Oh really? On the contrary we are always negotiating. We just don’t give ourselves credit for it – in fact do we actually realise that we are doing it? Think of those conversations with your boss, your partner, your children – anyone with whom you have an ongoing relationship where you needed an outcome. What did you do? How did you get there?
The chances are you read the situation and picked what you deemed to be potentially the most appropriate moment to engage. You may have been hinting on and off or alluding to the subject matter for a while. You may have written down some facts or gathered evidence in your favour just in case they were needed (you could perhaps use these as a bargaining tool? Or maybe just have them to give you additional confidence – we like to do this). You possibly looked into the reasons why the other person may be holding a controversial view to yours and what this means to them.
You are probably thinking by now – why yes of course this is standard stuff and doesn’t everyone do it? Well actually it turns out that no actually not everyone does do it. As women we are hard wired to think about others, seek to understand others and use our Emotional Intelligence.
The differences between the ‘female brain’ and the ‘male brain’, according to Simon BaronCohen (University of Cambridge), have emerged during the course of evolution due to exposure to different life challenges. The male brain is characterised by systemising tendencies (understanding and predicting a system/situation or inventing a new one). Satoshi Kanazawa in Psychology Today expands on this saying these skills were necessary for creating tools and weapons. Satoshi goes further in analysing male emotion, more importantly that low empathy levels grew out of responding to long lone hunting trips, and potentially committing acts of violence toward any competition.
After all it was much easier to kill said competition if you haven’t connected on an emotional level. Conversely the female brain is characterised by empathising tendencies (identifying emotions and thoughts and responding with appropriate emotion, understanding the other person to predict his or her behaviour). These being much needed skills when mothering infants who are unable to communicate their needs directly for example. Therefore we as women are naturally equipped to engage, relate, understand – key skills for negotiating.
So how does this manifest itself today?
It would appear that we have now evolved to such a state that we are questioning why and how our behaviours impact on us and those around us, and it is women who are choosing to develop their knowledge further. UCAS official Number of Acceptance into Psychology 2015 shows that 10655 women were accepted against 3780 men. So our knowledge combined with our ability gives us a powerful insight into understanding others.
So how does this link back to negotiating? At ENS International we have developed a powerful psychological framework around which to build your negotiations – organisational and personal, big and small. As a female you probably already use 60% of it on a daily basis. So how do we raise our existing sub conscious behaviours to our conscious awareness? More importantly how do we then build on this to negotiate ever bigger, better and more powerfully? Or to sum it up more confidently?
As women we have a natural tendency to put ourselves down, not push ourselves forward (I’ll save the psychology behind that one for another blog). We know we can do it naturally so how are we able to perform when under scrutiny? Following our 5 step model which has been used globally for over 38 years, one which reinforces, and confirms the rightness of your actions will enable you to develop this amazing natural skill set further and ‘get more of what you want’.