6 things savvy female negotiators do differently to the rest of us

I love people-watching. As a trainer, of course, I have ample opportunity to do so. While groups are completing roleplays or activities, it’s my job is to observe their body language patterns and communication habits. Many years of closer observation have brought my attention to a problem which creates ‘glass ceiling moments’ for female negotiators. Here’s what I’ve noticed, when women step into senior roles, body language patterns that previously helped them in negotiation begin to backfire. For example, patterns of smiling frequently often can help a woman be successful in a junior role. When she’s attempting to negotiate as a leader, however, smiling too often will reduce her credibility and be perceived as an anxious habit.

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Make your message stick

Want people to listen to you? Then you need to present a compelling message. Here are three ways to make a message take hold.

Speak their language

picPeople listen to what makes sense to them. This means you need to frame your message from their perspective. For example, there’s a big difference between the following two statements. Which would you be most likely to listen to?

  • Today I’m going to describe how the new computer program will streamline customer service processes in the business
  • Do you want a better way to close sales? The new program will help you do it!

 

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How to ‘call’ bad behaviour

Psychologists recommend ‘calling out’ passive aggressive people on their tactics. How can you do this without creating conflict?

There are four steps involved in calling out poor behaviour assertively and calmly.

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How to convince a critical audience

Mina was nervous. She was presenting a change plan to a team of auditors. She knew the change wouldn’t be popular. And she was facing a highly critical audience.

Here’s how we’d help Mina deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies to sell your ideas to resistant audiences – whether you’re presenting at a meeting, giving a formal speech or seeking to change one person’s mind.

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Ancient wisdom for modern presenters

Aristotle developed a theory of persuasive speech writing in 320 B.C. His theory is still used by master speech writers today.

You, too, can tap into Aristotle’s wisdom by using the three forms of ‘rhetoric’ he described. These were ethos, logos and pathos.

Ethos

Ethos means ‘character.’ If you’re speaking to people who value expertise, ethos is your key to success. Your ethos builds even before you walk on stage. For example, when your photo is included in promotional material, it starts to build ethos. Invest in a professional head shot if you present a lot. The way you’re introduced also impacts on your ethos. Don’t leave your introduction to chance – prepare an introductory spiel for the MC. Make sure this highlights your qualifications, achievements and current job title.

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