Negotiation doesn’t have to be a battle, but an exchange that advances careers and builds relationships. For women, this perspective can tap into expectations others have of “female” strengths, as well as some competencies many already use. Darden Professor Allison Elias suggests that rethinking negotiation as relationship-building and collaborative problem-solving can be empowering and lead to better results for all parties.

If you see negotiation as something you can use to forge better relationships — relationships that you can then leverage to secure optimal outcomes for yourself — you see that there’s strength in the more communal way that women typically think about doing business.

- Allison Elias, Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Elias shares five tips and techniques to adjust your approach to negotiation:

  • Shift from win-lose to win-win – reframe what negotiation means to you
  • Negotiation is a skill, not a gift – seek out and practice opportunities to negotiate and build your competency
  • Craft the message – pair your own strengths and needs with the more communal concern about the needs of other parties
  • “Shape” the conversation – make proposals that reach beyond the immediate need of the negotiation, articulating the benefits to all
  • Perform due diligence – come armed with information and advocates

Read the full article on Ideas to Action.

This article is excerpted from Executive Education & Lifelong Learning’s Women in Leadership: Faculty Insights whitepaper. Download the full whitepaper to read additional perspectives on positive deviance, decision-making, building influence, and more from Darden’s world-renowned faculty experts.