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The Good Girl's Guide to Negotiating: How to Get What You Want at the Bargaining Table Hardcover – March 5, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Whitaker, a reporter at Time and ghostwriter of The Beardstown Ladies' Commonsense Investment Guide, and Austin, a contributing editor at Self, know from firsthand experience that many women don't negotiate effectively. Whitaker says she never considered requesting more than a flat fee for her work on the Beardstown book, but later rethought her position when the book became a bestseller, reaping countless profits for the packager. Whether accepting a new job, closing a real estate deal or considering volunteer projects, women should not fall into common traps of giving up too easily, acting overly nice or selling themselves short, Whitaker and Austin urge. Writing in an upbeat style, the authors provide lots of morale-boosting examples of women who have managed to conquer their weaknesses and adopt winning negotiating strategies, along with studies demonstrating the differences between how men and women negotiate. Careful preparation, listening to the other party and patience are key negotiating strengths common among women, they say. They also offer many standard tips for specific situations, such as negotiating on the phone, advising women who need time to think out their negotiating strategy to simply say it's not a good time to talk and to call back when they're ready. (Mar. 6) Forecast: The message that women can be good girls but not end up as doormats may hit home for many readers, especially if the authors make their case on national television as planned. Still, given the competition, and the familiarity of much of the advice, the book's success is likely to be modest.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Journalists Whitaker and Austin, once victims themselves, now set the scene for win-win negotiations, and they impart their advice with a chuckle. Three powerful and natural female instincts, they say, can be deployed to best effect when negotiating: empathizing with the other side, listening to your opponent, and interpreting nonverbal cues. Plus, specific remedies are gladly given for such commonly negative negotiation events as car purchases, prenuptial agreements, and salary talks; and they even offer pointers on how not to cry (looking up at the ceiling is their major advice on that score). Start with baby-sitter bargaining--and graduate to practicing unlocking deadlocks. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is more successful in listing personality traits of a "good girl" rather than giving effective strategies that are sure to lead to bargain table success. There are some negotiating tactics, but they aren't anything new (listen, know how to say no, get things in writing, shop around, think before you sign, etc). Once I finished the book, I knew what made me a "good girl," I knew there were a lot of women like me, and I knew in what situations "good girls" failed, but I still didn't have an applicable strategy for remedying these issues.
For instance, the authors recommend researching your expected salary before negotiating your next job contract. This isn't new advice, and I still didn't know where to turn for this information -- coworkers, online, library? There are a few cases where the authors give resources -- but they are ones I am already familiar with or are too obscure to be useful (what numbers to call when barganing for a casket, find out what your car is worth with the kelly blue book).
And be forewarned, the entire book consists of hundreds and hundreds of anecdotes. It is the reader's responsibility to figure out how to apply other women's successes and pitfalls to herself. While sometimes entertaining, this approach is not going to transform a "good girl" into a negotiating shark.
There are few good points in this book but most of it is just common good sense.
This book identifies the intrinsic skills that women--who were raised to be ladies--possess, and then illustrates how to employ these talents in a myriad of situations which require negotiating finesse. The authors provide entertaining and insightful vignettes that highlight the principles of smart negotiations.
I've used the guidelines the authors offer to negotiate a five figure business contract, as well as to bargain for antique Hollohaza porcelain in Budapest.
This book is the perfect gift for any woman who wore white gloves on Sunday to visit the great aunts and uncles, who danced at chaperoned cotillions and who learned to say "No" only to frisky dates. It tops my December holiday list for my dear friends, who will be delighted to learn how to use all the qualities that have made them ladies to negotiate for anything with aplomb.
Perhaps because both women are trained journalists, this book has substance and solid information for application on a variety of fronts, from home to work, volunteer office and even to the funeral parlor. I recommend this book as a graduation gift to any young woman from high school, college or graduate school. It's also perfect as an engagement gift, birthday, guide to someone newly divorced or someone swtiching careers or life paths. This is advice all women can heed, from how to approach a deal to how to feel confident about fees.
So many business books I have read over the years-- particuarly those aimed at women-- appear to be condescending or just plain foolish. They state the obvious in metaphors that may attempt to be mythical but come off as cartoonish. Not so with this welcome book. It is a proud addition to my bookshelf and I suggest the good old boys get a good look at it too.
Way to go, girls, you did good.