One of the biggest mistakes that women make in negotiations is not negotiating. Plain and simple.
The reasons why women don’t negotiate are more complex however. Perhaps prior experiences where you were treated unfairly hinder your ability to negotiate now. Or you are not clear on what your goal is in the negotiation – at the end of the day, what exactly do you want/need? Conflict can be unnerving – no one wants to ruin a business relationship, lose a client, or miss an opportunity. Asking for too much makes you feel like you will jeopardize those things.
Some people say negotiation is an art. At first, I think that makes it feel more exclusive than it is. You have it, or you don’t.
But then I looked up the definition of “art,” which according to Merriam-Webster is a skill acquired by study, observation or experience. Can the “art” of negotiation be acquired through studying it, observing ways you can do it for yourself, and then practicing those techniques?
The answer is yes.
After years of teaching negotiation skills and challenging people to demand more of themselves in negotiation - to take calculated risks, understand the importance of principled exchange, and above all, map out a strategy well before the discussion begins.
If negotiation seems like an artistic ability that is unreachable, but you know you want more for yourself, then start developing that skill in small steps. Start with study. For example, by learning how to make a plan in advance of the negotiation, so you are preparing yourself to be ready when it’s game time. And this important step will help to position you for better success in the negotiation – you will be clear on your goals, have an understanding of the other side’s perspective.
To get you started in mapping out negotiations, try this Negotiation Planner that I developed. The 10-page guide will help you plan for your next negotiation in a thoughtful and strategic way by:
Clearly stating your objectives
Understanding what's important to you
Thinking from their perspective
Not negotiating shouldn't be an option for you. Try on the Planner and drop me a line if you'e interested in learning more about my negotiation consult program. Right now, I am offering a series of consulting packages that will support you in developing expert negotiation skills. With the right tools and a solid plan, your next negotiation can be an opportunity for you to add value to your business. To build on your business relationships, and your own confidence. To succeed and get what you want.
More on this topic coming to the blog on Friday.