Many women would rather go to the dentist than ask for a raise or promotion, according to Wendy Perry.
Perry, Principal and co-founder of KATALIS, a professional consulting and business coaching firm, was the guest speaker for this month’s Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Women in Business luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the Enterprise Mill Events Center.
Perry admits she’s no master negotiator. But that certainly hasn’t stopped her from trying.
In her presentation, “More Than Words: The Art of Negotiation,” she discussed the role gender differences play in workplace negotiations. Perry said, men tend to have more confidence in asking for what they want, while women tend to avoid those conversations altogether.
“Fundamentally, men have been practicing from the beginning,” Perry said. “Women are much less likely than men to ask.”
Women are much more likely to advocate for others, especially their children, but they often struggle to do the same for themselves.
“You deserve everything you give to everyone else,” she said. “You have to become the best advocate and negotiator for yourself.”
Perry shared a personal example from graduate school. The specific program she wanted wasn’t offered, and she never asked if she could pursue that program. In contrast, another female student asked for the program she wanted, and the university accepted her request.
“Now I ask, even if the answer is no,” Perry said.
She said successful negotiation begins with believing you have a right to ask for what you want, and you deserve it. Perry has found women often negotiate based on their feelings rather than explaining the facts that justify their requests.
She shared her top 10 list for becoming a more effective negotiator, which includes preparing to negotiate, looking at the negotiation from the other person’s perspective and using questions instead of making demands.
Heather Johnson, Marketing and Business Development Director for Southpaw Roofing, was one of the women who attended the luncheon. She particularly liked Perry’s discussion of becoming your own advocate.
“We as women advocate for other people, but not for ourselves,” Johnson said. “It’s about taking that same energy and applying it for yourself.”
For more information about KATALIS, visit connectmovegrow.com or call 706-862-1208.