How Women in Tech Can “Get to Yes” When Negotiating Their Next Promotion
Negotiating for a promotion can be an intimidating process, especially for a woman working in technology. You want to get the best deal possible, but you don’t want to come off as too pushy or aggressive. Whether you’re moving up the corporate ladder or looking to join a new company, having the right negotiation strategies can make all the difference. Here, we draw on the wisdom of Roger Fisher and William Ury’s book “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In” to provide women in tech with practical advice that will help them get to yes. In their book, the authors provide a powerful framework for successful negotiation that women in tech can use to their advantage. Let’s take a closer look at how this framework works.
Fisher and Ury recommend starting with four key elements of negotiation and when following these steps, women in and out of technology will be better equipped to negotiate for their next promotion.
Separate People from Problem – One of the greatest challenges when negotiating is dealing with emotions and egos. Fisher and Ury suggest separating people from problems by focusing on interests—the needs, desires, concerns and fears that are underlying issues—instead of positions. This way, each person involved can focus on finding solutions that benefit both parties. As Fisher and Ury write, “Interests define the problem; positions define solutions. Interests bring people together; positions drive them apart.”
Focus on Interests – Many negotiations fail because one party sticks rigidly to their own positions without considering what the other party really wants or needs. That’s why it’s important to focus on interests rather than positions – try to understand what each person is looking for and why they are looking for it before entering into any agreement. This will help ensure that everyone gets what they want out of the negotiation process while still maintaining respect and dignity for all involved.
Invent Options – It’s easy to get attached to our own ideas about how things should turn out. But if we focus too much on our own position and not enough on potential options, negotiations can reach an impasse quickly. To prevent this, it helps to brainstorm new ideas and come up with innovative solutions that can help bridge the gap between two competing interests. This allows both sides to identify possible solutions that could satisfy everyone involved. As Fisher and Ury say, “The sheer number of options generated often makes it easier for each negotiator to accept something he or she would have rejected had it been proposed initially by one side or another.”
Insist On Using Objective Criteria – Finally, once you have established an agreement that meets both parties’ interests, insist on using objective criteria such as market research or industry standards as part of your negotiation process. According to Fisher and Ury “Objective criteria assure negotiators that there is an impartial basis for settling differences without either side having to give more than its fair share” Oftentimes, this kind of impartial analysis will help move negotiations forward when both parties are at a stalemate.
It’s easy to feel intimidated when entering into a negotiation —especially for women in tech—but having the right strategies can make all the difference between getting what you deserve or coming away empty-handed. Drawing upon Fisher & Ury’s lessons in “Getting To Yes,” we’ve outlined 4 strategies all business women can use when negotiating their next promotion: separate people from problems; focus on interests rather than positions; invent options and insist on using objective criteria whenever possible. Remembering these key negotiating tactics, all women can ensure that their voices are heard loud and clear during negotiations so they can ultimately “get to yes!” when it comes time for their next promotion.