Nancy Fredericks pens IWLC's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.CareerStretchZone.com.
What are you experiencing when facing a negotiation situation? Are you eager? Do you dread the prospect? Or are you like so many who ignore the bargaining opening entirely?
If you’re a woman, “who wants more,” discounting an opportunity to negotiate isn’t an option. While it’s easy to fault organizational policies and procedures for the gender inequity, that isn’t the entire picture. A big piece of the puzzle rests in your hands. I am not saying lack of negotiating is solely the cause of why women earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. Or why, despite the fact that women hold 52% of all professional positions, they represent only 14.6 percent of executive officers in Fortune 500 companies. Nevertheless, it does account, in part, for the disparity.
You can turn these statistics on its ears should you choose.
You Are Talent Not A Commodity: Too often, when job hunting or vying for a promotion or seeking a salary increase, women endeavor to prove their worthiness. This erroneous belief has you negotiating from a commodity mindset not who you are—a talent! As a commodity others determine your value, but as a talent you’re incomparable. This shift in negotiating viewpoint is subtle. It has you standing on your individual, unique competency and giftedness rather than competing as though you are a product whose dollar price is established by the marketplace. It is remarkable how budgets and hierarchical positions open up when an organization needs to unlock the bank for a talent.
Expand Your Stereotypical Sandbox: Women fall victim to substantiating their merit through being the “good girl” in the organization, and yet rarely does that earn you anything except mid-level positions. This little girl view is so ingrained it follows us into adulthood. Unfortunately, such a characteristic doesn’t win us what we were anticipating and it never will. After all, leaders define the sandbox by stepping away from the crowd as they generate original pathways for success—not an identifiable “good girl” quality.
Ask For What You Deserve: Women, striving to improve their positional or salary circumstances, mistakenly ask for more responsibility. You are right more authority is part and parcel of the leadership package. However, if that’s all you ask for, you’ll never achieve a high-level position nor will you close the pay gap between you and the men in your company. Never stop short of asking for all you want; and then, up the ante and ask for what you deserve!
Own The Field: You can never actually “own the field;” however, if you don’t enter the negotiation arena with an abundance of relevant intelligence, you'll not gain much ground. You see knowing the other side’s position as well as you know your own will give you leverage for alternatives to emerge satisfying you and your negotiating partner. Negotiation is not a zero-sum game. You’ll be astounded how often both of you discover a new viable pathway leading to wins for everyone!
If in your mind, you fall a bit short in one area that is where you develop your negotiation muscle. And you’ll get better with practice. So, as “a woman who wants more,” the bottom-line is you’re obliged to get over being uncomfortable and get comfortable with negotiating right now!
Did you find this blog helpful? Click this link for Nancy Fredericks' free 20-minute webinar on Negotiation For Women Who Want More. If you thought this blog offered fresh ideas just wait until you attend! You'll gain more powerful tips and insights that will transform your career progress effortlessly.
Nancy is becoming the "go-to" Strategic Results Partner for executive women in business. She is famous for tapping into a woman’s innate powers thus eliminating barriers to getting noticed, gaining influence and achieving greater financial security without attempting to prove themselves all of the time.