[Webinar] Wies Bratby busts 5 limiting beliefs of negotiation

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Loads of research show that women do not negotiate their job offers as actively as men. Women are better at negotiating for those dear to them like their children, their partners, and even their communities (ever heard of the feminist movement?) but not for themselves. It’s nature and nurture all rolled into one. We do not want to be seen as selfish and greedy when the truth is, negotiating our salaries mean negotiating for our families too since the lack of it means we are leaving money on the table that could support them. Not negotiating our job offers is also one of the reasons why the gender pay gap exists.

Info-graphic by World Economic Forum

Wies Bratby’s “Negotiation skills: Safeguarding your career” brought to light the 5 limiting beliefs that keep women from negotiating for themselves.

1. “This is a disaster”

Bratby pushed for seeing the opportunities the crisis brings with it. With businesses assessing and re-assessing the situation, it is time to negotiate a more just set-up.

With domestic chores piling-up while working from home with kids, women can negotiate a fairer division of work at home. With almost everyone cooped up at home, it is a chance to reach out to those who work for the companies women would like to work for and have a virtual coffee.

2. “Rewards automatically follow hard work”

The second belief is about women thinking that their work can speak for itself. Bratby asserted that women will not get the recognition they deserve if they keep quiet. “You have to be the squeaky wheel. The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” she articulated.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

— Wies Bratby

3. “It is not a big deal”

While women believe that their compensation is no big deal, Bratby added that not negotiating lead to a bigger pay gap in men and women.

If it will take 99.5 years for the gender parity to be achieved worldwide, this is quite a big issue. So think about that the next time you attend a negotiation session.

4. “I am bad at it”

Women are also used to believe that they are just bad at negotiating when negotiations are actually focused on win-win solutions. With women’s empathetic nature, they are more apt to listen to the other party’s concerns which leads to collaboration.

This part reminded me of the famous arm wrestle exercise I once did in an ECWO negotiation workshop. It’s a good drill to break assumptions that getting more for yourself means less for others. As Stephen Covey once said, “Think win-win”!

5. “It will hurt my relationships”

The last belief which could be the most popular is the assumption that negotiating for oneself hurts relationships. “You are only improving the relationship when you have meaningful conversations,” she explained.

It’s all in the mind

Women not negotiating for themselves have a lot to do with mindset. It takes self-confidence to go for it which is fed by a strong belief in one’s self-worth and simply knowing one’s value. Simply put: “how can you convince someone of your value if you don’t believe it yourself?”

One strategy that Bratby shared during the webinar is keeping what she calls a “Brag Book” (“Boost Book” for those who do not like using the word “Brag”) where one lists the reasons why she kicks ass. It started with listing the “50 reasons why you’re awesome in 5 minutes”, a Kickstarter to a habit to write down a couple of reasons why you kick ass every day.

The reasons can be personal or professional. She advised the participants to spend a good 5-10 minutes with this book every day. She swore that it has been a game-changer for her and her clients.

Take action

Turn one of your notebooks into a “Brag Book” and start writing down your kick-ass moments.

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