Negotiating can be intimidating. It's true whether you're a CEO looking to close a deal that could take your Fortune 500 company to the next level, a junior regional manager in that same company trying for a raise, or a member of the YouEconomy trying to increase profit margins.
Running a business often means teetering between standing firm behind the value of your time and skill set, and the potential cost of losing a client. Sometimes the stakes are high, but many times, they're bigger in our heads.
So why aren't we asking for more money more often?
In a study of 78 graduate students, Linda Babcock, coauthor of Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, found that 12.5 percent of women negotiated for their starting salary, compared to 52 percent of men. The reason: Women are often afraid of damaging the relationship or being seen as overly aggressive. In her bestselling book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg cited research which found that women who negotiated higher salaries for themselves were seen as "more difficult to work with"--a sign, Sandberg noted, of society's stubborn adherence to traditional stereotypes.
A 2014 study of 4,600 employees in Australia found that the problem is not whether women are asking for raises, but that they are 25 percent less likely to receive them. Moreover, 15 percent of the participants, equally men and women, reported being hesitant when asking for a raise, for fear of upsetting the relationship.
In her new book, That's What She Said, Joanne Lipman suggests the unpopular truth is that women are simply different. Women often don't know their worth and tend to undervalue themselves. When they do realize their value, they are often seen as bossy and uncompromising.
"Men and women are wired differently," Lipman writes. "And in some ways, women are programmed from birth to value their personal contributions less."
So does the answer lie in societal constructs, personal fears or genetic predispositions? As with most complex issues, the reason is likely a combination of multiple factors. For you, this means taking action to combat the factors that you can control. Whether you're negotiating your first salary or working through contract renewals with 40 different vendors, knowing when and how to negotiate for more money is invaluable. Here are some tips to get you started.
WIPE THE SLATE.
Don't begin your money negotiations by considering past numbers. Often your previous salary or negotiation amount didn't...