Negotiaton and Gender KMenning 04Dec16 Final

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Gender & Negotiation:

Gender & Negotiation Kim Menning | December 4, 2016


agenda Gender & Negotiation Negotiation & Language Empathy & Aggression Establishing Authority Negotiation Skills Summary References


GENDER & NEGOTIATION How can gender affect negotiation? Negotiation is about making demands and reaching agreements Being ambitious is often perceived differently whether the negotiator is male or female Internationally, women are assumed weaker negotiators and expected to give bigger concessions Often women get a stronger rejection or “no” which can affect their negotiation style Key differences in negotiation are related to language, empathy, power, and style

Negotiation & Language:

Negotiation & Language Women typically use conversations to establish a connection with other people, while men tend to use conversations to exchange information or solve a problem. Men discuss facts, are more directive in their speech and use language that is powerful Women often ask questions that are really meant as objections and use language that is indirect Women are more likely to ask open-ended questions that obtain more information Men are more comfortable asking for what they want, but might miss nuances in words or body language that women notice

Empathy & Aggression:

Empathy & Aggression Both empathy and aggression have a place in negotiation. As a negotiator of either gender, you should know which to use. Women are often taught to value human relationships and may be better at seeing the other person’s point of view This can be a strength in a negotiation when searching for points of agreement, but an overly empathetic approach can prevent the female negotiator from obtaining the agreement she originally wanted Men, who are often socialized to be more aggressive, may be better able to “play hardball” in a negotiation

Establishing Authority:

Establishing Authority Men and women need to be aware of their physical actions that can establish power and authority during a negotiation. Taking a seat at the head of the table is a way to take control by establishing your territory Men often lean over the table, spread their arms on the table or over the back of an adjacent chair, while women are less likely to expand their personal space in this fashion Looking directly at a person with whom you are negotiating, raise your voice slightly or use silence as a response tactic to demonstrate authority in a negotiation Women may be at a disadvantage in this area as they are typically not taught to express themselves with broad gestures and speak with a firm, commanding tone

Negotiation Skills:

Negotiation Skills Preparation is key to any negotiation. Both men and women can improve their negotiating skills by practicing objectivity A potential weakness for some men is that they often try to “wing it” which can be disastrous in a complex negotiation Listening carefully is a skill that both men and women can use in a negotiation Paying attention to what your opponent says and how is it said can lead to important insights


summary Women and men often negotiate differently.   Whether a woman or man, you can improve negotiating skills through understanding of real and perceived gender-biases Be aware of typical gender pitfalls related to language, empathy, power and style Before a negotiation begins, identify the strengths in your style and position, and develop targets for the negotiating process Lastly, determine what concessions you are willing to make and whether there is a reasonable alternative to the desired outcome


References Craver, C. B. ( n.d. ). Women and Men in Negotiation - gender interactions | Negotiation Experts. Retrieved December 03, 2016, from Lewicki , R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2011). Essentials of negotiation. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Women and Negotiation: Are There Really Gender Differences? (2015, October 26). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from “ASK FOR IT” logo courtesy of

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