9 Negotiation Tips All Women Should Know


When it comes to negotiating, some people have more difficulty than others—particularly women. Numerous studies have showed that women feel less confident when it comes to bargaining, as they don’t want to appear overly aggressive or don’t want to risk ruining existing relationships.

The good news, however, is that it’s not too late to improve one’s negotiation skills. Here are some great negotiation tips that all women should keep in mind:

1. Try.
Instead of looking for opportunities to negotiate, most women tend to simply accept things as they are. You should know that when it comes to business, almost everything is negotiable—and all you have to do is try.

2. Master your stuff.
When you come prepared, you’re likely to be more confident and more convincing. Take the time to review your costs, trends, statistics, or whatever other details you need to familiarize yourself with before stepping in the door.

3. Watch your body language.
Your words may be saying one thing, but your body language may just be saying something completely different. Your ability to keep direct eye contact will reflect your current level of engagement and focus. Sit up and maintain body language that shows that you are confident and that you need to be taken seriously.

4. Don’t let your emotions take over.
Women, by nature, are much more emotional than men. Negotiating can unleash emotions such as anger, unhappiness, frustration, and even disbelief, and it’s crucial that you stay calm and learn to set these feelings aside. If you need to, request for a quick break so you can regain your composure.

5. Expect criticism.
If you’re negotiating for a higher salary or position, it’s highly possible that criticism may come your way. Issues regarding your tardiness, short work hours or even work ethic may come up, and so you should anticipate these scenarios and formulate your responses ahead of time. The last thing you want is to come up with the perfect answer as you’re driving home.

6. Learn to say “no”.
Women like to avoid conflict and keep everyone happy. However, being liked shouldn’t be your main concern. Being a good negotiator means knowing how and when to put your foot down and say no.

7. Know when to keep quiet.
When negotiating, it is most crucial to keep quiet at two points: After you make your request, and after your counterpart answers. Do not even attempt to soften the blow or take back your request after you’ve already asked for it.

8. Determine how much you’re worth.
Women often undervalue or underestimate themselves in the workplace. If you’re dealing with salary negotiation, pre-determine how much you truly deserve for all your efforts and hard work, whether as an employee, contractor, or supplier. If they truly value you, they’re likely to take you up on your offer. If they say no, then thank them politely, walk away, and find someone who appreciates how much you’re worth.

9. Stick to who you are.
Avoid choosing a bargaining style that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you’re merely putting on an act, people may just see right through it and all is lost. If you want to be successful at any form of negotiation, it’s important to be true to who you are.


Martin P R Collins is a negotiation expert at Geneva Education who frequently gives free advice in his articles and negotiation blog posts. See here to learn his 20 most common negotiation tips. Or click here for a free, easy-to-apply negotiation tactic on a 90 second YouTube video, which is particularly useful for female negotiators.