There is a HUGE fear-factor to negotiation for women in business.  We exchanged some powerful ideas at our recent Women Taking Charge Workshop where we discussed how to negotiate more effectively in business.  A bit shocking, was how many of us have never had any formal training on negotiation to better ourselves in business.  Many agreed that while we need to negotiate regularly in business, none of us knew well how to strategically and systematically use positive techniques to persuade and influence.

With our guest expert, Yvette Durazo, Founder of Unitive Consulting, we wrapped up with a handful of useful strategies.  Here are the best ones:

1 – Lose the mindset of win-lose and replace with win-win.  So many times negotiation has a negative connotation to us as women in business.  Instead, think of finding a win-win solution to the conflict or dilemma as opposed to thinking negotiation is a fight to be won or lost.  Much more positive and easier to focus on.

2 – We need to ask.  And keep asking.  There is HUGE power in asking questions while in conflict resolution or in negotiation.  The power position seems to go to the one who asks the question.  In a fabulous book on the subject, Linda Babcock, author of Women Don’t Ask, discusses how more women need to ask for what they want.  Lots of discussion was centered around how to reframe our position and to ask for clarification through questions.  Instead of how-to strategies on manipulation or power-plays, we found that through questions and getting our ‘ask on,’ we could be much more successful in getting what we want.  I saw a lot of lightbulbs go off from this one idea as through questions and clarification, it can really help to diffuse the emotion and put things in perspective to get what you want.

3 – We are always negotiating.  At first, there was interesting discussion on this, as some of our members felt they rarely negotiate.  Wrong!  The reality is, we’re always negotiating in business, whether to get something from someone, better our position, woo a client to ‘yes’ or increase the value we bring to the table in business, we’re ALWAYS negotiating.  This was a shocker to some of our members, but a valuable result.  With the reality that we’re always working to do more, get more and be more, we are, in fact, always negotiating!  I think I saw some minds blown on this one fact alone!

There’s always great dialogue, conversation and shared experiences at our Women Taking Charge Workshops!  If you are a b2b woman who leads…..people, teams, projects or companies……why don’t you join us and experience the exchange of powerful ideas for advancing in business among peers who ‘get you’…….and who strive to find opportunities that support you professionally?!  For more information on our Women Taking Charge Workshops, check out our upcoming event calendar.


About Your Columnist

As the CEO and Co-Founder of Connected Women of Influence, Michelle Bergquist is a passionate advocate for women in business. At Connected Women of Influence, we believe that more women need to lead in business and everything we do is center-focused on designing platforms, programs, connections and collaborative opportunities for b2b women to prosper, succeed and lead the way in business today!

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