Making the Deal: Women as Negotiators

Negotiating is no game. It is not for the weak or the fragile. It takes assertiveness and someone who feels comfortable in the mano-a-mano world of business. Can women negotiate the deal as well as their male counterparts? Absolutely! In some cases, they may even do a better job. Women have a definite edge at the negotiating table because of their instincts and natural power of persuasion.

Women usually look for a win/win in negotiations. In Getting to Yes, the classic book on negotiation by the Harvard Negotiation Project, it was reported that the win/win strategy work best in negotiations. In order to avoid future resentments, all parties should come away feeling good about the resolution of a problem.

Traditionally, it is thought that whoever is on the other side in negotiations is the adversary. However, women tend to want to develop a relationship with the other person and take into account the needs and difficulties of both sides. Women also tend to collaborate and help one another if problems arise.

What traditional businesses have missed for far to long is the understanding that personal relationships, not the contract, profit margin, or delivery date is what give one the competitive edge. Historically, women have been seen as poor negotiators because they are influenced by the other party's situation. But if the truth were told women will more often than not work with their adversaries to reach a solution that is good for everyone involved.

Negotiating is a critical skill for all women aspiring to succeed in the business world. For those women who feel they are not good negotiators, they simply need to remember their natural talent of persuasion. Keep in mind even good negotiators will sometimes make mistakes. The key to avoiding these mistakes are: (1) attack the problem and not your adversary; (2) try to come up with several options; (3) never treat negotiations as a contest; (4) never threaten and (5) never give in to something that is contrary to what you believe is ethical.

The playing field for women in this arena has never been level. But women who have empowered themselves with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to negotiate at top levels have chosen a path that ultimately challenge the entrenched structures which have always hampered them. Women from childhood have been conditioned to be excellent negotiators. So ladies, do not be afraid to step up to table and negotiate with the big boys. Master the art of negotiating, use it with confidence, and the only limits to what you can achieve will be those placed upon yourself.

Ms. Lewis is President and CEO of The Deline Institute for Professional Development, a training organization which provides workshops and seminars geared toward businesswomen. Ms. Lewis is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She is an Adjunct Professor at National-Louis University, where she teaches Human Resource Management. Ms. Lewis has conducted training for the Federal government on Diversity, as well as EEO regulations and guidelines. Ms. Lewis is a certified trainer with the Professional Women Network, specializing in the area of Diversity with an emphasis in Women's Issues. Ms. Lewis is a member of the Professional Woman Network and Professional Woman Speakers Bureau; the National Association of Female Executives; The African American Federal Executive Association and Federally Employed Women. Ms. Lewis' knowledge of business and professionalism is supported by 21 years of work experience in the military and 18 years of continuous work experience as a civilian with the Federal government.

In The News:

Negotiating as a Woman of Color  Harvard Business Review
Start the new year with WHS Negotiations program  Washington State Hospital Association
How to Ask for a Pay Raise in 5 Easy Steps  Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The Art of Negotiation  Harvard Business Review
9 Tactics for Better Remote Negotiations  Harvard Business Review
Principled Negotiation: Art of Conflict Management  Construction Week Online India
Negotiation workshop for Women in Medicine  American Medical Association

Games are a Reflection of Behavior

You are standing on a small stage yelling, "What's the... Read More

Business: Keys To Negotiating Well

Whether it's buying a car, asking for a pay rise,... Read More

Power Pricing - Getting the Right Price for Your Products and Services

There's an old joke about the New York City blackout.... Read More

Are You Scaring Away Potential Customers?

When you are trying to make a sale and ask... Read More

Do You Want a Paycheck or a Passion? 10 Qualities Managers are Looking for in Hiring You

Based upon my research of over 300 managers in the... Read More

The Six Rs for Changing MInds and Overcoming Resistance

This article borrows from Howard Gardner's book, "Changing Minds" (2004).... Read More

Making the Deal: Women as Negotiators

Negotiating is no game. It is not for the weak... Read More

Negotiating Skills Will Get You Ahead

Negotiating skills can help you manage lots of different kinds... Read More

Negotiating Skills: Ask For More Than You Expect To Get

It creates some negotiating room, and you might just get... Read More

How To Communicate Using Space

What Is Proxemics?The study of the communicative aspects of personal... Read More

Cross Cultural Negotiations

Cross cultural negotiation is one of many specialized areas within... Read More

Negotiating Tactics: Don?t Let ?Good Guy ? Bad Guy? Control the Sales Negotiation

Counter one of the classic negotiating gambits by addressing it... Read More

30 Tips for Keeping Meeting Expenses to a Minimum

Money makes the world go 'round. And when it comes... Read More

How to Change Somebody?s Mind

Believe me, it's not easy! And sometimes, it doesn't work... Read More

Better Internal Proposals

A colleague of mine has a problem. We belong to... Read More

Negotiate Your Way to a Better Salary

1. Be persuasive: It's hard to force your boss to... Read More

Barter: Its Not Just for Doctors Anymore

Time was, in the country, the local "doc" was as... Read More

Avoiding and Accomodating in Negotiation

The avoiding approach to negotiating is characterized by losing, leaving,... Read More

National and Cultural Negotiation Style

Cultural and national negotiation styles reflect communication behaviors and the... Read More

Communicating Across Time Horizons

There was a time in my life when I sold... Read More

Secrets of the Trade Revealed: Bartering for Business

In its simplest form, bartering involves an equal trade. One... Read More

Can a Service Be a Commodity

Well Enron dealt with this a little for instance an... Read More

Determine Your Rate And Negotiate Carefully With Unreasonable Clients

Consultants who offer executive assistant or computer services on a... Read More

So Whats Your Argument?

Arguments aren't always bad things. Sometimes They're used to convince... Read More

Win-Win Power Negotiating

Let's talk about win-win negotiating. Instead of trying to dominate... Read More