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January 11, 2022

What The Wall Street Journal got wrong

You may have seen this article published last week in the WSJ, “Big Raises are Coming in 2022, so Make Your Game Plan Now”.   As excited as I was that it’s the best time to negotiate since 2007, I was concerned to see the negotiation scripts that were given.  Specifically, one is advised to say, “I want to see that reflected in my paycheck,” and “Pay me more because I deserve more.” 

Anyone who has been reading this blog, or frankly, read any research on gender and negotiations written in the past decade, would immediately see the red flag.  Though these lines may work for men, they will likely cause backlash for women.  That means hard-working, dedicated, incredible women who read the Wall Street Journal may suddenly find themselves professionally side-lined, no longer invited to those key meetings, given plum assignments, or provided with the support they need to succeed.

Negotiating is not a gender-neutral skill.

Whenever advice like this is given – advice that will work for men, but potentially harm women – it should be given with the caveat that “this advice is for men”.  Let’s stop acting like it will work for both genders.  It won’t, and it’s irresponsible not to disclose that fact to women. 

We must stop sending women into some of the most high-risk conversations of their careers armed with advice for men.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution: women should use a communal ask – that is, explain why our request is better for others, like the customer, client, company or team.  By doing this, we can “virtually eliminate” the risk of backlash.  Here’s a great article on relational accounts.  Note that it was written in 2014 – that’s right – we’ve known the research on this since 2014 and publications as reputable as the Wall Street Journal are still handing out bad advice to women.

We deserve better.

PS.  If you want to learn how to negotiate successfully as a woman, check out our new course, “Negotiate like a Girl” from Chairmanme.  It launches in JUST TWO WEEKS.  Use the code Worthmore to get $200 off.

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