What difference does gender make in negotiation? Although both men and women in business strive to be leaders at the negotiation table, there are potential traps that women need to be on guard against, according to the speakers at a recent seminar of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.
Leadership communication expert Donna Goodhand and attorney and negotiation coach Delee Fromm had advice tailored for women who want to become more persuasive and effective negotiators:
“People respond more to the person representing the cause than they do to the cause itself,” Goodhand said, emphasizing the importance of image. “If we want to be seen as leaders in our realm, if we want our ideas to be credited and our voices to be heard, then it’s essential that we take a persuasive presence into our encounters.”
Emphasized were the importance of:
- developing a vocal presence - women are socialized to speak quietly and use their “indoor voice”
- avoiding “undermining openers” like “It’s probably just me” or “I guess what I’m trying to say” in a competitive negotiation
- strategic, context-specific use of different negotiating styles
To read more on gender and negotiation, here some posts from the MediationChannel.com archives: