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  • Writer's pictureNicole Provonchee

Ask Better in Five Steps: Negotiation Skills for Women

This article is the first in a multi-part series that focuses on the skills women need to successfully negotiate almost anything. You can read the second article here.

At some point and time, you will have an opportunity to negotiate for something - a raise, a promotion, expanded (or decreased) responsibility, budget growth, increased workplace flexibility or even a better parking space.

If you are a woman, you may not be excited by the idea that you have to negotiate for anything. In a recent study cited in Harvard Business Review, researchers found that men view negotiating similar to a "ball game," while women stated negotiating was more like "going to the dentist!"

Study after study tells us that women are less likely to ask for what they need, are less successful when they do and can face very real social penalties if they negotiate or advocate for themselves in the "wrong" way.

All that said, you are smart, savvy and want to move ahead. So, there will come a time when you need to negotiate for something. Where do you start?


There are five core steps that every woman needs to walk through before negotiating anything in the workplace. Four of the steps apply to men and women, but a very important step (step #4) is crucial if a woman wants to increase her odds of success.

Quick side note: Should you be able to negotiate for what you want however you want? Sure. I would love to live in a world where I act exactly as I want to all of the time! The problem is that our society still has outdated rules for how women should act and "be" in the workplace. And, as Sheryl Sandberg pointed out in Lean In, if you do not follow the rules of your workplace, you may see as less-likable, self-serving and not-nice - all traits that can get in the way of your success.

So, therefore it is both pragmatic and important to follow these five steps. The steps fit into the constraints of our modern workplace and still let you be the authentic, amazing, negotiating badass you are meant to be.

Drumroll please...

The Five Steps Include:
2. Know Your Worth and Document It
3. Consider the Impact and Solve for What You Can
4. Be Communal (this step is key for women)
5. Practice. And then Practice Again.

These five steps are rooted in countless hours of research and real-life experience. Interested in learning more? The final blog in this series will offer you a list of books, blogs, videos and podcasts you can check out to learn more about negotiating for what you need and deserve!

Within this series, we will explore each of these five steps in detail. Each blog will contain questions you can follow to complete each step and move closer to your desired prize: A successful negotiation where you get what you want (or a heck of a lot closer to it than if you went at this alone!)

So, let's get started! Click here to go to the first step - Get Clear on What You Want (Really Clear.)


Nicole Provonchee is an executive coach and strategist that works with women leaders and teams across the nation. After 20 years climbing the corporate ladder, she started Bright Blue Consulting, where she can combine her skills as a coach with her practical experiences as a leader and executive.

Nicole is a sought-after speaker and can bring her negations skills workshop to your organization or company. Learn more on her speaking page. Or, reach out to her today.


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