What Women Entrepreneurs Must KNOW Before Negotiating For Raise and Higher Fees

For the most part – women lose when it comes to negotiating. Why? Because we’ve been taught to fear one of our greatest strengths – emotion.

Let’s face it – negotiating is emotional, and even though, there are several aspects you need to initiate in order achieve a successful negotiation, to win at negotiating, you have to master three emotional areas: balance, intelligence, and confidence.

The balance between “anger” and “happiness” when negotiating

Most of my early negotiating experiences came from initiating negotiations with my salary, whether it be a starting salary or a raise. There was always one common theme that I can remember – anger. I was always angry that I wasn’t being paid fairly or equally as compared to other counterparts – usually male counterparts.

Sorry guys, not sorry, but it’s a fact you earn 20% more than women in the US, and women earn less in almost every single industry .

But the thing with anger is that Anger is one of the most destructive emotions that you can have when trying to negotiate effectively…

The reason anger is so destructive is because it clouds our objectivity, narrows our focus, and misdirects our goals. Not so great for getting to a productive outcome! On the flip side, positive attitude leads to better outcomes. That is why it is important to approach negotiating from a place of emotional balance.

Negotiations tend to foster negative emotions and reactions. To maintain your own emotional balance, you need to understand your underpinning motivations and emotions.

If you are engaging in a negotiation from a place of negativity, such as anger or frustration, look at what may be the underlying root cause. Are you angry and frustrated with the situation, the person, how you’ve been treated? Or are you bringing in other non-related emotions to the table (e.g., you’re stressed about your child getting into college when negotiating your salary).

Taking a step back and look at the “big picture,” be prepared to recognize what could be your emotional triggers and how to steer the conversation back to the purpose at hand – the negotiation.

You can steer the conversation in your favor by leveraging emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence takes emotional balance to the next level, where not only are you managing your own emotions, but you are tuning into the emotions to your counterparts. It can take the form of being aware of body language and tone of voice, as well as using strategies like taking a break, and reframing the conversation.

A good example to use is called “mirroring.” You do this by repeating the last one to three words that your counterpart communicated (i.e., “I heard that you said you were frustrated with everyone seeming to be asking you for money all the time”), this will help establish rapport and communicate that you are listening and hearing what they are saying, in turn creating a “safe” environment, thereby creating a more positive setting for negotiations.

Now you can use your emotional confidence to get to a positive outcome. A lack of confidence is created in the presence of fear, which is the greatest enemy of a positive outcome. Fear in this instance is due to not being informed, prepared, and self-assured.

  • Informed – You must understand what you are worth and what you have contributed, you can do this by identifying:
  • –Data research, this is the hard facts you will need to communicate in support of your position/arguments (e.g., quartile information for a raise, invoice price for a car, standard industry rates for a contract). Ensure you are researching from reliable sources (e.g., salary.com, Edmunds.com, etc).
    –Value provided, understand the results that you have contributed and/or provided to the organization or client and reiterate them in support of your negotiations. Ask yourself how have you contributed to the bottom line? What efficiencies have you identified/developed? How do you solve problems?

  • Prepared – You need to prepare for all outcomes of negotiations, you can do this by identifying:
  • –Key interests, yours and theirs, so you can try to identify the best possible mutual resolution. What are their likes and needs? Connect on similarities to create synergy.
    –Possible outcomes (e.g., best, mediocre, and worst). Practice the counter position for each scenario, so if the need arises, you are ready to redirect the negotiations.

  • Self-assured – your confidence will be greatly bolstered by practice. Negotiations is a skill set that is developed over time through constant practice. The greatest athletes didn’t become great overnight, they did so by constantly practicing, and so you too can become a great negotiator. Practice your pointes with a trusted friend to help you navigate your thought process and communications, so that when you show up to the negotiations you feel confident and ready.

Negotiating is a skill set, that anyone can master, and that women have a natural advantage in. If you keep your goal in mind, focus on the relationship, and strive for synergies, you will come out the other side of the negotiations in a better position than when you went in. Negotiations are emotional, but they don’t have to be negative, this skill will serve you in business as well as in life.