Monthly Archives: July 2020

18. Her Place at the Bargaining Table: Gender and Negotiation

Our colleague Hannah Riley Bowles, from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, joins us in this episode to share her research on the subtle role that gender plays in how people prepare for and manage negotiations.

Hannah is skeptical of the notion that men are significantly more competitive than women. Studies show that there are plenty of competitive woman and, likewise, a goodly number of cooperative men.

She’s studied people’s goals in negotiation before they sit down to talk. (How much they hope to get, and what they’d settle for if they have to.) It turns out that both numbers are influenced by the gender of the person they will be dealing with. Men demand more from women than they do from other guys. Maybe no surprise there, but women do the same thing! And that goes for first offers and for walk-away numbers, too.

So, what should a woman do when she discovers that a guy who recently joined her company at a lower level is getting paid more than she is? Hannah has some great advice, so listen in!

17. Turning the Tables: How to Transform Weakness into Strength in Negotiation and Leadership

In this episode we have an encore visit with Professor Debbie Kolb, author of Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains. In an earlier conversation, we discussed how gender issues play out in negotiation. This time our conversation is about the challenge of negotiating within your organization. That can be up, down, or sideways.

One morning it might be with your boss about getting a much-deserved raise and promotion. That afternoon it could be with colleagues whose help you need to launch a new initiative. Tomorrow it may involve working with someone who reports to you who is not happy with your plan to shift her responsibilities.

Power comes into play in these negotiations, whatever rung on the hierarchal ladder you’re standing on. And company culture and long-term relationships (be they good or bad) add to the complexity. Debbie explains why, if you want to thrive in this environment, you’ve got to be agile strategically and nimble moment-to-moment.