Have You Agreed to Every Bad Deal You’ve Gotten?

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wasn’t inclined to negotiate her proposed salary until she was forcefully urged by her late husband and brother-in-law, she revealed while promoting her book, Lean In.



In contrast, the majority of respondents to Accenture’s 2012 online survey of 4,100 business executive women and men born between 1946 and 1994 working in medium to large organizations across 33 countries said they had asked for or negotiated a pay increase.

Almost as many women as men asked, and the number of women who negotiated increased by 10% in the 2013 survey.
These negotiation efforts were effective: Four out of five respondents who negotiated received a pay increase, confirming the mantra “Just Ask”  — and be prepared for “No.”

Linda Babcock

Linda Babcock

This result is more encouraging than Linda Babcock’s earlier finding that women tend not to ask for raises, and are less likely to receive salary increases when they do ask.

The Accenture study also found that nearly half of women and men respondents reported asking for a promotion to greater job responsibility, suggesting willingness to advocate for themselves to achieve monetary rewards.

Emily Amanatullah

Emily Amanatullah

University of Texas’s Emily Amanatullah and Michael Morris of Columbia University argued that gender differences in negotiations reflect women’s “contextually contingent impression management strategies.”
Translated, this means that women’s assertive bargaining behavior is judged as “congruent” with female gender roles in some contexts yet not in others.

As a result, most women intuitively consider this “contextual variation” and potential “backlash” against perceived incongruity when negotiating.
Many then adjust bargaining behavior to “manage social impressions” in contexts where assertive bargaining behavior may be seen as incongruent with female gender roles.

Michael Morris

Michael Morris

Women who advocated for themselves reduced their assertive behaviors and competing tactics, resulting in poorer negotiation outcomes in one of Amanatullah and Morris’s lab studies.
In contrast, when women advocated for others, they achieved better outcomes because they did not reduce assertive behaviors or engage in “hedging.”

Margaret Neale

Margaret Neale

Margaret Neale of Stanford Graduate School of Business said, “Negotiation is interdependent process – every bad deal you’ve gotten, you’ve agreed to.”

-*Harsh or true?

From her empirical research, Neale offers practical model to structure more effective negotiations, summarized by the acronym APAP:

–          What are the alternatives or fall-backs to negotiating?

–          What are the aspirational goals, or optimistic assessment of the best possible outcomes?
-Are these realistic?
-What’s the walk-away bottom line?

–          Assess: How much influence do you have?
– Could the benefits of negotiating outweigh the costs?

–          Prepare: What are your interests (not positions, or proposed outcome)?
-What are the other person’s interests?

–          Ask: Propose a solution that packages issues with benefits to the other, the group, and you
Share information

–          Package:  Avoid issue-by-issue negotiation by trading among issues
Use If-then statements for counter-proposals
Bundle alternative proposals.

Deborah Kolb

Deborah Kolb

Simmons College’s Deborah Kolb and Carol Frohlinger of Negotiating Women, Inc. identified three types of negotiation maneuvers in their critique women’s leadership development programs that focus on solely skill development to “fix women”:

Power Moves to interest others in participating in the negotiation discussion:

  • Offer incentives,
  • Raise the cost of not negotiating,
  • Enlist support.

      Process Moves to structure the negotiation interaction:

  • Take control of the agenda,
  • Seed ideas
  • Appreciative Moves to enable the negotiation conversation to continue:
  • Solicit new perspectives,
  • Enable the conversation to continue,
  • Help others “save face.
Carol Frohlinger

Carol Frohlinger

Kolb and Frohlinger advocated skill building coupled with organizational development to overcome structural barriers to women’s advancement. Likewise, these interventions can reduce unconscious bias that may exclude women from participating in developmental assignments and being considered for advancement.

A counterpoint argument is that women can control their self-development, but they have less control over their organization’s willingness to transform its culture, practices, and awareness of bias.

Recommendations to Craft and Sell a Better Deal in Salary Negotiation

–          Adopt the mindset that “everything is negotiable,

–          Verify which elements are most negotiable,

–          Research “market worth” in comparative jobs: Salary.com, Glassdoor.com, anonymous industry surveys,

–          Examine whether low sense of entitlement to higher salaries and job roles reduces willingness to advocate for compensation commensurate with skills and experience,

–          Scan for negotiation anxiety in oneself and negotiation partners,

–          Define goals (optimistic upside, walk-away bottom-line),

–          Assess your leverage: Competing offers, past accomplishments, future potential,

–          Plan negotiation rationale (citing specific accomplishments, results, value to the organization, benefit to the negotiation partner),

Linda Putnam

Linda Putnam

–          Use mutual inquiry to co-construct solutions to replace traditional Distributive Exchange and Integrative Exchange models, suggested by Linda Putnam, Texas A&M University and Deborah Kolb, Simmons College,

           Inquire about other person’s interests and needs in negotiation,

–          Practice a positive-stated, confident negotiation “pitch” that creates value for both parties by “bundling” solutions (rather than issue-by-issue negotiation),

–          Propose timing

–          Set an advantageous anchor point,

–          Plan counterarguments and counter-offers, “self-talk” to resist conceding and to manage anxiety,

–          Expect “No” and plan for it,

–          Embody powerful demeanor in speech, dress, posture,

–          Justify the salary request based on a well-supported “business case,

–          Communicate concern for organizational relationships,

–          Justify the salary request based on the relationship with the co-negotiator,

–          Establish a positive yet persuasive tone,

–          Employ delay tactics to avoid being the first to name a salary figure,

–          Incorporate tips to sell yourself while anticipating objections and being personable but not personal.

-*How likely are you to ask for a salary increase or promotion?

-*What factors do you consider before making a request for more money or an expanded role?

-*Consider your reaction to negotiations you have observed, and ask others who participate in salary negotiation their reactions to these questions:

  • What is the best negotiation pitch you’ve heard for a job-related salary increase or role promotion?
  • How did the person overcome objections?
  • How did the person manage the relationship with the negotiating partner?

-*How do you ask for what you want at work?

-*What power tactics do you employ to influence your negotiation outcomes?

-*How do you prepare for negotiations and overcome objections during negotiations?



5 thoughts on “Have You Agreed to Every Bad Deal You’ve Gotten?

  1. Pingback: Ask for What You Want: You Have More Influence Than You Think – For Good or Ill | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

  2. Pingback: Do You Have Agreement Bias – The Impulse to Accept Bad Deals? | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

  3. Pingback: “Social Accounts” as Pay Substitutes = Lower Pay for Women | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

  4. Pingback: Anxiety Undermines Negotiation Performance | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

  5. Pingback: Gratitude Increases Financial Patience, Investment Earnings | Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary

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