• Akindotun Merino

Developing negotiation skills for women in leadership - Part II

When it comes to negotiation skills, men are more rational and logical, while women are more emotional and intuitive. Men emphasize objectives by remaining dominant and authoritative. They utilize direct language and even use highly intensive language to persuade others. They tend to prolong the talk or confidently interrupt other parties if they feel it necessary. Women remain passive and submissive most of the time. They focus more on maintaining relationships than on acquiring objectives. They generally stay on the back foot in settling deals with other parties. They use tentative speech patterns and talk carefully during personal interactions, which are perceived as less forceful. There is a constant thought keep revolving in women’s mind that how others are judging them and what do they feel about them. It interrupts the negotiation process and that they get distracted from the real objectives.

One primary reason for low pay scales and negotiation challenges faced by women leaders is agreeableness. Psychology says that if you’re struggling to say “no” at work and have a constant need to please others, you might be putting your success at stake. Agreeableness also plays a significant role in weakening the negotiating skills of women. It can be observed that women are more agreeable than most of the men. Such women are usually more warm, selfless, friendly, and generous. They ‘don’t realize the cleverness of others and always have a positive approach. They believe that people are generally honest, decent, and trustworthy.

Moreover, agreeable women remain over conscious of what other people think and always try to please them. It covers their self-esteem and neglects their own needs for meeting other ‘people’s needs. Agreeableness cause silent harms to women. They seem warm, welcoming, and great for office morale on the surface. But in reality, they lead the office towards inefficiency and decrease their credibility. They also avoid conflict and settle at compromises. ‘It’s a problem many women are facing today. They are not complaining about rude behavior, low salaries, and over workload at offices. Many CEOs or managers are unable to run offices according to them. They ‘don’t want to displease their employees and judged as bossy or rude for implementing new policies. They often leave the decision making to colleagues as they ‘can’t reject them in any way; these all result in poor leadership and inefficiency. On average, such women have lower income and professional status than “disagreeable” people.

Being too agreeable can create great trouble for women leaders due to their key role in an organization. Being a leader, one has to make hard decisions and implement strict discipline for better running of the system. Agreeableness can get in their way and can lead them to fail at leadership. In reality, individuals high in agreeableness are often likely to be taken advantage of. They need to realize their weakness and work on them smartly. In situations where it seems problematic, the following steps can help agreeable women to protect themselves:

• Be aware of this trait and learn to turn down someone’s request when it’s necessary.

• Don’t indulge in conflicts but also don’t let others take advantage of this fact. Use your authority to control suitably.

#negotiation #womeninleadership #leadership #diversityinbusiness #skillset #business

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