Edited by Mara Olekalns and Jessica A. Kennedy
Chapter 16: Women-focused negotiation training: a gendered solution to a gendered problem
The story by now is familiar: women are reluctant to initiate negotiations in the workplace. When women do negotiate, they ask for too little, they are too willing to accept early offers, and they are too quick to accommodate. As a result, women are repeatedly disadvantaged in salary, developmental opportunities, and other resources that they need for successful careers. In this chapter, we consider whether women-focused negotiation training might offer a gendered solution to the gendered problems that women face in workplace negotiations. Historically, negotiation training has focused on best practices that are treated as gender-blind. In contrast, women-focused negotiation training assumes that gender matters a great deal. Guided by the same principles that underlie recommendations for women-focused leadership development programs, we investigate how gender colors and influences each stage of a successful negotiation: the pre-negotiation preparation and groundwork, the during-negotiation behaviors and dialogue, and the post-negotiation persistence. The chapter delivers a framework that outlines the “what” (content) and the “how” (delivery) that might constitute a women-focused negotiation training course. We expand the portfolio of trained behavior to include skills, strategies and tactics that might be particularly – and even uniquely – relevant to female negotiators.
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