When you’re hired as a police officer in the public sector, you get paid the same whether you are a man or a woman. Compensation is largely based on experience.
Unfortunately, the same doesn’t hold true in the private sector. According to recent research, women earned 80.4 percent of what men earned during the first quarter of 2020. Though there are some nuances to consider here—including job choice and number of hours worked—slice the data in any direction and you’ll still come away with a gender pay gap.
The good news is that it’s possible to get paid what you’re worth. You just need the right approach. As you begin negotiating your next salary, here are five things to keep in mind.
1. Kick Things Off with an Accusation Audit™
If you want to get paid what you’re worth, you need to address the issue head-on from the outset.
Open up with an Accusation Audit (AA™) to identify the negative things your boss might have in mind and get them out of the way so they can’t be used against you later on in the conversation. You might begin like this: I know you might be thinking I’m crazy for asking for this much money and that I have no clue what I’m talking about ...
After you’ve landed your AA, allow a few moments of silence to let it soak in and immediately segue into a summary of your qualifications. You might continue the above example like this: ... I am a highly qualified, rock-solid member of the team who consistently produces above average work and would be extremely difficult to replace.
Next, it’s time to make your asks and spell out everything you want.
2. Understand How Women Are Perceived—and Use It to Your Advantage
Fair or not, women need to keep in mind that the expectations of them are different. Most of society expects women to be Accommodators because of the way they’ve been perceived throughout history and the fact that, generally, they are more nurturing than men.
Many people think Accommodators are the kind of people others walk all over. To counter this, some women think they need to prove themselves by being Assertive, and the results aren’t pretty.
Use the fact that your counterpart is going to expect you to be an Accommodator and adjust your approach accordingly. Using Labels™ and Mirrors™, identify the unspoken emotions that exist in the conversation and create space for the other side to clarify their thoughts.
Whatever you do, don’t try to make a stand “just because.” In my experience, women can be their own worst enemy. Sometimes, they let entitlement get the best of them by thinking it shouldn’t matter how they act or what they wear. Go this route at your own peril. Rather than seeking to control the game, just play it.
3. Channel the Late-Night FM DJ Voice
When you go into your pitch, try your best at using what we call the late-night FM DJ voice. This isn’t necessarily a user-friendly voice for women, so you will need to practice to develop this skill.
To me, Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner is the best example of this tone of voice done right. Essentially, it entails lowering your tone an octave but making sure to stay well above any whisper effect in your voice.. You also need to slow down your rate of speech and use a calm cadence.
To get some practice, stand in front of a mirror, record your voice, and listen to it. Continue this process until you’re comfortable with your output.
4. Realize that Empathy Is the Great Equalizer
In the world of negotiation, empathy is a crucial ingredient in developing trust-based influence. This is where women have a great advantage; they’re better at being naturally empathetic than men are.
By embracing Tactical Empathy™ and using the skills to execute it, there will be nothing holding you back.
Understand the role that empathy can play in helping you achieve your goals, and tap into it. At the end of the day, you need to know that you can succeed in any situation—no matter who is sitting across the table from you.
5. Know Your Line in the Sand
Unfortunately, you might not get what you want even if you use the perfect approach. That being the case, you need to know which hill you’re willing to die on.
Only you know whether you want to stay at a particular job even though you feel you are getting paid less than what you’re worth. In some cases, you might absolutely love your job and decide that it’s better to stick around doing something you really enjoy than switching to a job you might hate for more money.
If you’re going through a salary negotiation and things aren’t going your way, start asking Proof of Life™ questions, such as Why did you hire me? This will bring to the front of their mind all the positive reasons they chose you in the first place. This may push their thinking in the right direction.
For more tips on how to negotiate your best salary, check this out.