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She Negotiates

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The 10 Commandments of the Successful Businesswoman

Charlton Heston in "The Ten Commandments"This weekend, I posted the Ten Commandments of Getting Thine Own Way, or Negotiation’s 10 Commandments.

Because women have extra negotiation needs, I’m adding to that list the 10 Commandments of Negotiation for Women.

Thou Shalt Recognize the Opportunity to Negotiate Something for Thine Own.


Whenever you have a decision to make with another person, that’s a negotiation and you should bring all of your negotiation skills to the table.

Thou Shalt Know Thy Market Value.

If you’re like most women, you underestimate by a third your market value – what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller on the open market for your goods and services.

Do your research. Know what you’re worth.

Thou Shalt Ask for Thy Market Value without Apology.

When you know how to negotiate, you needn’t fear that asking for your true market value will drive your bargaining partner away. Negotiation is a conversation, not a multiple choice or true/false exam.

If your bargaining partner finds your price too pricey, work with her to help her find a way to serve her needs and yours at the same time without either of you giving up what you want. It’s not rocket science and women are actually generally better than men at increasing the value available to be exchanged.

Thou Shalt Never Undercut Thyself Before Thy Bargaining Partner Can Respond.

Don’t give a range – I charge between $200 and $300 an hour or between $2500 and $5000 a day. People will always simply take the bottom of the range. Don’t say, I charge $500 but I’ll take $250. If your market value is $500, say it loud and say it proud. There’s a better than 50% chance your bargaining partner will simply say ok. If not, let him ask for a better deal.

Thou Shalt Play Tit for Tat.

 The most effective strategy for getting what you want is to open cooperatively (“let’s find a way to work together that works for both of us”); retaliate proportionally if your bargaining partner betrays you; and, return quickly to cooperation when your bargaining partner brings herself back into cooperative play.

If you cooperate with someone who is not cooperating with you, you will enter into a cycle of victimization. If you fail to forgive and return to cooperation, you will enter into a cycle of escalated conflict.

Continue at Forbes Woman

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