Do Men and Women Negotiate Differently?

by Dr. Juan Diaz-Prinz

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    00:01 Hello and welcome to men and women.

    00:04 Do they really negotiate differently? I'd like to preface this lecture with a short comment.

    00:11 In recent years the role of men and women in society have been put under a microscope.

    00:17 From boardroom meetings to NGOs and business negotiations, issues of salary, status, recognition, and work-life balance, and how men and women are either similar or different.

    00:30 Have been the subject of intense debate.

    00:34 No, two societies around the world see this issue the same because it is a human experience based on our traditions and our cultural values.

    00:45 In fact, much of the information that we have are already biased by the gender, the education, and the cultural background, of the researchers involved in studying.

    00:57 Gender and negotiations.

    00:59 I would like you to At the very beginning of this lecture that I hope that this is only the beginning of your thinking about your own role in society as a man or a woman and how you respond to other men and other women which are both similar and different to yourself.

    01:19 Now through this lecture, I hope that you will get an overview of the main issues in gender negotiation that you understand, What is important both to men and women.

    01:30 And lastly, that you can understand and get a sense of what you can do for yourself to actually incorporate the issue of gender in your negotiations successfully.

    01:42 Let's start with what is gender study.

    01:46 Gender study is the research of how roles in society are constructed based on our understanding of the way men and women should behave.

    01:58 Not necessarily how they behave but how they should behave.

    02:02 Some people will tell you men and women are totally different.

    02:07 Others will tell you no, no, there's no difference.

    02:12 Some will tell you, of course men and women are different but you should not treat them differently because most of the difference are experience-based.

    02:22 For the layperson, you could be totally confused, well, who's right, who's wrong? Actually it all depends on your understanding of how men and women should be studied.

    02:34 What should you do? You should ask yourself four simple questions.

    02:39 How does my understanding of gender impact my negotiations? How does gender manifest itself in a conflict or negotiation that I am involved in? What issues have a gender component that might impact our overall agreement? And lastly, How can I deal with gender issues when they arise in my negotiation? Now at the risk of sounding a little bit stereotypical.

    03:11 There are some common perceptions or as I would like to say misperceptions about how men are or women are.

    03:20 I'd like to go through them because every time you ask an audience, these always come up.

    03:26 People tend to say that men are competitive, aggressive, confrontational, their task and outcome orientated.

    03:36 Quite often you hear that men are not good listeners and they're not very emotional and pathetic.

    03:42 They focus on power and autonomy and rights and most of all their rational and unemotional.

    03:50 Relationship too many negotiations are often seen as secondary.

    03:57 What about some of the common perceptions and misperceptions of women.

    04:03 Quite often you were hear, women avoid conflict, they are emotional and rational.

    04:10 At the same time, they're very good at problem-solving and they do well in relationships.

    04:17 They're good listeners.

    04:19 They're active listeners.

    04:20 They're deep listeners.

    04:23 Also, they're less abusive, threatening, and confrontational in a negotiation and they're more willing to trust.

    04:31 Now you will might ask yourself, who says this? Well, you can hear some of these both from men and from women equally.

    04:40 Well, what do the studies actually say about gender and negotiation? Well, the studies are inconclusive and many of them have been built on biases by the researchers themselves, but nevertheless they give us a little bit of insight into some of the things going on in negotiation.

    05:00 The research often says that women tend to be less effective in competitive negotiation.

    05:07 They perceive themselves as less powerful, tend to make larger concessions, and excel in listening and relationship-building.

    05:16 At the same time, men tend to focus on power and status are less likely to share information, set higher goals than women in a negotiation, and are less cooperative and relational than women.

    05:31 I would like to preface all of this and say that actually they have also done other studies and these studies have been even more inconclusive.

    05:42 Specifically the research shows that the studies disproportionately focus on women's behavior.

    05:50 They call it the deficit model.

    05:52 It talks about how women need to aspire to the stereotypes that men have achieved over centuries.

    06:01 Women's experience and conflict are not always addressed and issues for women are invisible in the negotiation.

    06:09 When they've done studies with all men and all women you'd be surprised.

    06:16 Men and women actually have the same variety as the other side.

    06:23 So you might be wondering, why do we even bring up this issue in a negotiation course? Well even in though men and women might negotiate differently or might not to negotiate differently doesn't really matter.

    06:38 What matters is how does gender manifest itself in a negotiation that involves both men and women.

    06:46 Top of the list, compensation, every single one of us has to negotiate compensation and salaries benefits.

    06:55 We know now that women are actually earning less than their male counterparts in comparable positions.

    07:02 Is there a gender component in this issue? And how can we make that gender component disappear? Number two, networking.

    07:12 We know from negotiation research that most of the crucial compensations or compromises that are made are done through social networking when people meet in bars and restaurants, in gyms, on the weekend, on the golf course, wherever it is people are making deals.

    07:32 If we are not invited to some of these social networks, we will not have access to that information.

    07:39 Number three.

    07:40 We know that supervisors tend to get all the credit for whatever is achieved.

    07:46 Yet we know that despite making advances in the workforce for women across the board we're still having access to higher level management positions for women making sure that women enter management and are able to receive the necessary credit and recognition for success is important in a negotiation.

    08:07 Number four, mentoring is an important part of a development of a career path.

    08:13 Making sure that men and women are being mentored equally is going to achieve success in a negotiation.

    08:20 Yet we know that men and women might hesitate to enter a mentoring relationship for fear that it might be misconstrued.

    08:30 There are two more issues which involve our private life, in our business life.

    08:35 One is called privacy.

    08:38 Many of us are reluctant to talk about our private life.

    08:43 The birth of a child, different life stages that we have, why? It might be a little too personal, it might enter into our private sphere and make us feel awkward.

    08:57 On the other hand, talking about our family environment and how we plan our careers with a work-life balance are an issue that is impacting men and women across the our society.

    09:11 So what can we do to address gender in our negotiations? Well, we have four problems we have to deal with.

    09:18 The first problem is that talking about gender sometimes creates uncomfortable or awkward situation.

    09:26 It is not Always addressed in the practice.

    09:29 Often if we develop measures we run the risk of generalizing and reinforcing stereotypes and prejudices.

    09:38 As the same time, generalizing about gender might push somebody into a category and we might forget to treat that person as an individual.

    09:47 Will say something like, oh he's only doing that because he's a man, or of course, she does that she's a woman, but we forget that at this person is an individual with their own experiences and education and status and might be doing it out of their own individual experience.

    10:07 Lastly, and very importantly, men and women, tend to experience not only negotiation but also conflicts differently, by the simple fact that they often fulfill these socially constructive roles that are created for them in society, they have their own unique experience.

    10:30 Making sure that we deal with these experiences in their totality will help us overcome this problem.

    10:39 Here are some tips on how to address gender negotiation.

    10:43 Number one, in the planning stage assess your negotiation for any gender triggering issues.

    10:51 Number two.

    10:52 Do your homework on those issues, find out what the experts are saying that can be done to neutralize any suspicion of gender bias.

    11:03 Number three, create transparent criteria on gender related issues.

    11:09 Number four, develop clear target expectations in competitive and problem-solving negotiations, and number five, develop a policy for assessing recognition.

    11:22 Put these together and you will be able to neutralize any gender biases in your negotiation.

    11:30 Just to summarize, I hope you have been able to receive an overview about gender and negotiation issues that you understand what kind of issues are often linked to men and women and that you've developed a sense of what you can do as a man or a woman in your negotiations.

    11:51 Finally, It might be that you have never thought about whether men and women negotiate differently.

    11:58 You might even see some benefit in using your own gender.

    12:01 Why not? Many people see it as an added value.

    12:05 Oh, he's a man.

    12:07 I might be able to send somebody who he likes or just the opposite.

    12:12 She's a woman.

    12:13 I can relate to her.

    12:15 I think I can get more.

    12:17 We all have these thoughts, whatever your experience is with gender in a negotiation scenario, it is important to be aware that our society.

    12:27 He has not only created stereotypes and assumptions but also expect them to be fulfilled by us.

    12:35 While studies are inconclusive most have debunked the myth that men are naturally better negotiators.

    12:43 Experience and studies point to a rich diversity of negotiation with many different individuals who carry not only their gender but their culture, their social status and their education with them on their shoulder into a negotiation scenario.

    13:03 It might be better to focus less on gender and more on how these differences might manifest themselves.

    13:12 Under estimating someone based on their gender might actually cost you some wins in a negotiation.

    13:20 On the other hand, overestimating them might put you under a lot of undue social political and economic stress.

    13:28 Remember, clarity of purpose, quality of relationships, combined with empathy and professional strategic negotiation behavior, will always, I repeat, will always lead you in the right direction.

    13:45 Thank you very much.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Do Men and Women Negotiate Differently? by Dr. Juan Diaz-Prinz is from the course Negotiation Skills & Strategies (EN). It contains the following chapters:

    • Do Men and Women Negotiate Differently
    • Common (Mis)Perceptions
    • Gender-Based Issues
    • Adressing Gender in Negotiations

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. How does our understanding of gender impact negotiations?
    2. How can I use my gender to beat the other side?
    3. How does gender manifest itself in a negotiation?
    4. What issues have a gender component?
    5. How can we deal with gender issues when they arise?
    1. Men often focus on power
    2. Men are less likely to share information
    3. Women perceive themselves less powerful
    4. Women often excel in listening and relationship-building
    5. Gender does not matter
    1. Studies focus disproportionately on women’s behaviour.
    2. Women’s issues are often invisible.
    3. They lack evidence
    4. Often start from the premise that women have a deficit.
    5. They are unprofessional
    1. Compensation
    2. Privacy
    3. Work-life balance
    4. Networking
    5. Skills
    1. How not to reinforce stereotypes.
    2. How to avoided generalizations.
    3. How to be nice to women.
    4. How to let men be men.
    5. How to fight discrimination.
    1. Assess negotiation for gender triggers.
    2. Create transparent criteria for gender-related issues.
    3. Develop target expectations for competitive negotiations.
    4. Tell everyone you are gender sensitive.
    5. Identify gender experts.

    Author of lecture Do Men and Women Negotiate Differently?

    Dr. Juan Diaz-Prinz

    Dr. Juan Diaz-Prinz

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