Posted March 03, 2015 by

Young college women graduates don’t negotiate – is that true?

Business team having a meeting in an office

Business team having a meeting in an office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

In the business environment, having the ability to negotiate efficiently is vital. If you want to succeed and help your company thrive, there’s no way you can avoid negotiations. In recent years, an upsetting trend has been materializing among female negotiators. Young women in particular who have recently graduated from business school don’t bargain. It’s not that they can’t, they just don’t want to do it. Avoiding negotiations may impact their future careers, so the question is – why are women graduates so terrified of negotiating?

A sense of guilt

As opposite to men, women are more sympathetic. They get emotionally attached to things, situations, and people. Asking for money can be seen as an endeavor that goes against their moral principles. They feel uncomfortable being put in this position. Do they have a reason to feel uncomfortable? Of course not; but since we’re referring to female graduates, it’s safe to assume that their skills haven’t been honed enough to fully understand what negotiations entail.

Lack of confidence

In the business environment, there’s still no equality between men and women. Most CEOs, executives, hiring managers and supervisors are male, so it’s obvious why women feel intimidated when it comes to negotiating salary terms and working in an environment dominated by men. Nevertheless, this is not an excuse for their lack of confidence. If you’re going to enter the business world, you might as well get over your nerves and ask for what you deserve. Determination is the key to success in this domain. Together with preparation and poise you have the greatest chances of becoming a fierce competitor.

Have higher expectations

Young business women should find the courage to collaborate with male peers. In spite of their authoritative attitude, you might actually have some things to learn from them. Don’t just follow other female women because they may be just as compassionate and sensitive as you. Dare to engage in a conversation, talk with male managers and supervisors about expectations, and state your point of you. Don’t be shy about it, negotiate with them and show them you’re not just a brainless graduate with nothing useful to say. Prove to them that you’re capable of helping the company’s bottom line.

Have a positive attitude

If you’re a young female graduate interviewing for a job or asking for a raise, you should have a positive attitude when doing this. Enter meetings with a smile on your face, but make sure your speech is backed up by solid proof. It’s the only way you can land a good deal. A positive attitude is a lot better than entering negotiations in doubt. Don’t accept the lowest offer either and find the courage to speak up. This will say a lot of things about you as a person.

Don’t adopt an aggressive attitude

Young women graduates may have a tendency to adopt the aggressive behavior of their male peers. Many studies have shown that this approach doesn’t work in women. Rather than appear too demanding in front of other negotiators, it’s best to adopt a personal style. Be a woman, but be a smart woman. Adopt a collaborative attitude, start a conversation, and relate to the other people involved in the negotiation. Be gentle, keep things short and maintain a professional attitude. This will say a lot about you as a woman and as a business individual.

Practice as often as possible

A lot of things people should know about negotiations are not taught in school. That’s why recent graduates make so many mistakes when they land their first job offer. Fortunately, now there are extracurricular trainings and seminars you can attend to help you hone your skills. Always remember – you have the information, all you need is practice to help you use that information on real people and situations.

In business, women are not as tough as men, and that’s perfectly fine. Why should you want to copy the aggressive and persuasive tactics of your colleagues when you can have your own? Be original and don’t allow counterparts to take advantage of the mere fact that you’re a woman. Be polite, professional and detail-oriented. Stay focused on the facts presented in front of you, listen carefully to opponents, and keep your speech brief and to the point. All these guidelines will help you master negotiations sooner or later.

By Christopher Austin and TheGapPartnership.com!

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