According to the Harvard Business Review, Nice Girls Don’t Ask, only 7% of women negotiated the starting salary offered, whereas 57% of men did; equating to a $4,000 difference in men and women’s starting salaries straight out of university. Gender aside, this shows you the power of simply asking the question and by using one phrase, you’ll be able to get what you want and more.
Learn the keys to getting what you want out of your professional and personal life, plus how to overcome the gender barriers you may face along the way.
Natalie Reynolds has spent the last few years teaching organisations such as Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Tesco, Walmart and BBC News how to negotiate effectively. She explains that negotiating is not just a business skill, it’s a life skill, which is not overtly taught, but is expected to be known.
Here are Natalie’s top tips to negotiating in any situation, be that professional or person:
1. ENGAGE IN NEGOTIATIONS
Don’t avoid them. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. 2 Negotiation is uncomfortable for many people, but you’ll never get what you want without engaging in the conversation.
2. ADAPT YOUR STYLE BASED ON THE SITUATION
Everyone has their own go-to negotiation style whether the key is to understand the situation as well as your counterpart, and adapt your style accordingly.
3. ALWAYS MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
The best way to beat a proposal is to make a proposal. By anchoring what you want out of the conversation, you’re 82% more likely to get the deal, compared to those who spoke 2nd in the negotiation.
4. “IF YOU, THEN I”
These four words will enable to you negotiate like a professional. By using them, you can effectively negotiate most situations, “if you make dinner, I’ll do the dishes”, “if you can increase my salary, I can start work next week.”
5. RESEARCH IS THE KEY TO WINNING
Believe it or not, negotiation is not all about what you want, it’s about understanding what your counterpart wants. The more you understand about the situation and their side, the more negotiating power you’ll have when approaching the ‘if you, then I’ conversation.
6. LEAVE YOUR COUNTERPART FEELING SATISFIED
If people walk away feeling as if they’ve lost, they’ll also leave with a bad taste in their mouth. Nobody likes to feel like a fool, so make sure to make them feel as if they’ve won as it’ll help you with any future negotiations.
BYPASSING THE STEREOTYPES
Natalie explains that, “there is no difference between how men and women can negotiate, we are all just as competent and capable as each other, however men and women face different issues and gender stereotypes. These stereotypes may not apply to you but you should be more concerned about whether people think they apply to you.”
Natalie’s advice is to research and understand what stereotypes might exist about you based on your gender. Then go all out to evidence that this doesn’t apply to you. Don’t conform to negative stereotypes and play to your strengths.
Natalie has identified three top tips below so you don’t fall victim to these stereotypes and may even be able to use them to your advantage.
Women don’t ask and when they do, they don’t aim high
As per our opening statistic points out, women are less likely to engage in a negotiation as we are more likely to assume the information being presented to us is definitive. Try to make a conscious decision to push back and challenge situations.
Women don’t like being chameleons
Natalie has observed that many women feel uncomfortable at the thought of changing their personality during a negotiation as they don’t want to be perceived as disingenuous. Women play numerous roles throughout a day such as daughter, co-worker, friend, entrepreneur and pupil. If you can apply this flexibility to a negotiation, you’ll be on your way to winning.
Women don’t like to say no
From a young age, we’re taught to be in touch with our own and other’s feelings and therefore as a result, find it hard to say ‘no’. A great alternative instead of saying ‘no’ is to thank them for their suggestion and then present your proposal as an alternative.