Ask For It

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 1/27/2009
  • Publisher: Bantam

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From the authors ofWomen Don't Ask,the groundbreaking book that revealed just how much women lose when they avoid negotiation,here is the action plan that women all over the country requesteda guide to negotiating anything effectively using strategies that feel comfortable to you as a woman. Whether it's a raise, that overdue promotion, an exciting new assignment, or even extra help around the house, this four-phase program, backed by years of research and practical success, will show you how to recognize how muchmoreyou really deserve, maximize your bargaining power, develop the best strategy for your situation, and manage the reactions and emotions that may ariseon both sides. Guided step-by-step, you'll learn how to draw on your special strengths to reach agreements that benefit everyone involved. This collaborative, problem-solving approach will propel you to new places both professionally and personallyand open doors you thought were closed.

Author Biography

Linda Babcock is a James M. Walton Professor of Economics at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, The Unicersity of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and the California Institute of Technology. A specialist in negotiation and dispute resolution, her research has appeared in the most prestigious economics, inductrial relations, and law journals.

Sara Laschever's work has been published by the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and Vogue, among other publications. She was also the principal interviewer for Project Access, a landmark Harvard University srudy on women in science careers funded by the National Science Foundation. She lives in Concord, Mass.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Why You Need to Askp. 1
Everything Is Negotiable
What Do You Really Want?p. 19
Run Your Own Lifep. 38
Fairness-You Be the Judgep. 57
Lay the Groundword
Negotiation 101: Basic Conceptsp. 75
How Much Are You Worth?p. 88
What Do You Know About the Other Side?p. 103
Boost Your Bargaining Powerp. 122
Get Ready
Aim Highp. 145
The Power of Cooperative Bargainingp. 163
Refine Your Strategyp. 188
Negotiation Gym: Work Up a Sweatp. 217
Put It All Together
Dress Rehearsalp. 235
The Likability Factorp. 251
The Closerp. 267
Conclusion: If You Never Hear No, You're Not Asking Enoughp. 284
Negotiation Prep Worksheetp. 287
PROGRESS: Teaching Girls to Negotiatep. 301
Notesp. 303
Acknowledgmentsp. 315
Indexp. 317
About the Authorsp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter One

Why you need to ask

IF YOU'RE A WOMAN, you probably have a voice inside your head that whispers:

"Are you sure you're as good as you think you are?"

Or maybe it says:

"Why can't you be happy with what you've got? Don't you have enough already?"

Or perhaps, even though you're very successful, you hear that voice warning:

"Watch out. Don't get pushy. . . ."

This voice probably talks the loudest when you're thinking about asking for something you want—a raise, a better title, more power or responsibility, or even more help around the house. And the odds are, you listen to this voice. You may think it's the voice of experience, or maybe your common sense preventing you from doing something rash. Or perhaps you think you should be grateful for what you've got—you should feel lucky—and not screw things up by reaching for more.

We've written this book to help you talk back to that voice. Because that voice is not the voice of experience and it's not your common sense. It's not even your voice. It's the voice of a society that hasn't progressed nearly as far as we'd like to think, a society that's still trying to tell women how they should and shouldn't behave. It's a voice whose message is conveyed, often unwittingly, by our parents, teachers, colleagues, and friends—and then repeated and amplified by the media and popular culture.

If you have that voice in your head, whoever's voice it is, that voice is holding you back. It's slowing you down, it's damaging your self-esteem, and it's costing you money. By telling you not to ask for the things you want, that voice is cutting you off from dozens—maybe hundreds—of opportunities to improve your life and increase your happiness. It's also preventing you from learning how to negotiate for what you need with skill and confidence. It's preventing you from discovering the ways in which negotiating effectively can be an extraordinary tool for transforming your life.

Women don't ask

We know that this is true—that women don't ask for what they want and need, and suffer severe consequences as a result—because we've spent years studying the phenomenon. In the mid-1990s, Linda was serving as the director of the Ph.D. program at the Heinz School, the graduate school of public policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University, where she teaches. One day a group of female graduate students came to her office. "Why are most of the male students in the program teaching their own courses this fall," the women asked, "while all the female graduate students have been assigned to act as teaching assistants to regular faculty?" Not knowing the answer, Linda took the students' question to the associate dean in charge of making teaching assignments, who happened to be her husband. His reply was straightforward. "I'll try to find teaching opportunities for any student who approaches me with a good idea for a course, the ability to teach, and a reasonable offer about what it will cost," he said. "More men ask. The women just don't ask."

Could he be right? Linda recalled other situations in which a female student had protested because a male student had enjoyed some form of special treatment. One woman told Linda that she assumed she couldn't march in June graduation ceremonies the year she completed her dissertation because she wasn't scheduled to get her degree until August. She asked why Linda had allowed two men to march who also didn't finish until the end of the summer. Another woman asked why Linda had found funding for a male student to attend an important public policy conference and hadn't provided the same opportunity to her. A third woman observed a male student using department facilities to print up business stationery for himself and said she thought it was

Excerpted from Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want by Linda Babcock, Sara Laschever
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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