I’m really sick of reading how women need to change our tone or our style or our language, or anything for that matter, in negotiations. In honor of International Women’s Day earlier this week, I want to call out a bogus stereotype, that women are bad negotiators. Some of the best negotiators I know are women. And, I would bet that almost any man who is married to a woman would agree. Growing up, my mom could always get want she wanted when negotiating with my dad. Often times, he was unaware that the negotiation was even happening. Generally speaking, women negotiate differently than men, but we still know how to hold our ground.
Here are my top three reasons why women are really the best negotiators:
- Women are the primary drivers of the consumer economy. Women know where to get what they need in the most efficient manner. Time is truly the most valuable asset and knowing how to get what you need, when you need it, is critical to a winning negotiation.
- Women are caregivers. Anyone who has ever negotiated with a toddler knows what it means to negotiate with terrorists. Women are out there doing it every day. And, while there are many men who have taken up caregiving responsibilities, women have been doing it a LOT longer. It’s pretty engrained.
- Women talk to their friends and show vulnerability. Knowledge is power in any negotiation. It’s pretty hard to really understand your negotiating position if you’re too proud to look a little naïve in front of your friends. While, as a culture, we seem to be slowly moving towards allowing men to show vulnerability, this is another area where women have been excelling for years.
Let’s stop pretending women aren’t good negotiators. And, let’s start pushing each other to bring all of that power to work. Every day.