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Showing 1-10 of 57 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 71 reviews
on July 25, 2013
The male of our species seems to spring from the womb ready to negotiate everything. This tendency not only increases the wage and pension gap between men and women by the end of life, but it also adds to men's sense of empowerment and control in their world. Women don't ask, and as a direct result they get less. Exponentially less.

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.
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on December 28, 2015
I bought this for my wife while she was preparing to go to her boss and ask for a promotion. She's pretty headstrong and didn't really think she needed this book. We all know women make less money than men, yada yada yada.

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.
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on October 16, 2011
This book is an excellent read, with helpful tips illustrated by lots of stories and studies. It is aimed primarily at women, but any person who wants to learn to negotiate better, in work or other parts of life, could benefit from it. It's especially good for people who don't know how to negotiate, or who think they shouldn't/don't need to ask for things. I love the section where the authors provide concrete exercises to help the reader go from non-negotiator to someone who is confident and practiced at asking for (and getting) things.

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.
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on January 20, 2017
Great book!!! However, thus was sold as new and is clearly used.
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on October 28, 2009
My wife loves this book! It helped her clear out her head, set her priorities and get a new, better job!
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on May 31, 2008
After "Women Don't Ask," we knew that, as women, we are trained to fear and avoid negotiation - and that the personal cost of that training runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime (not to mention deep unhappiness and the waste of human potential). But everyone who read "Women Don't Ask" came back with the same question: How do I learn to negotiate?

"Ask for It" is the practical answer to that question. The authors give step-by-step instructions on how to learn to ask for (and get) what you want. The first step is to figure out what it is you want in life, above and beyond what you think you will be allowed to have. It's a surprisingly hard task when you've been trained to think about and fill other people's wants - try it! The program progresses by baby steps from there, negotiating for very minor unimportant things up to asking for things you are sure you can't get. As you progress, you'll learn by experience that you can get more than you think, and that people generally react much more positively to asking than you expect. Asking works, asking is safe, asking will make your life better.

One of the things I loved about "Women Don't Ask" was the inclusion of many studies conducted by social scientists on women and negotiation. "Ask for It" continues this trend, but also adds many personal stories about women negotiating. The stories aren't intended as scientific evidence but as examples and role models to help illustrate the authors' points. I found the concrete examples to be very helpful in showing just how much you can ask for and get. Some of the solutions are truly creative - I never imagined that an employer would be so flexible!

Finally, Babcock and Laschever managed to achieve the nearly impossible: They explain how to work around societal prejudices against women - while at the same time continuously asserting that these prejudices are unfair and should be changed. In particular, their advice on being "relentlessly pleasant" - the only way for women to ask for what they want without triggering anger and punishment - strikes this balance beautifully.
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on October 7, 2015
The book was listed as "new" but I don't think it was since it had a strong stale cigarette/fabreeze smell.
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on February 6, 2014
I have purchased this book four times already and have lent or given it to women who are struggling with something. So far I've given it to help with career, family, school and relationship. I'm about to buy it again for a 20 something who is having trouble getting support from her boyfriend with their baby. Gave it to another friend with money spread out in it as bookmarks and reading goals. I asked her if she really liked it and she said the following: want to read it again and have all my girls read it, helps her think about her thought process and thoughts about society that she overlooked, learned to be more confident in her abilities and ask for things she wants, be more vocal about things she deserves, she's asked for and gotten a raise and more responsibilities to increase her experience to get a promotion. It's honestly one the most thoughtful gifts I've ever gotten, and that's not just b/c there was money in it :)
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on August 19, 2012
I recommend reading this book with a caveat: if you are someone who is new to negotiation or who doesn't negotiate as an everyday strategy in life and career, there are some valuable insights to be gained from this book. This book is titled to pull in women but could be useful for both genders. However, if you're an old hand at these skills, you may find this book overly chatty, and the techniques described within redundant.
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on February 7, 2012
Although a lot of the information in this book is perhaps common sense, there is a lot that is surprising. The ideas that women consistently underestimate their worth and do not ask for what they want are presented in pseudo-social science fashion without much hard research. But that's OK. The voice of the book is informal--two women writing together to other women. They provide lots of mini case studies to help the reader see in practical terms the ways that women have hurt and have helped themselves in the negotiation process. The examples range from custodial workers to doctors to high-powered execs.

I was looking for more specifics about negotiation in higher education, but I did find some tips that should help in my situation. The book certainly made me think and reflect. I probably will not do the role-playing exercises or take the multi-week challenge, but the principles communicated in the book should help me in my next career move. It was certainly worth the money and the time, especially if it eventually helps me save a boatload of money and time in my career choices.
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