Knowing the differences in how men and women approach negotiation is important for getting what you want. Understand the other party’s mindset, and you’ll be more effective.
The first time I negotiated with a man, I negotiated the same way I would with a woman. That failed miserably. I ultimately learned I had to change my mindset, my communication tactics and my overall attitude when negotiating with the opposite sex.
Knowing the differences in how men and women approach negotiation is important for getting what you want and deserve. If you don’t understand these differences and how they will affect your end result, you may leave the discussion wondering, “What just happened in there?”
To get what you really want out of the conversation, it helps to understand how the other person approaches it. (Click here to tweet this thought.) Be aware of these five key differences between men and women at the negotiation table:
Women often see negotiating as an unpleasant chore they want to avoid at all costs. Men see negotiating as a game or a challenge. Men can be more competitive than women, so they may be more focused on winning than a woman might be.
Tip: Enter a negotiation ready for a challenge no matter what. You want to approach the negotiation on a level playing field with the other person and get what you deserve.
2. Length of the negotiation
Men want to get to the point as quickly as possible, and small talk doesn’t accomplish that. Women will take more time in a negotiation to make it right. Men prefer shorter negotiations, while women might take a bit longer to make sure everything’s in order.
Tip: When negotiating with a man, try to limit the length and keep it short and sweet. If negotiating with a woman, know that you aren’t on the clock and you can take your time to get to the final agreement.
Women worry more about protecting relationships with the people they’re negotiating with. Men see negotiating as an opportunity to show off their skills and ultimately win.
Tip: If you’re a woman, your goal should be to gain respect instead of worrying about being liked at the end of the negotiation. You can’t please everyone, especially in a tough negotiation.
4. The introduction
Women will use small talk at the beginning of a negotiation to develop a relationship before they get down to business. Men, on the other hand, tend to get right down to business immediately.
Tip: Know your audience. If you’re negotiating with a woman, you may want to start with some small talk. Negotiating with a man? Leave the small talk for afterwards.
Women’s confidence tends to fluctuate more with criticism during a negotiation. Women can be more afraid of being turned down. On the other hand, men are more confident when faced with rejection or criticism.
Tip: If you’re criticized, don’t take it personally and don’t say anything you might regret later. Shrug it off and continue to make the points you prepared so hard for. This will show the other person they did not succeed in ruining your composure.
Don’t wait for someone else to give you a raise or a higher offer. Speak up and ask for it yourself. It’s up to you to make sure you get what you want and deserve.
Most importantly, never be scared to negotiate with the opposite sex just because you don’t understand them as well. Learn where they’re coming from, and you’ll be better prepared to negotiate effectively with anyone.