5 Negotiation Tips From Victoria Pynchon

Women must hone their negotiation skills to achieve long-term success. However, a joint survey — sponsored by NYWICI and Marie Claire magazine on women’s attitudes toward workplace negotiation — underscores that acquiring negotiation skills is a challenging task. An astounding 74% said, negotiation “makes me nervous/anxious” while 51% admitted, “I’m afraid I won’t get what I want.” Here are the results of the survey.

Expert Victoria Pynchon, the blogger behind SheNegotiates, believes that women need to take responsibility for closing their own personal income and leadership gaps and that savvy negotiation skills can help. With more women who are “powerful askers and confident actors,” there will be more women leaders in the global economy, she says. “Women have a natural ability to negotiate through relationships and difficult life situations,” Vickie adds. “We teach, heal, feed, mend, fix and nurture. We create, design, empower and transform.”

What to do? Vicky suggests taking a few minutes to envision and feel one’s inner power. Make an internal list, or speak aloud, your unique strengths, accomplishments and goals. Develop an internal narrative that frames “The Ask” — what one really wants to gain, just like an actor rehearsing for a performance.  A prepared mental script  provides confidence and a reference list of strengths. This is helpful especially when one’s bargaining partner pushes back. Women should always put themselves in the “driver’s seat” during a negotiation.

Vickie offers the following tips:

Don’t wait Women lose approximately $1 million in lifetime earnings by not negotiating their first salary.

Be flirtatious Being somewhat flirtatious with one’s “opponent” — showing heightened interest through eye contact and body language, positions one for more positive outcomes. “Negotiation is a confidence game; the party who appears best able to walk away has greater power. “

Practice makes perfect Before entering a negotiation, it’s wise to research and find out everything you can about your opponent and his/her projected position. Play devil’s advocate with yourself and enlist others to role play scenarios.

Avoid the “Venus Vortex” Women can be reluctant to think of themselves first for fear of social sanctions. Women have been conditioned to apologize, be generous, self-sacrificing, deferential and supportive. The identical behavior in a man would go unnoticed. Prior to a negotiation, Vickie suggests writing out a negotiation script in the 3rd person, as if you were “advising your daughter or best friend to put yourself in the right mindset.”

Become fluent in value-creating negotiation One of a woman’s highest values is authenticity, which is “one of the most powerful mutual benefit negotiation tactics.” Mutual-benefit negotiation — being “nice” or “relentlessly pleasant” — is not a trick. Rather, ingratiation  is a tactic, a discipline, a practice and a way of looking at the world. It requires principled commitment and not simply a set of techniques.

For more negotiation tips, follow Vickie on Twitter @VickiePynchon. 

— Julie Livingston


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