How to Negotiate: 6 Ways Women Can Get What They Want

Women are natural negotiators, especially when it comes to relationships. We tend to take the reins of any interaction, even if it’s just about planning a night out with friends. Women are also a lot more risk-averse than men. According to research from Harvard and Columbia Business Schools, that’s because women tend to be more concerned about personal costs and potential social repercussions of negotiating for something they want. So we don’t do it as often as we should. Instead of being afraid or embarrassed about asking for what we want or need, let’s review how you can negotiate and get what you want like a pro – no matter who you’re dealing with:

1. Know your worth and then add tax

When you’re negotiating, you’ll want to start by knowing your worth. You must know your worth to start, and that is not a number in your paycheck. It is a value to your company and your customers.

It is critical to understand what value you bring to your company and your customers, and how that impacts your worth. The more you understand this, the better you can communicate that value to your manager and your customers, and the more you will be appreciated.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where are you in your career path? What are your current responsibilities? What is your ideal salary? What is your current salary? If you’re not sure what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can take a personality test and use that information to help guide you in knowing what your worth is. Here are a few to help you discover yourself a bit more.

2. Build your case before you negotiate

Negotiation is a two-way street, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared and have a clear understanding of what you want from the negotiation. Whether you are trying to negotiate a higher salary, benefits package, or a deal, it can be useful to build your case beforehand. This will help you walk into the negotiation prepared.

Define your goals and why they’re important to you. What are the implications of not achieving them? Research your desired outcome and how it aligns with the company’s goals. Figure out what information the other party might need to make a decision.

Research shows that people who actively think about why they deserve a raise will be more likely to receive one. You can do this by keeping track of your accomplishments at work, writing down your goals, or setting benchmarks for yourself. It can also be helpful to network and meet with your manager often to let them know how you are doing and what you would like to accomplish in the future.

3. Ask for what you want — and be firm.

When you’re making your case, don’t apologize or talk yourself down. Be sure to clearly outline your desired outcome and firm in your request. One way to be more firm is to use the “broken record” technique. When you get interrupted or someone tries to talk you down, just repeat your original request. Be confident and stand your ground. It’s important to stay calm, be polite, and keep the other person’s best interest in mind. Be firm, but respectful.

4. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

Sometimes, a better course of action is to walk away from a negotiation entirely. This goes back to knowing your worth! You can’t make someone value your worth, and if the other party isn’t willing to pay you what you deserve or give you the deal you are asking for, it’s better to walk away and find someone who will.

If you feel uncomfortable or something doesn’t seem right, trust your gut. You have the right to get the experience you want and deserve, and that means walking away if something isn’t right. By walking away, you give yourself time to think and let the other party know that you’re serious about finding a deal that works for you. You may find that the same offer comes around in a few days or that a better offer appears if you give it enough time.

Now there is a fine line between knowing when to walk away and when to hold out. If you walk away, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to come back to that table again. On the other hand, if you hold out too long, you might cause your employer to walk away from you entirely. Find the middle ground.

Bottom line: know when to walk away and when to hold out.

5. Negotiate with confidence — even when you don’t feel it.

If you find yourself in a situation where you really want something but don’t feel very confident about asking for it, try one of these ways to build your confidence and get what you want.

  • Practice your negotiation in front of a mirror.
  • Get someone to role-play with you.
  • Engage in self-talk and positive affirmations.
  • Practice with a partner, friend, or family member.

Negotiation is not just about getting what you want, it’s about helping the other person get what they want. The majority of people are uncomfortable negotiating because they feel like they are taking advantage of others or being pushy. You can overcome this by thinking about how negotiating will help the other person.

6. Women should negotiate together.

Situations like salary negotiation or asking for a promotion are often times when women might feel uncomfortable negotiating on their own. In those situations, you could try negotiating as a group of women. Research shows that women who negotiate together have a higher success rate than those who negotiate on their own.

This is because women tend to be more empathetic when negotiating in a group. This empathetic approach takes the focus off yourself and puts it on the outcome – what’s best for the group. Explain the benefits of negotiating together such as increased strength in numbers and the fact that you are less likely to be intimidated by a group of people as compared to negotiating on your own. And it can make you feel more confident when you know there are people rooting for you.


Negotiating is not something that comes naturally to everyone. But by following these steps, you can use the power of negotiation to achieve more for yourself, whether it’s a higher salary, better benefits, more vacation time, or anything else you want. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Women are more powerful when they negotiate together, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.

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