Rikki Klieman is a contributor/legal analyst for CBS News. She was an anchor at the Courtroom Television Network from 1994-2010 and a contributor for the CBS Early Show, the NBC Today Show, and the E! Network. She currently serves on the Council of 100, a mentoring organization of outstanding alumnae for the benefit of collegiate women and young graduates at Northwestern University. Rikki recently sat down with us to to discuss how women can win at any negotiation.
I’m a firm believer that you have to be authentic in everything you do. In the early days, you only got what you wanted in a male image. Women often feel they have failed in negotiations because women generally set lower expectations than men do.
Prior to walking into a negotiation, you have to know what’s at stake and what your goals are. It matters what you’re negotiating for. It could be anything from a title, corner office, money, perks, or flying coach vs. business class. In the case of a new job, you may want it enough that you’ll take a much lower salary. I’ve seen people with great positions and lots of money who are miserable. It’s important to keep in mind that you earn your credentials for positions in the future. Also, perform in-depth research into your compensation. Compensation packages vary, but nothing should be unreasonable. However, every demand should have a back up.
Bring a list of what you’re asking for and what you’re willing to give up. Do you really want this job? What are you willing to give up to get it without selling yourself short?
Here are the most important negotiation techniques to use when deliberating with your direct supervisor or management:
- Really listen, not just hear. You can get a sense of what you may be able to get by the end of the negotiation.
- Silence is the most powerful weapon: male or female! The most important thing is to get the other side to make the offer.
- Do your homework! Know your reputation, your opponent’s reputation, and think about that person’s relationship to you. Are they your boss? Adversary?
- Be BOLD but reasonable in your first counter-offer.
- Be willing to say “no” and explain why. Otherwise, you will lose. For example, if you’re negotiating for a higher salary, you need to know what your breaking point is. Always know your bottom line.
When it comes to goal setting, all goals need a time limit. Be willing to stay for six months and be willing to walk away if your terms aren’t being met.
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