For some women, the prospect of negotiating a salary increase or job opportunity, can be challenging and feel inauthentic. Others fear their efforts will be met with a loud and unpleasant ‘no’. So how can we boost our chances of success? Kathleen O’Connor, associate professor of Management and Organizations at Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, stops by Lioness to offer three negotiating tips:
- Manage networks deliberately: Every woman has their own network—a set of both strong and weak relationships. While strong relationships are important, weaker ties with peers are also critical for connecting women with helpful resources — career expertise, advice and information about potential job opportunities. Every woman’s network extends her reach. Used thoughtfully it can boost the odds of getting what she needs. O’Connor recommends leveraging social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Communicate the benefits for both parties. When negotiating both men and women must frame the negotiation as a problem to be solved but for women it cannot stop there. Studies show that women who use the same goal-directed and self-interested tactics as men are punished by their counterparts at the negotiating table. Women do better when they take a communal approach in their negotiations, explicitly linking their requests with benefits to their negotiating partner and the business more broadly.
- Hear ‘no’ as ‘not yet’. Despite all this advice, fear of having requests rejected can prevent women from taking the initiative. Hearing no may be especially difficult for women and could be a barrier to asking at all. One way around this is to reframe a no as a ‘not yet’ and then attempt to negotiate in the coming months.
Professor Kathleen O’Connor is an organizational psychologist who studies negotiation, teamwork, and decision making. O’Connor’s current research centers on two areas: negotiation and networks. She received a B.S. from Cornell University, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in social and organizational psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has held faculty and visiting faculty appointments at Rice University and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.