Gender Based Negotiations 2.0

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This presentation is the result of research on how men and women approach negotiations in different ways.

This presentation is the result of research on how men and women approach negotiations in different ways.

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  • Good morning / afternoon.Welcome to the LERA Conference, I am Cary Silverstein, Vice President for Management for LERA. Permit me to introduce Attorney Virginia Finn who will be my co-presenter today.
  • Ginny starts the seminar and introduces the topic.
  • Ginny continues.
  • Ginny
  • Ginny continues.
  • Cary presents the view of men in negotiations.
  • Cary, talks about the assumptions.
  • Cary continues
  • Ginny
  • Ginny
  • Ginny
  • Cary
  • Cary
  • Cary
  • Cary discusses how the research supports the reality and dismisses the assumptions.
  • Cary discusses how the research supports the reality and dismisses the assumptions.
  • Ginny delves into this quote.
  • Ginny continues.
  • Cary delves into these social and cultural norms.
  • Ginny discusses how women approach negotiations.
  • Cary discusses how men prepare.
  • Ginny talks about the “alphabet” generations and what to expect in a negotiation.
  • Ginny
  • Cary Gender Triggers:Work to counter gender triggers, or use them to benefit negotiation performance. Men may be encouraged to maximize their outcomes by ramping up competitive drive. Women on the other hand may be inspired by reminders that they representing other parties [colleagues, customers or the company]. Do Your Homework: Investigate precedent, talk to others in the industry. Remain motivated.
  • CaryCreate Transparency: Develop appropriate criteria on which decisions are based. Figure out what is reasonable and fair. Articulate Performance Expectations: When entering into competitive bargaining situations, have clearly defined goals. Armed with comparable information and acceptable targets, both men and women will achieve better outcomes.
  • Ginny
  • Ginny


  • 1. Men are from MarsWomen are from Venus
    Labor & Employment Relations Association
    Wisconsin Chapter
    November 3, 2009
  • 2. Most research on negotiations assumes “male” negotiation conduct is good and “female” style is a deficit.
    Or, at a minimum, assumes “male” negotiation conduct is the norm.
    Underlying Preconceived Notion
  • 3. Men and women have a great deal to learn from each other
    Effective negotiation skills are those that can adapt to different situations, personalities and achieve goals while maintaining integrity
    Gender expectations rather than documented differences may be at play
    Presenter’s Rebuttal
  • 4. Conversation Framework
    Perspectives on women’s negotiation style
    Perspectives on men’s negotiation style
    Resource References
  • 5. The presumed culture of Venus
    Non competitive
    Avoiding or conflict adverse
    Gender as a Culture
  • 6. The presumed culture of Mars
    Rigid / Uncompromising
    Goal oriented
    Gender as a Culture
  • 7. Women do not ask for what they want
    Women do not manage conflict well
    Women do not take risks
    Women are more likely to feel apprehension about negotiating
    Many adult women say they never negotiate even if it is appropriate
    Conventional Assumptions - Women
  • 8. Conventional Assumptions - Men
    Men aggressively pursue what they want
    Men relish conflict
    Men value risk taking
    Men are naturally comfortable negotiating
    Men assume everything is negotiable
  • 9. Women are more collaborative [concerned with the relationship/win-win]
    Women are more apt to accommodate the other party in a negotiation
    When a negotiation gets heated women are more likely to withdraw [conflict adverse vs. waste of time]
    Women may be better skilled at business negotiations
    Reality - Women
  • 10. Women do focus on relationships as an independent but related issue
    Women do adapt methods / tactics more easily
    Women do listen more effectively than men
    Reality - Women
  • 11. Women are great “active listeners” and care about the concerns of the other side
    Women are more interested in finding a “win-win” solution
    Women are more concerned with substance & creating an agreement in which both parties experience a positive outcome
    Reality - Women
  • 12. Reality – Men
    Men value zero-sum (win/lose)
    Men view accommodation as a loss
    Men dive in when negotiations heat up
    Men may be better at reaching quick results
  • 13. Reality – Men
    Relationships are distinct from the negotiation dynamic
    Men adapt to new situations but less nimbly than women
    Men are concerned with the distribution of results
  • 14. Reality – Men
    Men plan their next statement more than they listen
    Men prefer to stick to their game plan
    Men can adjust as long as they “win”
  • 15. Controls Emotions
    Women 10.5 Men 10.7
    Displays Emotions
    Women 13.5 Men 13.3
    High Assertiveness
    Women 11.5 Men 13.3
    Low Assertiveness
    Women 12.5 Men 10.8
    Communication Style Profile
  • 16. Negotiation Style Profile
    Women 18.92 Men 19.99
    Women 35.37 Men 35.16
    Women 32.62 Men 31.38
    Women 24.76 Men 22.74
    Women 28.39 Men 27.41
  • 17. “Women perform better when negotiating on behalf of others than they do when negotiating for themselves ”
    Dina W. Pradel [Program on
    Negotiation, Harvard]
  • 18. Social Structure & Cultural NormsWomen
    Aggressiveness is taboo
    Caretakers, not risk takers
    Shift in norms more easily than men
    Ask questions / information gathers
    Use passive rather than active verbs
    Objective is two-fold: rapport & goals
  • 19. Social Structure & Cultural NormsMen
    Aggressiveness is preferred behavior
    Are risk takers
    Play the “zero sum” game
    Are tellers, not askers
    Relationships are secondary
    Objective is singular in focus: Goal oriented
  • 20. How Women Approach Negotiations
    Thorough preparation
    Establish rapport early on in initial conversations
    Build towards a collaborative approach
    Multiple acceptable scenario outcomes
    Effective as an advocate for others
  • 21. How Men Approach Negotiations
    A high level of preparation
    Establish casual rapport, e.g. sports
    Start with a distributive approach
    Hierarchical acceptable scenario outcomes
    Advocate for themselves well
  • 22. Gender & Generations
    Traditional gender assumptions are being challenged by the alphabet generations
    Alphabet generations assert they are overcoming stereotypes
    Little research on this, but what does exist notes minor difference between generations
  • 23. Negotiation Styles & Context
    Men and women analyze things differently [qualitative vs. quantitative]
    Women’s styles vary within negotiations more often than men’s
    Competition with men is “business as usual’ with women it can become personal
  • 24. Neutralizing Gender Differences
    Anticipate gender related triggers
    Be aware of situations that may trigger gender stereotypes or role expectations
    Do your homework
    Learn as much as you can about what is possible and ask for whatever you need
  • 25. Neutralizing Gender Differences
    Create transparency
    Clarify the range of issues that are up for negotiation
    Articulate performance expectations
    Clearly state performance goals. Setting high but reasonable aspirations is good for all negotiators
  • 26. Neutralizing Gender Differences
    Be mindful of the role of gender-based expectations (about self and others)
    Does our expectation of a certain dynamic cause us to modify our own behavior?
  • 27. Your Observations/Questions
    Thank you for your participation.
    Please feel free to share any observations or pose any questions you may have.
  • 28. Resources
    Silverstein, Cary., Three-part series regarding gender differences in negotiations, “The Gender Guard” (Small BizTimes, September 10, 2008), “Gender Mender” (Small BizTimes, October 17, 2008), and “Women Deal with Conflict Differently than Men” (Small BizTimes, November 14, 2008).
    Tannen, Deborah, “You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation” (Ballentine Books) 1990 and “Talking form 9 to 5: Men and Women at Work” (Avon) 2004.
  • 29. Resources
    Conner, Michael G. “Understanding the Difference Between Men and Women,” 1999 (published in Take it or Leave It, (May 2006).
    Babcock, Linda and Sara Laschever, “Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide,” (Princeton University Press) 2003.
  • 30. Resources
    Fisher, Robert and William Ury, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In” (Penguin Press) 1981.
    Calhoun, Patrick S. and William Smith, “Integrative Bargaining: Does Gender Make a Difference?” International Journal of Conflict Management. (1999).
  • 31. Cary Silverstein
    SMA, LLC & The Negotiation Edge
    414 -352-5140 Office, 414-403-2942 Cell
    Heads a group of local consultants that provide negotiations, conflict resolution program development services, strategic planning, marketing, market research, and drug & alcohol screening programs.
    Senior faculty member at DeVry University / Keller Graduate School in Milwaukee and Waukesha since 1989. Facilitates classes in labor /management relations, employment law and negotiations.
    Has published numerous articles as the SBT Company Doctor in the areas of family succession planning, negotiation and conflict resolution in The Small Business Times, and numerous international periodicals.
    Serves as the Vice President for Management for the Labor & Employment Relations Association’s Wisconsin chapter
    Member of the MMAC’s COSBE Board of Directors and leads COSBE CEO Group 10.
  • 32. Virginia Finn JD
    Athlone Consulting LLC
    414 -698-3109 Office / Cell
    Ginny has over two decades of business and tax exempt organization experience, with emphasis on management and employment issues in the fields of healthcare,higher education and the arts.
    Provides counsel and project implementation services to philanthropists and tax exempt organizations and the allied professionals serving them, financial advisors, attorneys, and trust services.
    Also serves as the Executive Director of ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis a Wisconsin-based organization providing free, personalized information and one-to-one support to people affected by breast cancer. 
    Ginny is a graduate of Coe College, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review and served as President of the Moot Court Board.