The art of negotiation involves a specialized set of communication skills. There is an agenda with an objective. Sometimes there are many objectives. There can even be hidden agendas. But overall, study after study points to findings that reveal that men take the opportunity negotiate more than women. (Up to eight times as many men will negotiate compared to women!)
Not only do men negotiate more, they do it with a confidence lacking in women. Many women approach negotiating tentatively — while many men approach it like a game that will be enjoyed and has the potential to be won. For some women, just the anxiety about negotiating can prevent them from engaging in it at all. As a result they take what is offered.
You can debate the stylistic aspects of gender in communication all you want, but ultimately, it can lead to women earning much less money than man over the course of their careers. Starting with ‘job #1’ – than can add up to significant cash.
Many employers expect to negotiate. And because they do, the first offer can be less than they expect to pay. Women may drag their feet when it comes to asking for and negotiating better assignments, chances for increased visibility, and promotions that they think they are qualified for.
I’ve observed that many women think that their hard work will be recognized and rewarded. What they may fail to understand is that asking to be noticed can speed up the process. Educating others about your contribution, helps them learn about you as a valuable resource.
What stops women? It can be as simple as not wanting to appear disrespectful to the boss or hiring manager. Sometimes the truth is that not taking an opportunity to negotiate is evidence of avoiding discomfort – or lacking the skills.
It’s fine to be happy with what you are offered, if you really are.
But women have the power to change. We can reap the rewards if we are interested in putting up with learning some new strategies and skills and putting up a few minutes of discomfort.
When I get to the check out at the store, I ask if the price is negotiable. I usually get a laugh. But in smaller stores, the owner always has the right to negotiate the final fee.
When it comes to negotiating at work – forget about dropping hints or hoping you’ll get noticed. Speak up and ask for what you want.If you don’t ask, you can’t get!