or insecurity.

WS: Does that make it easier for you to accept?

Dean: Yes, because I don’t take it personally. I can move past their behavior and focus on the issue at hand.

WS: How do you prepare to nego...(register to read more)

To read the rest of this article you must first register with your email address.

Email Address:

Leave a Comment