Developing negotiation skills for women in leadership - Part I
Updated: May 14, 2020
Negotiation is an essential phenomenon for success in business and many affairs of life. It is a process by which people settle their differences while avoiding conflicts.
A good negotiation is focused on seeking mutual benefits and maintaining a healthy relationship between two parties. Individuals good at this skill can settle deals at best arrangements, leading to the advancement of an organization. Improved professional relationships, long term competitive advantage, and effectively managed conflicts are all advantages of successful negotiations. Negotiation is an essential facet of professional life.
There comes ample of stages when one has to negotiate with others for approval of any proposal or due to the difference of opinion in some matter. Individuals weak at negotiation undoubtedly remain at a disadvantage, as they cannot ask for what they want and cannot deny other’s opinions even if they don’t like it. Some people are blessed with the innate ability to perform well at negotiation. They prove to be successful at negotiating and get their capabilities credited no matter how challenging the situation becomes. However, this may not be the case for everyone and especially for women.
The act of professional negotiation is critical for women as compared to men. For women, it represents them as greedy or desperate. It is also considered complicated by many women, who are often hesitated for asking their worth in the workplace.
On the other hand, men are quite confident at negotiating agreements, partnerships, business deals, and more. They are encouraged for their negotiating skills inside and outside the workplace. Although workplace diversity is progressing all around the world, still women are considered to be less competitive than men in every aspect. When women step into the professional world, stereotype beliefs become a significant hurdle for them.
Majority of people assume that men are highly competitive, win-lose negotiators, manipulative, and good leaders. They are seen as essential assets to the organization who put successful results at priority. They prove not only beneficial for the organization but also remain successful in building a firm base for their interests. They not only ask privileges according to their achievements but also make superior realize their importance.
A widely held assumption about women is that they are more accommodating. They try to preserve existing relationships by compromising and seeking win-win outcomes while negotiating. This attitude does not only affect the company’s interest but also has a direct bearing on women’s pay scale and value at the workplace. Many accomplished women who are even more proficient than their male cohorts are found to be earning far less. The reason is that they are not asking for their worth. They prefer to remain at low levels than to confront their superiors and argue for their deserving place. They perform poorly at negotiation because they are more sensitive. They try their best to avoid arguments as it might displease their colleagues and they will think wrong of them. Women are already struggling at workplaces so they don’t commit such steps that can further aggravate any difficulty for them. This phenomenon is leaving women behind in the race.