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All over the world, when you test men and women for facial cue recognition, women test better. It's a negotiation tool." – Michael Gurian.
Women are presumed to be efficient in reading facial cues better than men, but how often do you see women negotiate in business? Rare! Research shows about 20% of women refuse to negotiate at all for better pay, even when they know they deserve more. Throughout their lives, women get selected opportunities to venture on, thereby limiting them to assess what they can do. But times have changed now, and women are gradually moving up the career ladder faster than men.
Women in negotiation is no more a theory; it's the need in everyday business. When women step back and do not effectively negotiate for better opportunities or better pay, they stop themselves from going ahead in life. More so, they lose money by taking less and experience disparity in other roles too. It is high time for women to notch it up, believe in themselves, and engage in negotiations effectively.
Sometimes women tend to overthink a situation and give up everything before reality. Well, that needs to stop. How much ever we like to understand the opponent's thoughts during negotiations, we must not forget our intentions and the outcome we had visualized. Additionally, start believing you can do it, and you will. Our emotions fuel our energies and impact our actions. The more we believe in ourselves, the better we can get creative in finding a mutually beneficial solution by expanding options. Practicing positive emotions and thinking of a happy memory could push women to negotiate effectively.
If you feel you aren't good enough, prepare until you feel ready. Fear handicaps us to the point where we deny doing the job, and it becomes one of the factors leading to bad negotiations. Most women in negotiations lose interest from fear and refuse to get involved. Preparation helps you question your fears, suggest alternatives, and impart confidence to face the challenges. More so, focusing on the positive outcome amps up the preparation process and gives you the courage to speak for what you believe in.
Question everything you find unusual, like why there are more male members on the board than females? Why is the negotiating team an all-male team, or why the male colleague in the same designation is drawing a better package with the same experience? All such thoughts help you see through the loopholes you mostly choose to ignore. Use the networks social and digital to your advantage. Many portals reveal the actual packages of positions. Stay informed and collect data from relevant sources. This will help you put forth your points bravely with the research.
As the saying goes, the devil is in the details, so do not miss that. The best way to talk to clients is by assessing your intention, understanding the purpose of negotiation, and proceeding. Practice meditation, and do not lose your voice during negotiations. With mindfulness and self-directing thoughts, you will not miss out on any relevant point while also assessing the opponent's emotion. Juggling with many responsibilities, women tend to be lost in their thoughts most of the time. Improve your emotional reactivity to cope better and face situations as they are. Practice and awareness are the keys.
We need to be in the opponent's shoes sometimes when we negotiate. Women in a negotiation must understand that this is a life skill and not just a day's responsibility. With better negotiation skills, you can get the best outcome while making your way to the top of the corporate ladder:
a. Know your strengths and amplify them. Example: Women tend to be more considerate and empathetic, which benefits them in social situations. Use those strengths to build trust in negotiation.
b. Focus on a win-win strategy and aim at optimal use of resources. The better the negotiation process, the stronger is the bonding over time.
c. Stay confident throughout the process. Have a positive attitude and proceed with conviction.
One of the bigger benefits for women in negotiation is that they understand the importance of collaborative thinking. It is the quality that makes them the best at what they do. They consider all the aspects of an issue and do not just be competitive like men. Collaborative negotiation implies raising all persistent issues during the negotiation process. This attitude ensures that the real problems have been addressed and the parties have benefitted mutually from the negotiation.
The time is right for women in negotiation to take a plunge and ask for what they deserve. Better package, better company resources, or complex contracts, they must never settle for anything less. Even when the moderate position seems comfortable, break your barriers and speak your conditions. With women being more emotionally intelligent than men and understanding their feelings, they tend to pull the strings for an efficient negotiation. They must refine their skills, ask for what they want, and be prepared to get it.
Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.
Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.