Negotiation research on the types of power in negotiation negotiators have has given us the following negotiation tips and techniques for minimizing the effect gender has on bargaining situations. These suggestions from Dina Pradel, Hannah Riley Bowles, and Kathleen L. McGinn can help prevent gender from becoming a significant factor in bargaining:
Negotiation Strategy #1 – Anticipate Gender Related Triggers in Negotiation Scenarios.
Some degree of ambiguity is present in all negotiations, so be aware of situations that may trigger gender stereotypes or role expectations.
Work to counter gender triggers, or use them to benefit negotiation performance using negotiation techniques you’ve developed for minimizing gender expectations at the negotiation table.
In highly ambiguous, competitive environments, for example, men may be encouraged to maximize their outcomes by ramping up their competitive drive.
Women, on the other hand, may be inspired by reminders that they’re representing not just themselves but their colleagues, department, company, or customers.
Negotiation Strategy #2 – Do Your Homework.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, learn as much as you can about what is possible or appropriate when heading into a salary negotiation or contract negotiations. Research industry norms, investigate precedent, and talk to others who are already employed at the firm or in the industry.
Most important, don’t be afraid to ask for whatever you need to get the job done well. You and your organization will be better off in the long run.
Negotiation Strategy #3 – Create Transparency Surrounding Compensation and Benefits.
To encourage gender equity regarding compensation and career development, your company should codify and publish opportunities and benefits that it may be willing to offer.
This doesn’t mean standardizing benefits for all employees but clarifying the range of issues that are up for negotiation and the appropriate criteria on which decisions are based.
Negotiation Strategy #4 – Articulate Performance Expectations.
When sending your employees into competitive bargaining situations, clearly state performance goals. Armed with transparent comparative information and a sense of acceptable targets, both men and women will achieve better outcomes.
Setting high but reasonable aspirations is good for all negotiators and may be especially beneficial for women in ambiguous, competitive negotiations because the types of power in negotiation women are able to employ is directly influenced by other factors, such as their gender.
Originally published in 2013.