Spotlight on Negotiation

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In Part 2 of our 5-part series on future female leadership, we look at negotiation.

Negotiation is a hot potato for many women, who are commonly perceived as collaborators not negotiators. This is the first of two spotlight talks the author found particularly resonant.

WeAreNegotiators – Natalie Reynolds
A former barrister turned professional negotiator, Natalie advises senior contractors and top bosses in the language of negotiating successful outcomes for their goals.

In her impact-laden talk at the recent WeAreFutureLeaders conference for women, Natalie highlighted typical stereotypes surrounding women’s behaviours inside and outside the workplace. Women: 1. Don’t ask. 2. Aren’t ambitious. 3. Can only negotiate confidently on behalf of other parties. 4. Can’t do the tough stuff.
Though last year an Australian study suggested women now ask as readily as men, they don’t get what they ask for. That is a problem.

How can you overcome perceptions and give yourself the best chance of getting the outcome you want?

1. Prepare ahead of time. This includes running through all scenarios on paper or with a trusted partner. Negotiators understand psychology and process.

2. Ask for more. Women at career start undervalue themselves by up to 13% less than they’re worth, peaking at a disappointing 30% less at their career pinnacle. The more you ask for, the more you get. Men know and do this.

3. Negotiate for yourself the way you would for your staff or people you represent i.e. resolutely and fearlessly. Delete any worry about perception.

4. Find your motivation. Who is relying on you to get it done?

In closing, Natalie delivered 5 tips for immediate use, using her DEALS method. The clear message to women is to stop winging it.
DISCOVER by broadening your perspective to understand the mindset of the other party. This gives you leverage and insight.
ESTABLISH roles, how long it takes, boundaries and breakpoints on all yours and the other party’s areas.
ASK for what you want, not what you think you will get.
LEAD by presenting confidently. Be in the driver’s seat.
SEAL by getting the outcome in writing straight away. Too often word of mouth or assumptions are taken as gospel. A written document serves as official reference should the need arise later.

Last but not least, redefine your relationship with word NO. This doesn’t mean you quit – rather open door again, perhaps with a different person. Nobody ever got anywhere by quitting at the first hurdle.

Natalie is founder and CEO of advatageSPRING, a company that trains and coaches individuals and teams in negotiation skills. Her thought leadership has brought efficiency and cost savings to worldwide clients including multiple, top ranking banks. She is also an international keynote speaker and an author. Her book ‘We Have A Deal’ covers in-depth treatment of negotiating skills, planning and what to look for, common negotiating mistakes, case studies and exercises.

Next week in Part 3, we tackle communication.

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