I recently attended a seminar on negotiating for women.
How is negotiating different for women? Well, for one, we do less of it and should do more of it. I’m sure you’ve heard that. I’m sure you’ve also read that people (both men and other women) like us less when we negotiate, although I have a hard time caring when I have enough money to drink Macallan 18 the way I used to drink Sutter Home.
I think there may be a few other gender differences that are less talked about.
Personally, I really only have two negotiating techniques, but they work pretty well and I’d like to share them with you. You don’t necessarily need to master every possible tool, as long as you have a couple of tools that work in a variety of situations.
It has also occurred to me that the two negotiating techniques I seem to be pretty good at are both highly informed by my heteronormative dating experiences.
Here’s what I mean: Stereotypical modern American hetero dating tends to involve men doling out a lot of attention and women turning most of it down. Sure, there’s also the stereotype of the needy, deluded woman waiting by the phone. But while that woman endlessly pines over her Mr. Big (I’m gagging as I write that), she’s still turning down a bunch of gross dudes who want to know, “Why don’t you give me a smile?”
Stereotypical modern American hetero dating gives men a lot more practice making offers and handling rejection. It gives women a lot more practice in ignoring and rebuffing offers, while also delivering appropriate facial expressions — disgust, bemusement, or pretending-you-didn’t-hear-that-and-walking-away-really-quickly.
So, here are my two negotiating techniques.