- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (January 27, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553384554
- ISBN-13: 978-0553384550
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want Paperback – January 27, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
According to Babcock and Laschever (Women Don't Ask), women don't ask for what they want and need in the workplace and end up suffering financially, earning less than their male counterparts who are more likely to bargain successfully for higher salaries and timely raises. To help women learn to negotiate, the authors have devised a four-phase program of strategies and exercises to determine what you want, what you're worth and how to increase your bargaining power. An appendix on teaching girls to negotiate offers hope that the next generation's women will be better prepared to ask for-and receive-what they're worth. Peppered with personal accounts of women bargaining their way to career and personal fulfillment, this book is a practical and empowering resource, invaluable to anyone, male or female, looking to gain an advantage at the negotiation table.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Nice girls don’t ask, but smart women do. Ask for It provides the tangible tools and tips you need to get your fair share of the raises, promotions, and perks you’ve earned—and deserve.”—Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich.
“Combining sophisticated strategy with down-to-earth action, Ask for It gives women a groundbreaking gift: the means to ask for what they’re worth. Women learn how to change their fear of negotiating into confidence that they’ll gain more if they ask for more—more pay, more status, more resources, more equitable treatment. Required reading for working women.”—Evelyn Murphy, President, The WAGE Project, Inc.; author of Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It
"Filled with practical tips and real-life examples, Ask for It empowers women to ask for what they want and get it. A must-read for any woman looking to make a change at home or on the job." —Lindsay Hyde, President, Strong Women, Strong Girls, Inc.
“This upbeat, realistic, and inspiring book will help you create new possibilities in every part of your life—whether you’re just starting out or already mid-career. There’s even a “negotiation gym” for building your confidence and skills before you go for the gold. Give it to your mother, your daughter, your sister, your friends!” —Miriam Nelson, Ph.D., author of Strong Women Stay Young and Strong Women, Strong Bones
“The authors have devised a four-phase program of strategies and exercises to determine what you want, what you’re worth and how to increase your bargaining power…. This book is a practical and empowering resource, invaluable to anyone, male or female, looking to gain an advantage at the negotiation table.”—Publishers Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
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Why do we fail to ask?
Because we have this little voice inside of us, clucking and frowning. According to Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, who wrote Ask for It, we need to ignore that voice because:
"The little voice inside telling you not to do it (don't rock the boat, don't get pushy, why can't you be happy with what you have?) isn't your voice. It's the voice of a society that's still trying to tell women how to behave. It's a voice whose message is conveyed, often unwittingly, by our parents, teachers, colleagues, and friends - and then repeated and amplified by the media and popular culture."
The authors present numerous examples of the unintentional, unconscious, and overwhelming bias society applies to women. Like this: Female musicians applying for a job with an orchestra were 250% more likely to be selected if they auditioned behind a screen.
I know what you're thinking. "I'm fine," you say. "I don't deny that it exists. It's just that I personally have never suffered from discrimination." However, again quoting from Ask For It:
"Social psychologist Faye Crosby calls this `the denial of personal disadvantage' in which members of a particular group recognize that other members of the group have suffered but believe that they themselves have escaped it."
This bias without malice starts early. In a study, school children were asked to perform a small task and then pay themselves what they thought they deserved. (First graders were asked to award themselves Hershey's Kisses.) Here's the heartbreaking result: In first, fourth, seventh and tenth grades, girls consistently paid themselves 30% - 78% less than boys.
It adds up - or I should say down. According to the latest US Census, women still earn less than men in every category. But there's a simple way to overcome this ingrained self-doubt, self-effacement, and self-denigration: ASK. Simply pause before you agree to anything, and ask for something to sweeten the deal. Why not? What are we afraid of? All they can say is no, and then you're where you were before the ask. However, you might be pleasantly surprised.
I bought some furniture a couple days ago. The salesman tallied up the price, ending with "and delivery is $149." I looked at him and said, "Do you have any flexibility on that?" Without hesitation he knocked it down to $100. I saved fifty bucks with seven words! Men do this all the time. Per study after study, women don't. The authors found "clear and consistent evidence that men initiate negotiations to advance their own interests about four times as often as women do."
If you're unhappy with something in your life, assume it can be changed. How many of us assume the opposite, sigh, and keep plugging? This book includes many, many practical tools for learning to ask (as well as tons of examples and anecdotes, which made it fun reading.) In Chapter 10, for example, the authors describe "cooperative" bargaining (It's also called collaborative, or interest based, or win/win bargaining). It is more effective and comfortable than the traditional stony-eyed, fist-pounding version you might envision. Also - bonus! - this strategy is more natural to women. In fact, you probably use it every day with your kids, partner, and coworkers.
Now, here are some great tips taken from the book:
*Women specialize in waiting until they can't take it anymore and then blow up. Better to "assemble documentation, showing how you've increased the value, identify the best time to approach the boss, and make your case in a calm and businesslike way."
*Doing it sooner rather than later makes a negotiation easier. "The brain imposes costs when we worry about something, and the longer we worry, the higher the cost. The sooner you ask for something you want, the better the negotiation itself will feel."
As soon as my granddaughters are old enough to understand this book, I'm going to make sure they read it. Life is too precious to go through it with a self-imposed disadvantage.
But this books goes further than just how to negotiate and techniques. It goes into the mind-set of women, detailing with case studies how and why the majority of women in America's professional work-places act and think the way they do...and the pros and cons of each trait.
The book stunned my wife, as she admitted she found herself inadvertently falling into the same behaviours and thinking patterns that can put women at a disadvantage. After reading this and taking notes, she went in with a stronger case and talking points and not only got a substantial raise, but a promotion to boot.
I took detailed notes from the book to refer to in the future. Here are a few examples of tips from the book that apply to everyone:
* Never ask if something is negotiable. It implies you're okay with it if not. Always assume yes.
* Ask for what you want when your bargaining power is high -- e.g., due to recent personal successes, or after a bunch of people leave the company and they're in a tight spot if they lose you.
* Each side can end up benefiting more by working collaboratively. Negotiation is often not zero-sum. You may think outside the original set of options to find something that meets everyone's needs better by discussing needs in detail and brainstorming. This is explored in a lot more detail in the book, and is one of the most valuable chapters.
* Whether or not to make the first offer depends on how much information you have. If you know the other side's bottom line but they don't know yours, go first. Set the anchor at a beneficial place to you. But if you have no idea what they'll pay, try to let them start the negotiation.
Here are a few examples of tips from the book aimed primarily at women -- because aggressive bargaining is often seen as positive coming from men, but negative coming from women:
* Avoid tentative language. "I'm not sure this is a good idea..." "Stop me if I'm wasting your time..." "I'm no expert, but..."
* Frame proposals and comments positively. Don't soften what you want; just frame it as a positive for both you and other side.
* Be relentlessly pleasant. Choose your words carefully, use a nonthreatening voice, and seem nice and friendly in all your actions. Express polite concern at the beginning that everyone is comfortable and has everything they need -- but don't fetch the coffee.