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Negotiation With a Feminine Twist

Jul 01, 2019

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Nancy Fredericks

Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.CareerStretchZone.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.

  • Even after 50+ years since the United States passed the Equal Pay Act, women are making 80 cents on a dollar as compared to men. On an aside:

    • women with children earn 3% less than women with no children; 

    • men with children make way more than women;

    • which is 15 percent higher than men with no children!

  • While women hold over 52 percent of all professional positions, according to Catalyst, we represent 

    • only 36 percent of first- or mid-level managers; 

    •  only 25 percent of executive- and senior-level managers;

    • only 20 percent of board seats; 

    • only 6 percent of CEO roles.

  • McKinsey and LeanIn report women are 18 percent less likely to be promoted for the first step-up to a manager. 

Is our business culture answerable for the statistic disparity between men and women? Yes. And women also hold responsible because we aren’t standing up and asking for what we want. 

Bring a feminine twist by:

Thinking Bold: Research shows that unlike men, women start negotiating smaller. So, don’t play it safe. And don’t get blown over by aggression as studies reveal when men are negotiating against women, they tend to play hardball—it’s merely part of the process. 

Instigating More Often: Research by Dr. Hilla Dotant establish that men initiate negotiations four times as often as women; women who negotiate achieve 30 percent less than menwith 20 percent of women never negotiating at all even though they know they should.

Persisting: Even if it backfires return to the table strong. You won’t be any worse off then you are right now. At a minimum, you’ll know how your company values you. 

Strategizing: At its root, negotiation requires preparation for the best results. Women have to be smarter by:

  • Think Timing: If your boss or your company is facing significant issues, it isn’t the right time and will have you appearing selfish. But, don’t use this as a reason to never negotiate. 

  • Remember Who You Are: If you enter into negotiations determined to imitate your male peers—you lose. Be yourself. Women are powerful, successful negotiators more often for others than themselves. Begin reframing your discussion by: 

    • Acting as though you’re negotiating for someone important to you as you devise negotiation points that will have the outcome swinging your way.

    • Standing for issues larger than you, such as advocating for other women.

    • Focusing on how your proposed outcome adds-value to your organization.  

  • Be Big: Women need to establish themselves in the room. Instead of sitting small—spread your arms out. Instead of leaning forward in what could be perceived as anxiety, lean back in the chair, revealing your comfort over being in the room.

  • Plan Ahead: If the negotiation is taking place in a conference room, sit at the head of the table or right beside the head or directly across the table from the head negotiator. 

Powering Up: There is no way you can recognize leverage points if you don’t identify what makes the other side tick. So, before ever meeting contemplate how your opposition will respond and pre-plan possible answers, moves, and/or solutions.

When women choose not to negotiate, they give their power away every day in every way. Become the negotiator you need to be!



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Category: Mindful Monday