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Women Negotiation Skills



Finding HappineLeadership by Design: Leadershipss at Work


Akindotun Merino

Negotiation is an essential phenomenon for success in business and many affairs of life. It is a process by which people settle their differences while avoiding conflicts. A good negotiation is focused on seeking mutual benefits and maintaining a healthy relationship between two parties. Individuals good at this skill can settle deals at best arrangements, leading to the advancement of an organization. Improved professional relationships, long-term competitive advantage, and effectively managed conflicts are all advantages of successful negotiations. Negotiation is an essential facet of professional life. There comes ample of stages when one has to negotiate with others for approval of any proposal or due to the difference of opinion in some matter. Individuals weak at negotiation undoubtedly remain at a disadvantage as they cannot ask for what they want and cannot deny other’s opinion even if they don’t like it. Some people are blessed with innate ability to perform well at negotiation. They prove to be successful at negotiating and get their capabilities credited no matter how challenging the situation becomes. However, this may not be the case for everyone and especially for women.

The act of professional negotiation is critical for women as compared to men. For women, it represents them as greedy or desperate. It is also considered complicated by many women, who often hesitate in asking for their worth in the workplace. On the other hand, men are quite confident at negotiating agreements, partnerships, business deals, and more. They are encouraged for their negotiating skills inside and outside the workplace. Although workplace diversity is progressing all around the world, still women are considered to be less competitive than men in every aspect. When women step in the professional world, stereotype beliefs become a significant hurdle for them. Majority of people assume that men are highly competitive, win-lose negotiators, manipulative, and good leaders.  They are seen as essential assets to the organization who put successful results as priority. They prove not only beneficial for the organization but also remain successful in building a firm base for their interests. They not only ask privileges according to their achievements but also make superior realize their importance. A widely held assumption about women is that they are more accommodating. They try to preserve existing relationship by compromising and seeking win-win outcome while negotiating. This attitude does not only affect the company’s interest but also has a direct bearing on women’s pay scale and value at the workplace. On average, women make just 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the gap widens for minorities. Many accomplished women who are even more proficient than their male cohorts are found to be earning far less. The reason is that they are not asking for their worth. They prefer to remain at low levels than to confront their superiors and argue for their deserving place. They perform poor at negotiation because they are more sensitive. They try their best to avoid arguments as it might displease their colleagues and they will think wrong of them. Women are already struggling at workplaces so they don’t commit such steps that can further aggravate any difficulty for them. This phenomenon is leaving women behind in the race.

Negotiation is a highly marketable skill, which is considered as a critical leadership strategy. It becomes more crucial when you are in the leader’s seat as you have to deal with hundreds of employees, business partners, and competitors. Women can quickly develop an effective leadership style, but what they do struggle with is claiming the authority to lead. Women leaders have greater negotiating challenges than regular women. Many researchers and economic leaders all around the world believe that negotiation, in any context, is something women leaders don’t learn enough.

When it comes to negotiation skills, men are more rational and logical, while women are more emotional and intuitive. Men emphasize objectives by remaining dominant and authoritative. They utilize direct language and even use highly intensive language to persuade others. They tend to prolong the talk or confidently interrupt other parties if they feel it necessary.  Women remain passive and submissive most of the time. They focus more on maintaining relationships than on acquiring objectives. They generally stay on the back foot in settling deals with other parties. They use tentative speech patterns and talk carefully during personal interactions, which is perceived as less forceful. There is a constant thought revolving in women’s mind about how others are judging them and what do they feel about them. It interrupts the negotiation process and they get distracted from the real objectives. A negotiation is an act in which they are supposed to interact confidently and counter all arguments to get their proposal accepted. But they get depressed due to such sort of thoughts. It is quite natural because of the male dominant workplace environment. Women constantly undermine themselves with the feelings of others and how they are going to be perceived. Men work efficiently in performance-oriented situations. They remain confident even if they are not prepared and somehow improvise some solution in such scenarios.  On the other hand, women feel under-confident, even if they are thoroughly prepared.  It’s not that women are less qualified, but the fault lies in the fact that they continue to express doubts about their capabilities. It dramatically affects their performance and has a direct bearing on their pay scale.

READ ALSO; Dealing With Procrastination

In the workplace and business domain, negotiation is necessary for closing the pay and value gap. Women are not encouraged for effective negotiation to overcome these gaps. As a result, they settle for lower compensation agreements and initial salaries. Numerous resources and capabilities of many women will remain under-utilized if the stigma of asking is not eliminated. Women need to be encouraged and supported to propose as per their value to close the gender gap. As the age increases pay gap also increases, and it becomes difficult to reduce it while women keep struggling for leadership equality in senior age. In their book, Women Don’t Ask (2003), Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever remark, “While 57 percent of male Carnegie Mellon graduate business students negotiate their starting salaries, only 7 percent of women do so – resulting in male starting salaries 7.6 percent higher than those attained by women”. A lot of women have a habit of failing to ask for what they need, want, and deserve. It leads them to all kinds of unhappiness. They miss a lot of money, privileges, and opportunities which they deserve. Each woman must confront their superiors and argue logically for their raise or promotion. Otherwise, nothing is going to happen for them itself. Not asking for what they deserve is holding them back from reaching full potential and happiest self. The most common factor is that women are less likely to advocate for themselves. They are unable to represent and defend their needs and what they deserve. However, systemic issues and other external factors also play a significant part in the wage gap. Companies also discourage women who attempt to negotiate for a better salary while remaining comfortable with males who tried to demand a higher pay.

In our present society, boys and girls go through a different cultural process which can be a reason for gender-based competitive differences. Parents put their sons in more competitive situations and remain protective of their daughters from an early age. Boys are encouraged to take part in competitive athletic activities like baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and others. That’s how boys get introduced to the thrill of victory and the distress of defeat from the very start while girls remain confined to regular games like jump rope and hopscotch where competition is indirect.

One primary reason for low pay scales and negotiation challenges faced by women leaders is agreeableness. Psychology says that if you’re struggling to say “no” at work and have a constant need to please others, you might be putting your success at stake. Agreeableness also plays a significant role in weakening the negotiating skills of women. It can be observed that women are more agreeable than most of the men. Such women are usually more warm, selfless, friendly, and generous. They ‘don’t realize the cleverness of others and always have a positive approach. They believe that people are generally honest, decent, and trustworthy. Moreover, agreeable women remain over conscious of what other people think and always try to please them. It covers their self-esteem and neglects their own needs for meeting other ‘people’s needs.  Agreeableness causes silent harms to women. They seem warm, welcoming, and great for office morale on the surface. But in reality, they lead office towards inefficiency and decrease their credibility. They also avoid conflict and settle at compromises. ‘It’s a problem many women are facing today. They are not complaining about rude behavior, low salaries, and over workload at offices. Many CEOs or managers are unable to run offices according to them. They ‘don’t want to displease their employees and be judged as bossy or rude for implementing new policies. They often leave the decision-making to colleagues as they can’t reject them in any way. This all results in poor leadership and inefficiency. On average, such women have lower income and professional status than “disagreeable” people.

Being too agreeable can create great trouble for women leaders due to their key role in an organization. Being a leader, one has to make hard decisions and implement strict discipline for better running of the system. Agreeableness can get in their way and can lead them to fail at leadership. In reality, individuals high in agreeableness are often likely to be taken advantage of. They need to realize their weakness and work on it smartly. In situations where it seems problematic, the following steps can help agreeable women to protect themselves:-

  • Be aware of this trait and learn to turn down someone’s request when it’s necessary.
  • Don’t indulge in conflicts but also don’t let others take advantage of this fact. Use your authority to control suitably.
  • Set your priorities and boundaries for assisting others.

Moreover, experts have advised several approaches to help women overcome agreeableness and learn excellent negotiation skills. Because the gender pay and value gap is real. Instead of waiting for the world to bring revolution, each woman must turn the tables for herself and bring equality in the workplace. Following are a few techniques that can be adapted to be good at negotiation and confident working women:-

  1. Preparation before a Meeting

Proper preparation before entering bargaining is an aid to a good negotiator. It may include focused objectives, targeted goals, areas for trade, and alternatives to the stated targets. Also, a study of the brief history of negotiations between two parties should always be done. It can help determine previous agreements and common goals. Past outcomes can set the tone for current negotiations.

  1. Always know your unique value proposition (UVP) 

Sometimes, only working hard and achieving business targets are not enough. You have to make people around you realize your capabilities and effort you have put in the workplace. Your UVP defines your value to the organization with and without you. Remind them that you are not just an ordinary employee but also a valuable asset and a potential leader to the organization. Highlight your accomplishments, replacement value, experience, and qualifications.

  1. Remain receptive to feedback

Getting feedbacks can help women leaders improve their negotiation skills and solve company related problems. Criticism has several valuable benefits. It can help leaders asses the opinion and needs of their under commands. After critical analysis of the received feedback, leaders can improve their skills, work products, relationships, and meet expected results. It is also encouraged to ask questions to get to the root cause of the problem raised and find out possible solutions to fix them.

  1. Present multiple equivalent offers simultaneously (MESOs)

Don’t just restrict to only one offer but present multiple offers keeping your main objective intact in them. If other party rejects all the offer, ask them their opinion and requirements. Analyze smartly and come up with some deal which matches your shared goals and pleases the opposite group. This strategy reduces the chances of failure and promotes creative solutions.

READ ALSO: Ogun Signs Over $300m Agreements For Three Projects

  1. Negotiate the process

Don’t present yourself on the low ground when it comes to negotiating. Carefully set essential details, including place/time of the meet, what your agenda will be, and who will present it. Don’t just agree with others without discussing your plans. Offering your demands clearly help promote focused talk.


  1. Keep Emotions Controlled

A good negotiator does not let his/her emotions come in between the negotiation process. It is important to note that your feelings should be in your control throughout the process. Negotiations can be frustrating and let emotion control your thinking, which can lead to unfavorable results. One should accept the fact that negotiations do not always give the desired outcome. But it doesn’t mean that one should lose his emotions over it and take steps which can put him in a worse position. Compromising and sacrificing their interest can also prove to be beneficial in some situations.

  1. Active Listening

Actively listening to the opposite party during the negotiation process is very important. A good negotiator deeply observes body languages and verbal communications to assess other’s intentions. It helps find areas for compromise during the meeting. It saves own time and effort. Negotiator straight away presents such offers that are consisted of mutual interests and minimum differences.


Dr. Akindotun Merino is a Professor of Psychology and a Mental Health Commissioner in California.
Share your successes and challenges:

Prof. Akindotun Merino
Jars Education Group
Text: 909.681.0530 or 0705 629 0985
Instagram: @drakinmerino: Twitter: @drakindotun

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WHO Urges Global Surveillance As Over 300 Children Die



WHO Urges Global Surveillance As Over 300 Children Die

The World Health Organisation (WHO), has appealed to countries to conduct more surveillance following a reported death of over 300 children from the use of contiminated cough syrups in three countries.

The world health agency on October 5, 2022, had issued a medical product alert which focused on the Gambia regarding four Indian products, Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
The alert came following the death of over 60 children in the West African country after consuming the cough syrups.

Again in November 2022, the WHO also issued another warning focused on Indonesia concerning eight products including Termorex syrup (batch AUG22A06 only), Flurin DMP syrup, Unibebi Cough Syrup, Unibebi Demam Paracetamol Drops, Unibebi Demam Paracetamol Syrup, Paracetamol Drops (manufactured by PT Afi Farma), Paracetamol Syrup (mint) (manufactured by PT Afi Farma), and Vipcol Syrup.

READ ALSO: Why Over One Billion People May Become Deaf – WHO

In another warning contained in a statement on Wednesday, the UN agency said over the past four months, several countries had reported incidents of over-the-counter cough syrups for children, with “confirmed or suspected contamination with high levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.”

“Last year, WHO raised the alarm by issuing medical alerts in October focused on the Gambia, in November about Indonesia, and earlier this month regarding Uzbekistan.

“The cases in these three countries are associated with more than 300 deaths, but we know that at least seven countries have been affected. Most of the deaths have been in children under the age of five.

“WHO’s medical product alerts were rapidly disseminated to the national health authorities of all 194 WHO member states,” the warning said.


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How Long Fasting Harms Kidneys – NAFDAC DG



How Long Fasting Harms Kidneys - NAFDAC DG

Nigerians who subject themselves to long-hour fasting are doing so much harm to their kidneys.

The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the warning on Monday.

Prof. Adeyeye, who attributed the high rate of kidney problems in Nigeria to prolonged fasting by some religious adherents, insisted that those subjecting themselves to prolonged fasting on religious grounds must moderate the act.

READ ALSO: NAFDAC Warns Of Fake Augmentin In Circulation

She spoke in Abuja yesterday, while briefing the media on the breakthrough by her agency in tracking consignments of Tramadol and other pharmaceuticals to the Republic of Benin.

On the high rate of kidney problems in the country, she said  “Kidney failure, we are a very religious country- Muslims and Christians fast a lot and it is part of the kidney problem.

“Your body has to have homeomistatic balance, meaning that the water level in your body must be enough to make your organs to function.

READ ALSO: Govt Speaks On Alleged Fatal Flu From China

“Some people will fast for 10 or 20 days and drink only little water, the kidney is being punished. Now, if you put chemicals in it, it triples in exponential manner, it damages the kidney because the kidney doesn’t have water to dilute and filter.”

Adeyeye, who tasked Nigerians to fast but with common sense, added:  “I fast but with common sense. We have to fast with common sense, otherwise we will pay with our kidneys.”


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Govt Speaks On Alleged Fatal Flu From China



Govt Speaks On Alleged Fatal Flu From China

The Federal Government has made clarifications on reports of a fatal flu that broke out in China and that has spread to Nigeria.

The government through the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the World Health Organisation and other world health bodies had not informed Nigeria of any deadly flu from China.

He said this on Monday in Abuja, during a ministerial bi-weekly meeting on the update of COVID-19 response and development in the country’s health sector.

According to him, when there is an outbreak of any flu or disease anywhere in the world, WHO will announce it to the world and send an advisory on how it can be handled, but there is no such alert in the case of the strange flu.

“So the Ministry of Health finds the message going round in social media, odd and strange.

“By default, when there is an outbreak of any flu or disease anywhere we will hear it first from WHO and WHO has not said anything about it, we will also hear from the US Centre for Disease Control, but there’s nothing like that also from there and we have not even read anything from the Chinese people.

“Usually, their embassy will send somebody to come and inform us if there is anything. So I begin to wonder about the authenticity of that paper going around the place because up till today no confirmation of anything like that,” he said.

The minister also said that foreign media outlets were also silent about the flu from China, an indication that the news making the rounds was a fabrication.

He, however, said that the Federal Government was on the lookout for anything suspicious.

READ ALSO: China Opens Overseas Police Service Stations In Nigeria, Others

“This is a season where people generate stories, throw them into the media and everybody starts panicking, whilst those who generated such stories are laughing at the chaos that they have created.

“So we are watching the situation, everything we hear we take seriously, but I want to assure you again that any outbreak of such a character, first of all, is announced by WHO, they will then send us advisory and information about it.

“The US CDC, the equivalent of CDC in the UK, in Europe, they have not said anything. So reports of that nature I also want you to take with a big pinch of salt,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there have been trending reports that amid the resurgence of COVID-19 in China, there has been an outbreak of an unknown deadly flu in China, which has led to the death of residents, including three Nigerians.

According to the reports, though the initial clinical analysis ruled out COVID-19, the symptoms of the fatal flu include dry throat, fever and difficulty in breathing.


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