Boss Lady

4 steps to negotiate with confidence


For many women, just the sound of the word negotiation makes us cringe. We immediately break out in a cold sweat at the thought of having to step up and negotiate for the things we want – and need!

Feel familiar? Well, you are not alone.

Women have no problem advocating for others, but when it comes to our own needs—negotiating for a raise, getting the best price on a purchase, or standing up for what we want in our partnerships—we lose our oomph and morph into the proverbial wallflower. It’s due time to re-boot our view on negotiation, and embrace the process to create a win-win with clarity and confidence.

These four steps will help you reframe the art of negotiations to achieve greater success and happiness.


Reframe your thinking on the meaning of the word negotiation. Instead of viewing it as the inevitable conflict and adversity syndrome, you can see negotiation for what it truly is: a great opportunity to collaborate, problem-solve, and to come to resolutions that satisfies all parties involved.

We can do this by paying close attention to what is being said, as well as what is not being said in our conversations. Listen for hidden assumptions, unrealistic expectations, and personality traits that may have a profound effect on the end result. Women have naturally amped-up emotional intelligence skills. Negotiation is a phenomenal opportunity to use our natural gifts to create success and collaboration.

Be clear

Be clear on what you want. New research from Carnegie Mellon University found that, “in the face of persistent gender gap, one reason men still out-earn women is because women simply don’t ask for more money.”

Being clear also means coming prepared. Do your research, know what value you bring, expect possible adversity, and prepare possible solutions. Taking personal responsibility for your success requires preparation. No one can advocate for you better than you can! If you know what you truly want, it’s time to put that out on the table.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Confidence starts from within, but sometimes we have to do a little behavior modification on ourselves and mental preparation to get in the right state of mind. Start by visualizing yourself going through the process of negotiation with a positive result.

Negotiation is not the same as confrontation. By advocating for yourself and your mission, you raise the standard, ensuring that others bring their “A” game as well. This is true leadership at its finest.

Start with the positive

Start with the positive by building bridges and finding commonality. Whether seeking a raise or getting your needs met in other areas of your life, focus on using words like “we” and “us” versus the more traditional “I” pronoun. In the book “Lean In” Sandberg focuses on the two different role models of negotiation strategies – the masculine “I” and the communal “we.” Studies have shown that deals are most often won using language that builds bridges and shows mutual benefit.

By seeing negotiation through the eyes of possibility, we, as women, can be more confident in stating our needs and expectations.

Negotiate on!

About Kate McKay

Transformational speaker, multi-million-dollar business owner, master motivator and author Kate McKay is the CEO at Gold Siena/Gold Party New England and is known as America’s Prosperity Maverick. Kate is also a fitness competitor and ACE-certified trainer who believes in the importance of physical fitness inside and out. She believes there is a connection between self-worth and having a successful career that every professional should take to heart.

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