A common theme among women – and there’s plenty of research to back it up – is that they negotiate like a girl. They’re worried they’ll offend or seem pushy or they are scared they’ll lose their job if they stand their ground.
Women are generally lower paid and have poorer working conditions, and, sadly, some of the fingers are pointing at the fact that women don’t or won’t negotiate “like a man” and, therefore, don’t get what they want.
When men negotiate they focus on the facts and keep their emotions out of it. It’s purely business. We women tend to worry about others and think of their feelings. We become emotionally involved in what should be a simple business transaction.
It is possible to stand your ground, get what you want and still come up smelling of Chanel No. 5.
Before you go into any meeting, know exactly what it is you want to achieve. What do you want, precisely? And what is the absolute minimum you will accept?
This is not necessarily in relation to pay, but also working conditions, responsibilities, environment, status and role …
What’s In It For Them
You know what you want, and what you’ll accept, but a large part of negotiating is what you can offer the other party – i.e. your boss.
Are you worthy of the terms you’re asking for? Are you capable of doing what you say you will do in your new role as department manager or production coordinator …?
Think about what will THEY get out of this new agreement, and show them how they’d be foolish to discount your suggestion.
Know When To Walk Away
All negotiations, even though it may not seem like it, have an area of overlap between what you want and what they want. Finding the common ground is generally easy, but you also need to be open and aware of it. It’s easy to get caught up in what you want and forget what your boss needs – or any other party, for that matter.
Be prepared to agree to terms or walk away. If you’ve asked for the meeting, and you know your limits, you don’t have to take what’s on offer, but you do need to be prepared for nothing to change if you choose not to agree.
If the other party has called the meeting, be prepared to accept less than you want (see the first point about Preparation) or to say “No” and be ok with that.
Stand Your Ground
Mostly, it’s about knowing what you want, and preventing those horrid little voices in your head from having their say, mid-negotiation.
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