Each time people bargain over issues -- a promotion, a contract with a new client, a bigger role in decision-making -- a parallel negotiation unfolds beneath the surface of the "formal" discussion. Bargainers constantly maneuver to determine whose interests and needs will hold sway, whose opinions will matter, and how cooperative each person will be in reaching an agreement.
How the issues are resolved hangs on the actions people take in the shadow negotiation, yet it is in this shadow negotiation that women most often run into trouble. The most productive negotiations take place when strong advocates can connect with each other. Good results depend equally on a bargainer's positioning her ideas for a fair hearing and on being open to the other side's point of view. But traditionally women have not fared well on either front. Often, they let negotiable moments slip by and take the first "no" as a final answer, or their efforts to be responsive to the other side's position are interpreted as accommodation. As a result, women can come away from negotiations with fewer dollars, perks, plum assignments, or less say in decision-making than men.
To negotiate effectively, women must pay attention to acts of self-sabotage as well as to the moves others make in the shadow negotiation. By bargaining more strategically, women can establish the terms of their advocacy, their voice, and at the same time encourage the open communication essential to a collaborative discussion in which not only acceptable, but creative, agreements can be worked out.
Written by Deborah M. Kolb and Judith Williams, two authorities in the field, The Shadow Negotiation shows women a whole new way to think about the negotiation process. Kolb and Williams identify the common stumbling blocks that women encounter and present a game plan for turning their particular strengths to their advantage. Based on extensive interviews with hundreds of business-women, The Shadow Negotiation provides women with a clear, insightful guide to the hidden machinations that are at work in every bargaining situation.