The Stories We Tell Ourselves #4 Negotiating For Myself – I am just not good at it

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Continuing our series about what holds us women back from negotiating for all the things we need, want and deserve (including salary), let’s look at one particularly demotivating thing women tell themselves and me when discussing this subject: “I am really just not good at it!”

“Duh, I then think, “Of course you are not.” 

And I mean this in the most loving, understanding way. Of course you are not good at it: negotiating effectively is a skill you gain through practice, and as women we’re missing out on decades of practice. 

Like other women, you spent your youth growing up being the good girl, compliant and thinking about others first – as is expected of you. Meanwhile, our brothers and male friends were learning to stand up and raise their voices, take risks and behave generally assertively in their communication with others. 

Sure, this is a generalisation, but the research shows (and this is confirmed by every woman I speak to) that standing up for yourself and making yourself heard is really not a trait that is encouraged in girls. 

As a result, we grow up gaining precious little experience in negotiating for ourselves. So when we hit the workforce and realise this is an essential skill there (and at home too!), we either don’t bother trying because we’re too scared (remember 93% of women do not negotiate their salary offers!), or we botch it up because this is the first time we have to do it, discouraging us even more.

So yes, of course you’re not good at negotiation, sister. 

However, on the bright side: exactly BECAUSE negotiating is not some innate skill you’re either born with or not, you can learn it. It’s not rocket science (whatever the experts or that niggly voice in your head may make you believe). It just takes a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and knowing what strategies work, and which don’t. And you need practice – lots of it. 

And then negotiation success is inevitable. It really is. You CAN create a better life for yourself and your family, if you’re willing to do the above. 

If you are committed to learning this essential life skill, and you are willing to do the work, do get in touch to see if my Women In Negotiation online group coaching program can help you achieve your dreams.

Wies Bratby.

Negotiation Coach, former top Lawyer and HR Director, and unapologetic advocate for women in my tribe getting what they want and what they are worth.

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