“5 New Fantastic Ways Women Can Negotiate Better Against Men” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Some men attempt to dominate women when they negotiate. And therein lies how they expose themselves.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

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Women, compared to men, often face unique challenges when they negotiate. Whether from social biases to a lower degree of confidence or a woman’s cultural background, those challenges can become amplified when women allow them to persist.

Implementing several strategies can help women negotiate more effectively and overcome those obstacles. The following are five insightful ways women can do that when negotiating against certain male negotiation types and styles.

1. Planning Preparation

Before negotiating, every negotiator should consider the environment in which they will negotiate. They should know what the opposition may do to achieve their goals and how the opposition will react when an impasse is near.

In particular, women might consider how some men might perceive female negotiators. Some men think it is easier to negotiate with women; I’ll make her do what I want, might be the thought harboring in their mind. If women have upcoming negotiations with someone of that mindset, they might consider which tactics they will use to gain an advantage.

Regardless of who the negotiation opposition may be, the key for women to successfully negotiate is gathering as much information about that entity as possible and planning how to use it to enhance their negotiation position.

2. Position Yourself And Your Value  

As a woman, how do you see yourself? That matters because, to a degree, how you see yourself will determine the image you project during negotiation. Accordingly, the better you understand yourself, the better you can project the persona that will serve you best during the talks.

Once you have your self-image and understanding in hand, consider altering your behavior during negotiation based on the male counterparts you face. With the:

  • Bully type – project a strong image and do not back down. Instead, make counteroffers to shift his paradigm (e.g., I will not do that, but I can possibly do ‘x’). Strong language against this type (i.e., will not) subliminally signals that he should not mistake you for someone who dithers versus a negotiator he will respect. Project yourself as a strong woman with a value proposition to match, and you will have created the right balance.
  • Mildly aggressive – This male negotiator type may use the mildly aggressive tactic with everyone he negotiates. Thus, initially, do not assume he is dealing with you in that manner because you are a woman. You should have unearthed that about him in the planning stage of the negotiation, but if you did not, consider altering how you present your offers, ranging from pleasant to stern, and observe how he alters his negotiation style.
  • Easy – Do not project an overbearing persona with an easy male-type negotiator. This person seeks to go along to get along. Be pleasant as long as he maintains his decorum. 

3. Negotiate Alone In Groups With Support System

It may sound like an oxymoron to say, negotiate alone in groups – but it is not. You have most likely heard the adage, “There is strength in numbers.” Women can project added strength during negotiation by evoking their support system, even when it is not at the bargaining table during the talks.

This tactic works particularly well against men who are condescending or overly aggressive towards their female counterparts. To employ it, a woman negotiating against her male counterpart(s) can use “we” when making or defending her offer or opinion; a female negotiator should project a more significant force than what her male counterpart may perceive as what is sitting before him.

This tactic is better affected if the male counterpart knows about the support system – and if he is unaware, women should mention that early in the negotiation (i.e., me and my associates …).  

The other aspect of this tactic is for women to negotiate in groups. Some men experience a strange psychological lack of dominance phenomenon when confronted by multiple female negotiators simultaneously. Others may experience the need to become more combative. So, women should be mindful of which male negotiator types they employ this tactic against.

4. Adopting An Assertive Negotiation Style For Women

Research indicates that women often achieve better outcomes when negotiating in a more assertive, “masculine” style. That can involve:

– Using affirmative language

– Making direct requests

– Maintaining a confident, composed demeanor

Nevertheless, women must be mindful of potential social backlashes when doing so and be willing to deal with what may occur from it. The key is to balance assertiveness with approachability.

5. Control Your Voice

When negotiators get excited, their voices tend to rise. Since women tend to have higher-pitched voices than men, they need to become overly aware of their voice’s tone during negotiations. Speaking with a steady, confident tone and avoiding vocal uptalk can lend credibility to women’s negotiation positions. 

Reflection

Women can negotiate better against men. The degree to which they do so depends on their willingness to step outside of their current negotiation comfort zone and project the persona needed to become the better negotiator that lies within them. Once they do, they will unshackle the chains of doubt restricting some of them and flourish against the men they negotiate. And everything will be right with the world. 

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After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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