Negotiation is crucial for success in any area of your life. It goes far beyond business and politics. You negotiate on a daily basis with your friends about which film to see or with your family about where to go for the next vacation. Men and women negotiate in very different ways. Gender equality is a buzzword, which in negotiation represents a non-existent reality. What exactly do women do differently and who has a better chance of success? Keep on reading to find out.
Knowledge is power
Negotiations are full of stereotypes. Convictions like “women are too emotional”, “men are rational in all decision-making” or “men make better negotiators” still have their place in our society. So what can be done? It’s been proven that women who are aware of these gender stereotypes do a better job in battling them. Therefore, if you ladies want to step up your negotiation game, keep yourself educated and instead of going into a negotiation with the mindset “I am a woman”, go in thinking “I know what I want and I am going to get it!”. This will increase your confidence in dealing with arguments. And here comes a gender-neutral trick for negotiating your dream job: presenting your negotiation skills as an asset to the team, will also make these skills seem more legitimate in future negotiations.
Negotiating like a chameleon
Adjusting the negotiation style actually benefits women much more than men. As a general rule in negotiations, women are more cooperative but less predictable. In addition, women who are more flirtatious receive more generous offers, than those who are seen as simply friendly.
The female negotiation skills are not only different from the ones of men but they are also perceived differently. Women are expected to be satisfied with less. Several studies showed that men, in comparison to women, are not only offered more money, but are also asked for less money when the situation is reversed.
Emotion as a secret weapon
No matter whether you are a man or a woman, emotions will always be a part of any negotiation. The universal problem is, however, that people in a lot of cases don’t understand their own emotions, let alone the emotions of other people. Expressing emotions and recognising emotions of others comes more natural to women. As a crucial part of human communication, emotions have the power to influence negotiation in several ways. For example, feeling sad might get the others around you to feel more compassionate, which can then lead to more cooperative behaviour.
Anger in negotiation provokes a more aggressive approach from the opposing side. In addition, it weakens your ability to judge the intentions of the other person. Being negative makes you more self-centered, which means that coming to an agreement will be harder for everyone involved.
Being happy on the other hand and going to negotiation with a positive attitude will increase your likelihood to succeed. One common mistake made in negotiations is the belief that your interest is opposed with the interest of the other negotiator. It’s true that negotiating is about merging opinions and points of view, however, the interests are rarely direct opposites. Finding even small points to agree on will already bring you one step closer to an outcome, which will make both sides happy.
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Fighting for others
Women are much stronger in negotiation when they are fighting for someone else. In case of male negotiators, the fact whether they were fighting for themselves or someone else did not make a difference. Therefore ladies, as a mind trick to boost your negotiation power, think of how your success will also benefit those around you even if you’re just fighting for yourself.
Skilful negotiation has the power to transform your life. Whether it is getting the job of your dreams, higher salary, growing your confidence or creating relationships, which are good for you. Men and women approach negotiation in different ways, however, each one of the two sexes has their own strengths they can play on. Therefore, the last two insights in negotiating like pro are:
LADIES: Do not be afraid to fight much harder than you think is appropriate.
GENTLEMEN: Do not underestimate the power of a female negotiator.