The Negotiator Magazine

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Indeed, it was much more likely that the decision not to negotiate resulted in disappointing results. Why didnít the women in the sample negotiate? Many reported that the problem was theirs--they found it difficult to negotiate for themselves; they undervalued themselves and their worth; they felt they lacked skills and experience.

"I try to avoid conflict and accept what is offered."

"Overall, Iím pretty accommodating when it comes to salary."

"They left it up to me and I low-balled myself because I didnít want them to laugh at me."

"I have never negotiated because I lack the skills and confidence."

Negotiators get in their own way when they undervalue themselves and accommodate to what is offered. But perhaps even more troubling is the pervasive assumption that negotiation is not possible in many situations. This may because salaries are tied to particular credentials -- "I work for a place where you only get a raise according to your education; performance or how hard you work doesnít matter." Others claimed that they couldnít negotiate because of the fixed compensation system in their firms -- "Unfortunately, the company I am in has a band system which means they can only give you a certain percentage each review period, unless you move into another division or job responsibility."

All too often, people accept these constraints without testing them. To the chagrin of some, they learned later that negotiation was a possibility.

"The company told me that they could not pay any more than what was offered. Later on, I found out that the person who came in after me in a similar capacity and with similar experience was given more than I was offered."

"Just because companies have a grid for salary consideration, they will still negotiate."

"As a government employee, I donít feel negotiating is an option. However, Iíve recently heard of some situations when this has happened."

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