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10 Negotiation Tips from Women in the Trenches

National Business Women's Resource Compiles Advice

"As business professionals, we negotiate every day on topics ranging from work assignments, project delivery dates and even business travel. Our viewers have routinely reported that women and men approach negotiations differently and have asked for advice from others to develop and refine this critical skill set," said JillXan Donnelly, President of CareerWomen.com. "Our '10 Negotiation Tips' is the culmination of advice from CareerWomen.com viewers and clearly represents a strong desire by women to become better negotiators and ultimately strong business leaders."

The "10 Negotiation Tips from Women in the Trenches" include:

  1. The Mars/Venus relationship needs to be top of mind in business negotiations. Communication styles between men and women are different and as a result, negotiations can be complex. Our advice: keep your communication style direct by sharing plans, not concepts. Think collaboration not confrontation.
  2. Use mentors to help refine your negotiation skills. Given that you will be negotiating with both men and women, pick a mentor from Mars and Venus to get perspective from both sides of the communication spectrum. Practice makes perfect, so our advice: Practice, practice, practice.
  3. Women tend to think of getting along vs. getting what they want. Be clear about what you want and practice asking for it in a calm, direct manner. Our advice: don't be confrontational. Getting fired-up and emotional may have an adverse reaction.
  4. Negotiation is a conversation and you may risk getting off-track. Our advice: stay focused; remain on point and on course to avoid a negotiation disaster.
  5. Gaining buy in along the way will get you closer to your goal faster. Making sure that the other party is being heard is a sign of respect and will be appreciated. Our advice: repeat the points of the other side and use language such as "Let me make sure I completely understand your point."
  6. Successful negotiating requires preparation. Be prepared with a strong understanding of your needs and motivations, as well as the other side. Our advice: do your research, gather together relevant information and if it's complicated, get outside expertise from a mentor or colleague.
  7. Creative solutions are well respected, especially if they demonstrate a strong understanding for the goals of the business. Our advice: Most points are negotiable and remember; it's not always about money. Think add-ons, better terms or additional services.
  8. Starting with your bottom line may close the door on negotiations. Our advice: be prepared to compromise and expect the other party to compromise as well.
  9. Being fair is not a loss. It shows that you are willing to adjust your expectations to meet the needs of the other side. Our advice: ask the question, "Why don't you tell me what you think is fair." You may be surprised at the answer.
  10. Negotiating is a process not an event. One conversation may not culminate in a final decision. Our advice: be willing to say, "Let me think about that and get back to you in 24 hours."

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