The Negotiator Magazine

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"A good way to break a deadlock over salary is to agree to the salary below what I would like but with the following contingency: that if my performance achieves a certain level in a specified amount of time-say three to six months--I'll be rewarded with a raise or bonus that takes me to the salary level I seek."

"The best experiences have been where the salary expectations I have had are higher, but the offer is a little lower, and we negotiate that after a period of time (example the first 90 days), I was able to gain the increase and prove beneficial to the company as well as meet my personal goals."

For contingent agreements like these to succeed the promise to revisit the salary issue must be coupled with specific criteria that trigger the reassessment -- benchmarks and timing. Several women in the survey who negotiated this kind of deferred action were disappointed when it did not materialize.

No May Be Only The Beginning. Negotiating for what you are worth comes easy to some but remains a challenge to most. The first step is to assess realistically whether negotiation is possible. That means recognizing how you get in your own way -- by devaluing yourself and/or by taking at face value the claim that negotiation is not possible. Once you get over that hurdle, you need to feel confident enough to stay in the negotiation. It takes confidence in your case to defend demands and to meet challenges to those claims. A defensible case also makes it easier to be flexible -- to see other ways of meeting your demands that might make it easier for the other person to go along with them. All these factors enable you to stay in a negotiation long enough to get what you are worth.

"While interviewing for my current position, I was asked at the beginning of the process what my salary expectations were. When it came time for the offer process, I was offered about $3,000 less than what I initially asked for. Of course I questioned why they were not considering my offer and it was agreed that they would revisit and get back to me. When they called me back, I received the same offer. I declined the position. I was called back a day later and offered what I had initially asked for. The interview/negotiation process lasted more than 3 months."

"I very calmly stated when they presented their final offer that the offer simply was not reflective of the work that I would be doing, the time away from family and friends, and what I was worth. They called me three days later and topped my salary request by an additional $10, 000."

When it comes to getting what we are worth, No may be only the beginning. Successful results in the survey often hinged on the negotiatorís ability to get past that initial No.

For the survey results and additional commentary, go to and click on Whatís New.

Deborah M. Kolb, Carol Frohlinger, and Judith Williams are partners in The Shadow Negotiation, LLC, a company that will provides negotiation courses specifically for women on the Web. Visit their website at

Deborah M. Kolb is professor of management at the Simmons College Graduate School of Management in Boston and codirector of its Center for Gender in Organization. She is a former executive director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, where she continues as codirector of the Negotiations in the Workplace Project.

Carol Frohlinger is president of Crossell, Inc., a consulting and training company focused on helping to advance women in business. Frohlinger has over 15 years' experience consulting to major corporations on performance improvement, both developing course materials and leading training initiatives. A former practicing attorney, she holds a J.D. from Fordham University.

Judith Williams has worked in publishing and investment banking. In 1990 she left the private sector to establish a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the study of organizational change and how women can promote it. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard

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