Molly Fletcher was a sports agent in a predominantly male field—think Jerry Maguire—she’s now an entrepreneur, author and public speaker. In her book A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating, she shares many of the traits she utilized as an agent on behalf of her clients, as well as some tips specifically for women trying to negotiate a raise at work.
Fletcher says that on average, women expect lower salaries than men. “That’s a cultural problem, one that’s reinforced by the realities women face at work,” she writes. To compensate for this, she often over-delivered in order to gain respect from clients and colleagues and establish her credibility. Here she offers four negotiating tips for women in the workplace:
- Know your why. If you establish why you deserve a raise, you’ll feel more confident asking for it. Think about how the extra money could potentially change your life and reach other goals. such as buying a home or going back to school.
- Practice 360-degree awareness. Know who you’re negotiating with and consider their history and viewpoints. “People tend to filter the world through four different perspectives: financial, strategic, logistical and relational,” Fletcher observes. Go prepared to speak in their language and highlight what they value most in you.
- Build favor columns. This is about building relationships and connecting with people who are otherwise tough to connect with. “A favor column is anything that adds value, delights, or helps solve a problem for another person,” she notes. This can be as simple as suggesting a podcast or a book they may enjoy taking to lunch.
- Ask with confidence. This can only be achieved if you know what you want and what you’re willing to concede. “Leaving should always be on the menu. A successful negotiation will end with a result that is better than your best alternative,” Fletcher says. “If you are willing to settle for less than that, that’s what you will most likely get.” iBi