If I have learned anything in my 38 years, is that you have to ask for what you want.
If being a called a bitch, bossy, difficult, or it means that many people won’t like you …then it’s a price I’m willing to pay as I continue to live my life, unapologetically.
If I could go back to my teaching years and speak to the girls in my class, I’d say to them to stop overthinking every simple request, and just ask!
Today, I am encouraging you to ask without apology.
Ask despite what your inner critic is telling you. Even if you fear you’ll seem pushy, ask. Fear being laughed at? Ask anyway. Fearing rejection? Ask. Think you don’t deserve it? Ask anyway. And most importantly, ask when you feel you do!
Quoting a Huffington Post piece by Jeena Cho because I love how she explains that she writes it for us just as much as for herself. I feel the same way, too!
If as women, we hope to make the kind of meaningful impact in the world, we actually have to nail down asking and voicing exactly what we want and need.
We love it when women negotiate assertively for others –research actually shows that we aren’t bad at negotiating. We’re simply bad at negotiating for ourselves.
So what’s the answer when it comes to negotiating for ourselves? According to Hannah Riley Bowles use a “relational account” — or a “think personally, act communally” strategy.
Using a “relational account” or “I-We” strategy involves asking for what you want while showing your counterpart that you are also taking their perspective into consideration. Here’s how it works:
- First, you want to explain to your negotiating counterpart why — in their eyes — it’s legitimate for you to be negotiating (i.e., appropriate or justified under the circumstances). Sheryl Sandberg says that in her negotiations with Facebook, she told them, “Of course you realize that you’re hiring me to run your deal team so you want me to be a good negotiator.” Sandberg wanted Facebook to see her negotiating as legitimate because, if she didn’t negotiate, they should be worried about whether they’d made the right hire.
- Second, you want to signal to your negotiating counterpart that you care about organizational relationships. After pointing out that they should want her to be a good negotiator, Sheryl recounts saying, “This is the only time you and I will ever be on opposite sides of the table.” In other words, “I am clear that we’re on the same team here.”
Don’t ask where to sit, just sit down.