It is no surprise that women are often lied to in negotiations. It is not even surprising to me that both men and women are more likely to lie to a woman than a to a man. People who are perceived as “warm” are lied to less, but that does not make up for the disparity (even though women tend to come off as warmer.) Women who are not warm face backlash.
I am a negotiator on behalf of my clients. I am also a trainer and supervisor of negotiating women. What can I do to mitigate these social norms?
This is what has worked for me and the women on my staff:
1. We always attempt to remain warm and respectful.
2. We ask respectful questions and do not dwell on negatives.
3. We appear to “trust, but verify.” We actually, “Don’t trust, and always verify.”
4. We do what we say we are going to do. We do it as promptly as possible.
The amount of wrong information that is transmitted in the process of a real estate transaction can make my hair curl! They include incorrect listing sheets, incorrect property information said out loud, double-talk disclosures, disclosures that are never given or given late, and then conscious out-and-out lying. Whether I hear more of this because I am a woman, I doubt it. Whether a man or a woman is listening, never trust and always verify.During “wild west” lending periods, like the end of the last major bubble in 2007, women were disproportionally targeted for sub-prime and other expensive mortgage products. (This also happened to minority borrowers, but that is another story.) Why women and minorities? From the study I quoted above, I hypothesize that the liars perceive that women and minorities are less likely to ask questions and are not going to verify the answers they get.
As a woman who negotiates for a living, I use that perception to the advantage of my clients. Liars, be warned.