This Is How You Negotiate a Better Deal

This Is How You Negotiate a Better Deal
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Why you should care

Because “yes” is one of the most exciting words in the English language. 

OZY is coming together with JPMorgan Chase to bring you an inside look at how an emerging group of women and men are redefining what it means to be a powerhouse in today’s workplace. Enjoy the rest of our special series here and here.

Much has been written about women’s lack of negotiating skills in the workplace. There’s no shortage of surveys that say essentially the same thing: that women don’t negotiate for a better salary as often as men do, that they’re uncomfortable with or fearful of negotiating, or that they don’t even see it as an option.

But a lot less attention has been allocated to fixing this issue. JPMorgan Chase & Co., for one, is encouraging its female executives to ask for more through targeted training. The banking institution has enlisted the likes of coaching expert Natalie Reynolds, CEO and founder of AdvantageSPRING, a company that coaches corporations on the art of the deal, and author of the negotiation manual We Have a Deal. Reynolds notes that some of the world’s best negotiators are pint-size. Whether they’re arguing to skip nap time or play just a few more minutes of a favorite video game, kids have got their negotiating skills down. “Kids are result-focused, and will do whatever it takes to get the desired result,” Reynolds says.

For women, this willingness to enter an open negotiation tapers as they enter adulthood. Reynolds has found that in their professional lives, women often avoid negotiating because they find it uncomfortable and they worry about how they might be perceived. Interestingly, the skill hasn’t disappeared, because “we consistently prove we have no qualms if negotiating on someone else’s behalf,” Reynolds says.

As some of the female executives at JPMorgan Chase & Co. have discovered, research is the best plan of attack when trying to get to yes. The company’s chief control officer, Lori Pape, for one, recalled a time when she was managing a growing group of employees and felt her title and compensation should catch up to her responsibilities. She gathered facts, presented a case to her manager and was successful in getting the recognition she deserved.

Beyond the research, maintaining a regular, open dialogue and understanding the position of the other party also helps with meeting somewhere in the middle, says Jocelyn Shields, a vice president in JPMorgan Chase’s corporate regulatory affairs. Negotiating, especially at work, she notes, is usually not a one-time affair.

Of course, not every negotiation will end positively, and Reynolds advises not to be discouraged by “no.” She advocates that women ask — after all, she points out, “what’s the worst that can happen?” If someone declines, look at it as an opportunity. “Start a different negotiation; suggest something else,” she says. “Think about alternatives and look for another way.”

Reynolds has created a five-pronged method — DEALS — that serves as a game plan when going into any negotiation. The steps include:

D = Discover

Know everything you can about the deal, including what your motivations, and theirs, are.

E = Establish

Figure out a number of things before beginning negotiations, including your priorities, boundaries and breakpoints.

A = Ask

Try to go first to avoid being overly influenced by an employer’s first proposal.

L = Lead

Stay in control. Be the driver and be sure to present your case in a calm and influential way.

S = Seal

Seal the deal, and make sure the other party feels partly satisfied.