In the meantime, I got some great seasonal advice from career guru Aimee Cohen, author of the new book, Woman UP! Overcome the 7 Deadly Sins that Sabotage Your Success. So I thought I'd pass along the following Tips to Transform Your Negotiating Skills article.
These tips are written from Aimee's experience as a successful career coach and shared in her book. This is recommended reading for my female friends at Microsoft (and the entire industry, unfortunately). Available at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Up-Overcome-Sabotage-Success-ebook/dp/B00L9M6HM8
Thanks to Aimee for permission to print this article:
Instead of a Trick, Treat Yourself to a Powerful Negotiation
The other challenge women face is that they walk into the negotiation as one extreme or the other. They show up with either the vampire or fairy princess costume and attitude, and struggle to live up to that "too nice or too mean" persona if it's not authentic.
Part of the problem is that women are never taught how to effectively negotiate, and don't do it very often. They fear walking into a negotiation and assertively standing their ground, because they don't want to be perceived as the "B-word". Women are also notorious for committing the "Disastrous Triple-D" where they routinely, and often subconsciously, downplay, dismiss, and diminish their accomplishments. It's very difficult to negotiate for more money if you describe what you've done as "no big deal", or "anyone could have done that".
The following "12 Tips to Transform Your Negotiating Skills" will take the mystery out of negotiating and will keep the "trick-or-treating" to Halloween. These tips are written from my experience as a successful career coach and shared in my book, Woman UP! Overcome the 7 Deadly Sins that Sabotage Your Success:
2. Get a Goal - know what you're trying to achieve before the negotiation even begins.
3. Know Your Bottom Line - figure out ahead of time how low you'll go and when you'll walk away from that new job or opportunity.
4. Be Realistic - do your homework and set realistic expectations. If you know the position only pays $100K, then asking for $250K is probably not going to happen.
5. Script It Out - everyone gets flustered and nervous in stressful situations, so scripting out what you want to say beforehand, and practicing saying those words can mean the difference between a trick or a treat.
6. Anticipate Objections - proactively think about any and all reasons why the other person would say "no", and plan out your responses accordingly.
7. Bring Alternatives - come prepared with your first choice, your ideal outcome, but also bring alternatives to keep the conversation going until you reach a successful compromise.
8. Avoid Emotion - Tom Hanks said, "There's no crying baseball", and there is also no crying in negotiations. Keep your emotions in check and save the tears or squeals of joy for the bathroom afterwards. This is when you need a poker face.
9. Practice Makes Perfect - don't expect to be a negotiating guru if you only do it once every few years. It takes practice. Go to a garage sale and practice negotiating for junk before you try to negotiate for something more meaningful.
10. Seek Support - it takes a village to raise a child, and it can also take a village of support and encouragement to raise an assertive woman. Rallying support of your efforts is an effective way to create accountability. There's no backing out and no retreat.
11. Think of a Third Person - women can find negotiating for themselves painful and difficult, but thinking of who else would benefit from a successful outcome is often the motivation they need to get the job done.
12. Celebrate Success - instead of thinking of negotiating as an all or nothing proposition, find a way to celebrate what you did gain.
The reality is that women don't like to ask, and would rather have root canal surgery without anesthesia than negotiate a higher starting salary, a bigger raise, or a more advanced promotion. Not negotiating is not an option, and it will ultimately end up killing their careers. It's time to pull on those "big-girl panties" and learn how to negotiate with power and confidence. Woman UP! and find a way to get that "treat" and not a "trick" when it comes to negotiating.
About the Author
Aimee Cohen is a career expert, veteran speaker, and author of Woman UP! Overcome the 7 Deadly Sins that Sabotage Your Success. She is owner of Cohen Career Consulting where, for more than 20 years, she has a nearly 100% success rate empowering women to achieve career success. Aimee provides strategic step-by-step action plans to clients during personalized one-on-one consultations. She leads outplacement transition seminars for Fortune 500 companies and is a contributing writer for the Denver Business Journal. She facilitates the LINK to Leadership program for The Leadership Investment, has appeared as a career expert on television and radio shows, and in print media such as Glamour magazine, the Denver Post, and Denver Woman magazine, and she was a past nominee for Outstanding Women in Business Award from the Denver Business Journal.
Woman UP! is available at Amazon.com as well as other online booksellers.
To learn more visit her on: