People that negotiate better than others tend to have greater success in life. That’s true to a point. Because, if a man and a woman have equal skills as a negotiator, in general, women tend to get the shorter outcome. For that reason, women need to be even better negotiators.
… I asked what challenges she has when negotiating. She said, “none – I never have anything to negotiate.” After I probed by saying, never? She, replied, “I took my brother once to help me negotiate the purchase of my car. I figured the dealer would take advantage of a woman alone. But my brother wasn’t any good. He just said yes to everything the dealer said. He didn’t know anything about negotiations. I might as well be alone.”
Most people don’t realize when they’re negotiating. Negotiation occurs when you’re attempting to achieve an outcome. Anytime you’re trying to get someone to embrace your beliefs – you’re negotiating. Some consider that influencing. But in reality, it’s a negotiation.
As you’re most likely aware, my motto is, “You’re always negotiating.” That means, even when you’re engaged in the influence process, you’ve most likely had prior interactions that shape how you address someone. Those previous interactions were negotiations. You exchanged in the give-and-take process that’s influencing how you currently interact with someone of likemindedness or appearance.
That’s important for women to remember when they’re negotiating. If they possess a shackled mindset, they’ll be less efficient when negotiating. Instead, women must look at the situation and think, I’m free to be who I am. My past is not my present. And I will not allow old thoughts that hindered my progress from slowing me down. I will become stronger and move more boldly towards my future. Then, learn more about how to become a better negotiator.
Know Your Assets:
There were several factors about negotiations that the lady I was speaking with didn’t recognize.
- She didn’t recognize that she’s continuously negotiating. That means being aware of where one action will lead and how it will impact the next step. Planning your steps will give you insights into what you’ll need as you engage them.
- Since she thought she never negotiated, there were no contingency plans for situations she might encounter. Always plan how you’ll act and react before entering into situations. Women should consider how their gender might cause others to treat them. The more import the outcome, the more one should plan.
- Her brother was an asset. His presence gave her unforeseen leverage. But since she didn’t know how to use it, she forewent that advantage. Sometimes, having the right person with you in a negotiation adds value to your effort. As a woman, consider how you might employ seen and unseen leverage in your negotiations.
- When negotiating in what might be an awkward situation, consider allies to enlist to strengthen your position. Look for those that have skills that will offset those of the other negotiator.
Know Your Negotiation Counterpart:
- Negotiators have different styles of negotiating. And some have differing thoughts about negotiating against women. To understand the type of negotiator you’re dealing with understand their mind.
- Women have built-in advantages in most societies. And that’s their gender. In general, most men don’t think women can negotiate effectively. A woman can make that ill-thought a man’s peril. And that’s the hidden advantage. Women can take advantage of men’s perception by luring male counterparts into negotiation traps. Then, she can spring it before he realizes he’s trapped.
- Some women are relieved when they negotiate against another woman. Don’t fall prey to this thought. As a woman, it can be tougher negotiating with some women than some men. Some women believe they have to be tough to be respected. And they won’t cut you slack because you’re the same gender.
Before engaging in what might be a tough negotiation, practice. Do so in mock negotiations. Everyone can benefit from them. But women can gain more enormous benefits by practicing with male counterparts that might act like those that she’ll face at the negotiation table.
Never discount the value of practicing. And never neglect the importance of mock negotiations. They can simulate real-life reality before it becomes that.
The lady with whom I spoke had a commonality with other women about negotiations. Some either fail to even recognize with they’re negotiating, or they ratchet down their negotiation efforts out of fear. In either case, they shortchange themselves. They also forgo opportunities that could bring benefits for those that are dearest.
The question becomes, as a woman, is being a better negotiator worth the effort that it’ll take to become more successful? Others are depending on you! Commit today to enhance your negotiation skills… and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at [email protected]