Tuesday, 17 March 2015

OMG! What did she just ask for? On women and negotiations...

Recently a client asked me to put together two seminars on negotiation for women.  I've always enjoyed teaching negotiation, based on my studies at Columbia University's Center for International Conflict Resolution.  Not having taught negotiation exclusively to a group of women before, but only to mixed gender groups, and drawing from my continuing interest in working with women through the forums that I started in 2012,  I was interested to refresh the topic for myself with this new angle. Accordingly, I read up on the latest studies about women and negotiation.

Often I have met women in the managerial levels of organisations who struggle with assertiveness, only to be surprised by exactly how assertive they can be in the right circumstances.  With their friends or informally, when the barriers are down, they can be quite forthcoming and articulate about their opinions and aims, but at work there seem to be self-imposed limits.  If you've read much of this blog previously, you'll know that determining your purpose in work and life, and allowing yourself to be purposefully selfish in pursuing it, is critical to success and leadership.  

What is it about negotiation and asking for what you want, that makes having a sense of purpose so elusive for some? 

The research is quite startling.  It proves what we have intuitively known for some time.