LISTEN: How to negotiate like a woman

Advice from leadership and negotiation expert Leanne Meyer on how to know what you want and how to get it

Published July 19, 2017 5:00PM (EDT)

Leanne Meyer (Courtesy of the Tepper School of Business)
Leanne Meyer (Courtesy of the Tepper School of Business)

According to Leanne Meyer, most women would rather have a root canal than negotiate for themselves. Yet when men are negotiating, they tend to ask for a full thirty percent more than women do. Meyer is Program Director at the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women, which helps women develop critical leadership skills on all aspects of workplace success. Meyer has spent much of her career coaching women on how to both fit into their work culture and to rise up through it.

In this episode of "Inflection Point," Meyer tells me, “the biggest trick is how do we teach women at any stage to keep knowing what they want and asking for that.” Her work focuses on two main components that inhibit women’s progress in the workplace: the environments at work and school, and the habits of women themselves.


Some of her suggestions for successful negotiation include being "relentlessly pleasant," and passing the "giggle test." While she acknowledges that what the research shows and what her suggestions include may not line up with a typically feminist view of the world, she says her approach works.

Meyer and I also talk about combatting and leveraging the stereotypes and biases that hold women back and how to change systems and structures that inhibit women’s progress. Embrace your gender ladies — the era of "acting like a man" is behind us.

By Lauren Schiller

Lauren Schiller is the creator and host of Inflection Point, a podcast and public radio show from KALW and PRX featuring stories of how women rise up. For more rising up stories, follow Lauren on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to the podcast on Android or Apple.

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