Negotiating for Women

On Monday, May 17th I had the pleasure of hearing Barbara Danforth of the YWCA speak to the members of WIN. Her topic was 'Negotiating for Success.' It was interesting to learn some of her points about negotiating.

Her definition? "A collaborative process aimed at finding the best solutions for everyone involved." She talked about how it isn't compromise - which connotes meeting halfway. It's really about listening and discussing. Collaborating so it is a win-win.

What I found interesting is that even though women naturally possess skills that would lean toward effective negotiating, we have other influences that keep us from trying at all. Ms. Danforth talked about the differences between how men and women approach negotiating and a lot of those differences have to do with how we are raised.

For example, men grow up competing in team sports more often than women do. They are familiar with a win/lose scenario where women are drawn to a win-win, everyone should be happy scenario. Men believe that almost everything is negotiable and that they should ask for more than they expect to receive. Women, on the other hand, expect the world to be fair, perceive negotiating as a conflict to be avoided, and concede too much too early.

Ms. Danforth also offered 10 keys to negotiation strategies that result in a win/win. Here they are:
1. Know what you need or want and quantify it.
2. Create a concise case statement to explain why you have earned/deserve what you are seeking; anticipate objections and be prepared to respond to them.
3. See your request from the other person's perspective
4. Decide to negotiate (this is a biggy!)
5. State what you want and why and provide appropriate documentation
6. Listen carefully to the response; identify areas of agreement and areas of conflict.
7. Acknowledge the points of agreement; inquire how to resolve the conflicting issues.
8. Be prepared to offer a resolution to the conflict
9. Recognize when you have reached the best win/win situation for the current circumstance.
10. Celebrate your courage and success!

I hope these words of wisdom will help you in your next negotiation - whether it is in your personal or professional life.

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