A definition of the word Negotiation heard in the recent times is – “Negotiation is a method by which people settle differences. It is a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument and dispute”.

Negotiation is something that each of us does, every day. At work, at home, and on the tight rope that we try to hold onto to make work and home life perfect. There have been plenty of research papers published which state that gender differences exist, both in entering negotiations, and when negotiating. Men are usually more likely to enter into negotiations than women   and when negotiating, they obtain better deals than women.

Another interesting observation is that most research talks about negotiations at the work place. However, there are negotiations that need to happen at home and within and with the entire eco-system around us.

Some of the tips given to help build this competence are

  1. Look at Win-Win strategies
  2. Think Long term
  3. Take extra time to prepare before entering the negotiation

Some specific tips given to women are

  1. Believe you are worthy
  2. Be aware of your “lens”
  3. Build a competitive style over a relational style

When one goes deep within this subject to understand the differences, it boils down to

  1. How much does the woman want what she is negotiating for?
  2. Is she honest and true to herself?
  3. Does she act as if she is in charge of the situation or is she really in charge of the situation from within

This needs women to introspect about the various situations they have been in the past and how they dealt with those situations. It also needs them to self-reflect about the outcomes that they achieved as against the outcomes that they desired. It needs them to understand how others (men and other women) deal with similar situations and how they can consciously bring an attitude to the negotiating table which will give them the desired outcomes.

Bhavana Issar and I had a great discussion about some of our life and work experiences around negotiation. One would think that both women would have similar experiences and outcomes, however, it did turn out to be quite different. We also reflected about the differences and why such differences existed. I welcome you to watch the entire discussion between Bhavana Issar and me

There is plenty of advice out there on negotiation for women. What women need to understand is that it stems from their inner will to negotiate and what is the holistic outcome that they want to see in their lives and careers with the negotiation. It’s up to them to author their own story!

Written by Neeraja Ganesh