Anna Cox (anna) Thu 6 Nov 08 16:29
i'm catching up post-election, too. i've had a couple of heartening negotiation experiences in my life that have given the strength to ask for what i want more readily. i'll share them here. the first was when i was working a restaurant with relatively little power in terms of leverage. i was asked to work an extra shift, after someone had called-in, during an extremely busy day because of a street fair outside teh restaurant. afterwards, the district manager came and thanked me for staying and offered me $10 on the spot. i graciously thanked him for his offer, but declined it, stating that i'd prefer a 25 cent raise instead. the look on his face! he was astonished that i'd seen the opportunity and jumped on it like that! he said that he couldn't promise anything, but did say that he'd advocate for me with the store manager. on my next paycheck, i'd gotten the raise, which worked to be a whole lot more money in my pocket than $10. the second one was a difficult car purchase negotiation experience. i was buying a much newer and more expensive car than i'd ever purchased before. i was dealing with a dealership, and not just some guy selling a car privately. i was intimidated. but i had some guidance from Consumer Reports and the support of my friends and partner. i conducted a lot of the negotiation over the telephone and even took a couple of days off at one point to think about their offer. i decided to accept their offer, even though it was higher than i'd ideally wanted to pay, because it was very very close to my ideal and made the car an extremely good deal for me. i'd begun the negotiations aggressively low and i think this helped me a lot because i signalled that i was serious about getting a good deal. i'm really enjoying reading this book because it has already helped me clarify a few things that i want to change on my package at work. so, thanks for the helpful book! i'm going to go back to reading the book and this discussion and come up with some questions on how to discuss my work concerns with my boss.
Badri Natarajan (badri) Fri 7 Nov 08 09:57
My girlfriend (who is really a good negotiator and good at getting things done) is always buying books which (I assume) are similar to this (eg: Why Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, Negotiating for Women, etc). I sometimes flip through the books, and one thought I always have (actually two thoughts) is: 1. Most of the advice is no different from the negotiating advice you'd give to a man - it's the same skill that's being taught (although traditionally women weren't taught these skills or expected to have them like women). 2. They sometimes perpetuate the feeling that women are somehow "different" and need special training in the workplace, when in fact they just need to be taught the same skills (and social expectations changed so that they aren't barred from learning those skills) as men.
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 7 Nov 08 11:44
Who teaches the men, I wonder.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Fri 7 Nov 08 13:24
Is it learn by example, Sara? DO men know how because men have seen men use these skills?
(dana) Fri 7 Nov 08 16:29
I'm male and have usually been lousy at negotiating. I'm curious - is the system outlined in Ask For It gender-specific, or is it a framework that anyone who needs to improve their negotiating can use?
Anna Cox (anna) Fri 7 Nov 08 17:20
i'm only part-way through the book, but i think anyone could use the framework discussed in the book - it's a guide to gathering information and then how to put that information to work for you.
Sara Laschever (saralasch) Sun 9 Nov 08 13:45
Sorry to have been slow responding. I have a VERY sick 7-year-old (women aren't supposed to use family demands as an excuse, but sometimes they really do interfere). Let me see how much I can get through before he calls to me. Alas, he never naps and his sleep is very disrupted. So, yes, interest-based bargaining has been shown by scholars to be the most effective approach, and one that benefits both sides. To know what approach to take, or whether the other negotiator(s) can be moved to using interest-based methods, you need to do as much research as you can. Talk to the executive assistants who've been around for a while, other people who've been at the firm, longing than you have, even vendors or subcontractors who may have observed this person in actionanyone who has some inside scoop on how particular people behave when negotiating. Then, research your market value (use the web)--what other people doing your work are getting paid, whether there's a scarcity of people with your skill in your region, how much of a hit in terms of productivity or continuity the company would take if you left. Lastly, research the context in which you'll be asking: Is the company doing well, expanding your division, or cutting back? What are their strategic goals for the near future, and how do you fit in. Also, what's the economic climate in your region? Use the local business press, talk to your professional and social networks. The more research you do in advance, the better equipped you'll be to aim for a high target but not TOO high, and to ask at a time and place, and in a style, that will bring the best results. Kid calls, more soon.
Sara Laschever (saralasch) Sun 9 Nov 08 13:49
Okay, quickly, a little more. Men learn because they're socialized from the time they're very young to "go for it," to be a little man, to be a tough guy, and to pursue their goals in direct and forceful ways. Women are taught to be nice and not too pushy, not greedy, self-promoting, or "conceited." Men also learn because when they try out asking for what they want, they get a much more positive response than women receive, so they try it more--hence, they get more practice, they're able to observe what works well for them and hone their skills. As for whether the framework in Ask For It is useful for anyone, male or female--absolutely. We include some advice that women can especially benefit from (such as asking in a way that ensures they still seem likeable and friendly rather than intimidating), but all the guidance about how to prepare for a negotiation can be used by men as well as women.
Lisa Harris (lrph) Sun 9 Nov 08 14:19
It's very funny the way you say how boys and girls are socialized, because it is the exact opposite in my home. Emma will go up to anyone and ask for what she wants or needs, no problem. Graham on the other hand has to be pushed to ask for what he wants. I'm pretty sure they were born that way, but maybe not. It's possible that I let Emma do Graham's bidding for him a little too long. I hope your 7 year old is feeeling better. Alas, life does get in the way, sometimess. And 7 year old boys who are sick are especially needy (i have one, too).
Sara Laschever (saralasch) Wed 12 Nov 08 12:06
Of course, nature (a kid's personality) will often push against society's expectations. Unfortunately, though, a lot of little girls like your Emma get squelched, or at least strongly discouraged--in both overt and subtle ways--from being so forthright. My 7-year-old is marginally improved (thanks for asking) but I'm taking him back to the doc for the third time this afternoon. It's been a perfect storm of illness for him--sinus infection, sore throat, fever, body aches, and now head cold. And, as you said, he's especially needy even when he's only a little sick; absolutely consuming when he's THIS sick.
(dana) Wed 12 Nov 08 12:13
Thank you for joining us, Sara. It's time to turn our attention to another subject, but you are welcome to continue the conversation as long as you like.
Jennifer Simon (fingers) Wed 12 Nov 08 12:55
I know the power of a sick child! Wishing you and your son well. Thanks for taking such time as you were able.
Members: Enter the conference to participate
Non-members: How to participate