Negotiating skills for Women - Christa Fairchild


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This is from a June Montreal Girl Geek Dinner talk

Published in: Economy & Finance, Education
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Negotiating skills for Women - Christa Fairchild

  1. 1. Essential Negotiation Skills for the Modern Woman June 2008 Montreal Girl Geek Dinner by Christa Fairchild
  2. 2. If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe. - Abraham Lincoln Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution
  3. 3. Introduction Although in the past 35 years there have been many changes that have contributed to improving women’s economic status, the ratio paid to Canadian women is 75 cents to every dollar a man makes – and has not risen in 5 years. This staggering difference in earnings impassioned our fellow member, Christa Fairchild, to present her talk about essential practical negotiation skills for women. Christa’s speech is not about women’s rights – but rather, a quest to empower women to reap the benefits of their labour. The aim of her talk is to demystify the genders challenges we all face and to understand human behaviour does have an impact in negotiations. Most importantly, she will review some of the most effective negotiation techniques available to help close the income gap. With a bachelor’s in interior design from Ryerson and a graduate of the MBA program in Southampton, England, Christa has spent the last 15 years honing her corporate skills in business and marketing. In January 2008, Christa “went solo” and is now the home stager and interior design diva of Concept4Walls. Photographer, painter and jewellery designer she will be having a vernissage this July in the Eastern Townships during the Circuit des Arts. Business woman and artist, dynamic and outspoken public speaker, her talk surely will inspire us all to ask for more and get what we want and deserve. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution
  4. 4. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><li>How I based my presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent research by Harvard business school for negotiation based on mutual gains, appealing to women, (instead of coercive position bargaining “my way or the highway”); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women’s behavioural studies and negotiation research; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Finally on general human behavioural studies; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal experience. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution Gender Issues Defined Although in the past 35 years there have been many changes that have contributed to improving women’s economic status. Do not be fooled: our assumptions far outstretch the reality for Canadian women. The ratio paid to women is 75 cents to every dollar a man makes – and has not risen in 5 years. Women are underpaid for the work that they do. But why is this still happening in our enlightened times? The big problem Women, of all ages, don’t ask and wait too long when we do get around to asking. Studies show men asked eight times more often for a higher salary than simply accepting the initial offer. Men and women, start more or less on par with salaries. But over the years, the earning gap increases. Why? Because over the course of our career this means smaller raises and less frequently, culminating in fewer dollars. It’s more than just the money; in our society most people perceive higher dollar earners as BETTER as their jobs and therefore more desirable.
  6. 6. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution I don’t earn enough - Complaining Women, instead of asking will often complain that they are not earning enough. Complaining is an indirect method of asking but this tactic is not action oriented. Men who are unsatisfied will simply ask for more and not wait around. I don’t deserve - undervaluing oneself When looking for a salary increase women will often modify their behaviour, in other words, work harder, in the hopes that (a) you will notice and (b) make them feel as though they deserve the raise. In fact in studies women will work 22% longer than men at tasks in order to feel they deserve their pay. Working harder and waiting for someone to offer us more does not generate higher salaries. My circumstance is unchangeable Do you feel as if someone else is in control that will tell us what or when we should do something? Women often feel that circumstances are as they are and should be endured. Often our perception is that things are fixed, or not negotiable – that we can’t ask. Men create opportunities that previously didn’t exist because they just feel they can. As women, we tend to focus on more community issues or fairness – not so: opportunities are there for everyone if you ASK for them. Realising that negotiation opportunities are everywhere is half the battle.
  7. 7. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><li>So why don’t we like to ask? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compared to men, we don’t often see a situation as an opportunity to better our situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We worry about the impact of our decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We feel bad or uncomfortable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We adapt our behaviour to be more deserving </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This ultimately leaves us often in a perceived position of weakness. Not only are we challenged personally but society does reinforce </li></ul><ul><li>these behaviours. That a woman simply asks for what she wants can even mean adverse reactions, even from other women. </li></ul><ul><li>Both genders consider competitive nature in negotiation (i.e. aggressive) as unladylike behaviour. </li></ul>So is it all seemingly bad? No! Our compassionate nature has major benefits in the tactics I am talking about today: collaborative negotiation. In traditional negotiation, emotion is perceived “as an impediment to the proper functioning”. Not so in collaborative. Using our communication skills, women have the advantage in identifying mutual interests and finding common goals during negotiations.
  8. 8. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution Negotiating - Positional Bargaining Traditional negotiation, often called positional bargaining often pits US against THEM with no common ground. We often pick an arbitrary number or take a “bottom line” approach, creating a final number that we won’t budge from. But often our bottom line is often set too low or too high. It limits our abilities to use what we learn during negotiations. By not budging, we are not in a position to be creative. What is collaborative negotiation? Collaborative negotiation, or “win-win”, works on the basis that the relationship is as important as the outcome of the negotiation. Using objective criteria and finding mutual gains, both parties come out of the process winners. The fable of the two Chinese Princesses and the orange… traditionally the two sisters would solve the problem by dividing the Orange in half. But neither would budge and neither was happy with this solution. A friend arrives and begins to question why they want theorange. One wants the pulp for a sorbet that requires the entire orange, while the other wants all the orange peel to make a cake. By asking questions and getting to the root of the needs they were able to both come out happy without compromise.
  9. 9. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><ul><li>Create mutual interests. You are not on either side of a proverbial table. Your ability to create ways to broaden your negotiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>field and find mutual interests is paramount. Take a minute and think what they might want as an outcome. Ask questions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Position your needs and offering in a way that makes sense to them. (Example Home staging) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t assume people want the same things we do – we tend to think others have same value system. (e.g. You assume hard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>work equals increase in pay. The reality is that your boss feels that simply asking or “having the guts” to ask for what you want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shows initiative. If you don’t search out you won’t know their needs.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insist on standard objective criteria . Find and define from the onset independent standards and criteria for evaluating a </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: landlord raising your rent, asking for salary increases, buying a second hand car. How would you set your </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>price on these issues? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><li>So how does one create a BATNA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a list of all the ideas that come to mind if no agreement would be reached. Brainstorm, invent, and be creative and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>as wacky as you need to create something. Ask a friend to help over a glass of wine. What ever it takes make a list. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refine your ideas. Take a few and map out how things would realistically work some more practical. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select one and follow through. This is your BATNA and the measure or standard for your negotiations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawbacks of not researching or well thought out BATNA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As humans we tend to think of things in aggregate: imagining all those potential options together rather than the one; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As a result we see things as too rosy: the idealistic instead of actually walking yourself through all the steps. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I could find something else. Yes but at what cost? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too committed to reaching an agreement, too pessimistic about the situation if the negotiations should brake off. </li></ul></ul>Example: your annual performance review. You have been unhappy in your job and would like a raise. You like the company, have made friends, but unsatisfied in your income and some of your responsibilities. Come performance review you would like to ask for a raise. They offer the basic inflation rate: it seems like you have no choice but to accept. Or should you?
  11. 11. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><li>Prepare for your meeting – you know when it’s going to happen. </li></ul><ul><li>Months before you research your industry and realize that they are undercharging on their salary. So you decide to investigate with other companies. You get job interviews and an offer. </li></ul><ul><li>During these interviews realized that there are some tasks that look really interesting and are totally applicable in your current job. </li></ul><ul><li>Now close your eyes. Imagine how your meeting will go. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You have set objective criteria by which to measure your current salary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You have identified other responsibilities to enhance or modify your current job. They stimulate you and add additional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>benefits to the company’s mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You have created your own alternative. You have a good offer and the knowledge that there is something else that sparks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your interest. You may never even mention this offer during your meeting, but you will feel totally different about your situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The better the BATNA the greater your power. </li></ul>Contrary to what you might think, the most powerful person at the table is not the one with access to more resources. It not about who has more money, business contacts, personal strength, or friends. It is actually about how attractive to each is the option of NOT reaching an agreement.
  12. 12. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><li>Review and final thoughts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create mutual interests. Ask questions. Position your needs and offering in a way that makes sense to them; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain standard objective criteria. Using independent standards the focuses on the problem, not the people; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create and elaborate on your BATNA – this is what you will compare any offer against; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t assume your opponent feels the same way you do – only through communication will you be able to realize we don’t </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>all have the same value system; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Situations are not fixed. Create your own reality and propose what you want; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t wait: take the lead and find more opportunities for mutual gain; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You deserve more than you think. </li></ul></ul>It is a reality that Canadian women face challenges when it comes to our financial future, but I hope that I have given the gift of knowledge. Women do have some great strength in collaborative negotiation. We are great communicators and as such have the advantage. We are better at reading unspoken queues, body language, emotional tension, and double meanings. We are great listeners, able to pick up ideas to use creatively to achieve mutual gains in negotiation. You now have some tools and information to build a better financial future for yourself. Start today and swing yourself a home run next time your up at BATNA.
  13. 13. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><li>In business, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Chester L Karrass </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Copyright Fairchild Designs 2008 not for distribution <ul><li>Recommended reading </li></ul><ul><li>Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide , Linda Babcock, Sara Laschever </li></ul><ul><li>Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher and William Ury </li></ul><ul><li>Stumbling on Happiness , Daniel Gilbert </li></ul><ul><li>You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation , Deborah Tannen </li></ul><ul><li>Getting Past No, William Ury </li></ul>