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How Women Can Develop Confidence in Negotiation with Wies Bratby, Ep #56

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Sadly, negotiation is a life skill that women typically don’t get taught. And Wies Bratby’s mission is to correct that. Wies, the Chief Enthusiasm Officer at Women in Negotiation, teaches how women can empower themselves to negotiate raises, promotions, and better benefits for themselves.

Ultimately it all comes down to the development of confidence. And as I learned, women view negotiating for themselves very differently than negotiating for others. Learn how to develop confidence in negotiation and change the way you think in this episode of Negotiations Ninja.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:41] Learn more about Wies and her background in negotiation
  • [7:27] The difference between knowing what to do and doing it
  • [10:32] What is holding women back from negotiating?
  • [13:41] Why women find it easier to negotiate for others
  • [16:25] What you can do right now to become a better negotiator

The difference between knowing what to do and doing it

Why do women struggle to apply the skills they’ve learned? Wies believes that it’s their mindset holding them back. People need transformation. They need to do the deep work to focus on changing their mindset. Just knowing what you need to do isn’t enough. Practicing negotiation skills seems like a big deal. They constantly put it off, and it becomes a vicious cycle where they never overcome their fear. They never realize it’s something they can excel at because they never start in the first place.

What is holding women back from negotiating?

Wies believes that women struggle with confidence. They struggle with the “Am I good enough?” question. They might not think they can pull off the conversation successfully, so why bother, right? Wies works on developing confidence in all of her clients.

Many women assume that negotiating with their manager in which they are asking for a promotion or more money for themselves negatively impacts that relationship. It holds many women back from starting the conversation.

But Wies says to think about when you’ve had a great heart-to-heart conversation with someone. You were likely transparent, honest, and empathetic, right? You walk away from those conversations feeling better about yourself and your relationship. Why not simply have that kind of conversation with your boss?

Why women find it easier to negotiate for others

Wies points out that it’s ingrained in women to put others first. Women are also typically great communicators and collaborators. When women negotiate on behalf of others, they easily put those skills to use and come out ahead.

But when it comes to negotiating for themselves, women feel conflicted. They feel like they can’t put themselves first. Not only do women struggle with internal barriers but they also deal with external barriers. When women do speak up, society doesn’t accept it (as they do when men advocate for themselves).

Those two things make it difficult for women to start the conversation. So what do you do?

What you can do right now to become a better negotiator

You need to reframe a negotiation on your own behalf from being a scary power play to seeing it for what it is: Having a meaningful conversation that leads to a win-win outcome. To build their confidence, Wies has her clients engage in a transformative, simple exercise.

She asks every client to keep a journal of the things they excel at. Every day, write everything you did well that day in your journal. Maybe you nailed a presentation. Maybe you got a compliment from a client. Maybe you made amazing pancakes. Personal or professional, write it down. Why does it work?

As a species, we are wired to see what is wrong in the world and in ourselves. We may overall do a great job but tend to fixate on the one thing we did wrong. But that doesn’t set you up for success. This simple exercise helps you rewire your brain to focus on all the things that you’re great at. It becomes easier to own that confidence, own your worth, and ultimately become more confident in communicating your worth.

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