Sunday, August 05, 2007

Negotiation and the Gender Divide

The Washington Post reported that according to a recent study, men and women get very different responses when they initiate negotiations and women's reluctance to negotiate was based on how they believed they would be treated if they did negotiate. The study indicates that both men and women were more likely to subtly penalize women who asked for more.

Does this mean that women can't negotiate for what they want? No. But both men and women should think carefully about their negotiation strategy. Negotiations are most successful when there is a strong relationship between the two parties involved. The interview process allows the job seeker and hiring manager to build this relationship. Repeated exposure through multiple interviews deepens the relationship and solidifies the trust.

Once an offer is made, job seekers can leverage this relationship to negotiate for what they want and need. They should never demand something or give ultimatums to attain their goals. Instead they should ask for things by demonstrating why they are fair and reasonable. Hiring managers have invested equally in this new relationship and they don't want to damage it after they have put so much time and energy into the process.

Negotiating your employment package is a collaborative process where both parties involved want the same outcome. By nurturing the relationship built during the interview process, you are more likely to overcome potential gender bias and achieve your negotiation goals.

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