What makes a woman a better communicator in a negotiation than a man? Is it the words a woman uses, the gestures she makes, or other variables such as likeability, etc., that allows her to negotiate more effectively and be viewed as a better communicator?
The perspective of whether she’s a better communicator because she negotiates better, or a better negotiator because she’s a better communicator can be psychologically daunting. One aspect is irrefutable, the better she communicates, the better she’ll negotiate and the greater will be the returns for her efforts.
As a woman, consider the following to communicate better as you negotiate.
Negotiation Communication Style In General:
When considering how you’ll communicate with the opposing negotiator, think about the communication style you’ll use based on his style of communication (i.e. if he’s willing to go along to get along, he has a mindset that the only way he can win is for you to lose, etc.). Also, consider his background and value system (careful, careless, nurturing, dispassionate, etc.). That insight will highlight his source(s) of motivation. Such variables will have a profound impact on how your message is received by him.
To influence the flow of the negotiation, consider the verbal and nonverbal cues used by the opposing negotiator too. As an example, if he speaks at a particular pace, consider speaking at that pace, use the same tonality, and mimic his body language gestures when appropriate. By doing so, you’ll convey subliminal messages indicating how similar the two of you are, which will transform into likeability; most people tend to like themselves and those that are like them. Once likeability has been created, the opposing negotiator will have a more difficult time attacking you. In his mind, you’re just like him. So, he’ll think, you can’t be that bad.
Negotiation Communication Style Woman Versus Man:
As a woman negotiating with a man, you must psychologically determine to what degree you’ll allow society’s norms to dictate how you’ll negotiate with your male counterpart. Women tend to be nurturers more than men. As a woman, this trait can serve you when negotiating with a man that wants to be nurtured. Thus, you should also consider how and when you’ll employ the use of empathy or sympathy. Empathy can be viewed as you being understanding while sympathy can be perceived as displaying pity. Most men do not want a woman feeling pity for him; it hacks at his male ego.
Based on the communication style of the male negotiator, a woman may choose to employ a ‘more direct’ communication style. This may be appropriate with some male negotiators because men tend to be less nurturing and more direct (i.e. let’s get to the bottom line, say what you mean instead of beating around the bush, etc.). Again, depending on the man, either situation or a combination of both may be appropriate, thus the reason it’s important to understand the communication style of your male counterpart.
To heighten the perceived value and perspective of your offers/counter offers, explain the benefits of them in terms that are understood by the other negotiator. Speak his language and consider speaking in pictures if appropriate. Remember, most men communicate differently than women. Knowing and understanding how words resonate with your negotiation opponent and his negotiation style of preference will allow you to communicate more effectively. This, in turn, will increase your negotiation opportunities and outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!