Women Are Actually Born Better at Negotiating
If someone asked you which gender is better at negotiating, chances are you’d say men.
After all, men seem to have this blind confidence in any situation they walk into. They’re always insisting on the best for themselves and tooting their own horns. Women, on the other hand, are traditionally known for being timid and reasonable, and not wanting to rock the boat.
But inherently, women should actually be better at negotiating then men, according to research done by Scotwork.
In their studies, they found that women are better at preparing for negotiations, are more emotionally intelligent and therefore able to understand the other side, and are better able to come to a mutually agreeable deal.
And yet, so many women are still making lower wages than their male counterparts, and not getting the promotions due to a glass ceiling that they’re unable to break. Why is that?
We spoke to Jill Campen and Violaine Galland, professional negotiation consultants, about why women are still not getting WTF they want, and how they can change that.
Unfortunately, just like so many problems women face today, this goes back to gender roles in our culture.
“Our culture, our families, our schools and our neighborhoods have taught women to be polite, to let others speak first, to show empathy and to create harmony in relationships,” Jill and Violaine explained.
As you probably already know, this conditioning has led women to avoid confrontational and potentially unharmonious situations, and those of us that don’t go out of our way to avoid those situations are labeled as bitchy.
Campen and Galland also explained that women are way harder on themselves than men, and we wait for other people to push us to ask for that raise, or that promotion, rather than believing in ourselves.
“We may even tell ourselves that we don’t deserve the higher wage, or we are too hard on ourselves, or maybe we don’t meet every single criterion stated for a job raise therefore we don’t even try,” they explain. “Contrast that with our male counterparts, who statistically, tend to minimize the self-criticism or stated criteria for success and will more aggressively pursue a raise.”
All in all, they explain, women have learned to settle for less. And instead of settling, we should learn to negotiate.
The cool thing is, both Campen and Galland teach women how to stop shutting down when they hear the word “no” and how to stop giving in for fear of an uncomfortably situation. They’re even hosting a free webinar on March 8th to dish out some negotiating skills and answer questions.
But the takeaway is, it’s not about men simply being born better at negotiating, or having an inherent sense of confidence. In fact, women inherently have the skills that should make them better at negotiating. The problem is, the way we’ve been brought up — and the way people criticize us for being confident — has likely taught us to lose some key negotiating skills.
So what’s the solution? Grab them back and stop settling. Don’t accept that you get shy or awkward when trying to negotiate with your boss. Don’t accept a job in a company where all the women get paid less than the men. Don’t accept that you should be “grateful for what you have” instead of striving for more.
Break the habit of defaulting to saying “yes” or “sorry” when talking to people above you. Break the habit of waiting around for a promotion or a wage. Break the habits that are keeping you from your full potential.
After all, you’ve got the skills deep down.