Four Ways Women Can Negotiate More Effectively

By Harvard Business Review
May 29, 2019

Negotiating skills can be enhanced, and these strategies could be worth up to $1 million over a career.

Research suggests that 20% of women never negotiate their salary. A woman who opts not to negotiate her starting salary upon graduation will forgo an average of $7,000 the first year and will lose between $650,000 and $1 million over the course of a 45-year career.

 The good news is that negotiating skills can be enhanced.

Here are four strategies that can help women perform more effectively in negotiations.

Cultivate positive emotions: Before a negotiation, use positive priming (thinking about something positive or engaging in a joyful activity) to increase positive emotions, resulting in greater creativity, openness and willingness to collaborate, all of which are essential to successful negotiation.

Boost emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence involves an awareness of one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. Being more aware of her emotions can boost a woman’s confidence in negotiating. It reduces reactivity by providing a moment in which to consider how best to respond.

Negotiate communally: Women may suffer because focusing on their own needs causes others to view them as bossy and aggressive. One way to overcome this challenge is to reframe a negotiation as though you are negotiating on behalf of a group. For example, a woman who negotiates for increased resources to enhance the quality or the productivity of a department that has been stretched by downsizing will be seen as collaborative.

Negotiate a package: In the case of salary negotiation, women would help themselves by looking at the total compensation package, which might include paid time off, the hiring of an assistant or a commuting allowance — all of which have monetary value — as opposed to salary alone.

Copyright 2018 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate.

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