Men and women might interact with each another in different ways when compared to how they interact with members of their own gender. The manner in which a negotiation is conducted could be one of those ways.
The differences in gender may cause varying levels of comfort (or discomfort) in negotiating with someone of the other gender; lead to the use of different negotiation styles; and, may allow for assumptions to be made about the other negotiator solely because of their gender.
Comfort levels: An individual’s comfort level with a person of another gender can affect how they conduct themselves in the negotiation. If members of one gender dominate an industry that a negotiator works in, there may be an uneasiness of having to negotiate with someone of another gender if doing so is not familiar to that person. This discomfort may arise due to a lack of experience working with members of the other gender.
Difference in negotiation style: Men and women may have natural tendencies to demonstrate different negotiation styles when working with members of their own gender when compared to the other. Some differences in negotiation styles may include determining the level of the tone and formality of the negotiation; whether emotions should be catered to; or, if personal critiques and attacks are appropriate.
Assumptions about gender: Making an assumption about a person’s conflict resolution skills, personality, or willingness to compromise due to their gender may be disadvantageous. If a negotiator acts or chooses not to act because of an assumption made about the other negotiator’s gender, the ability to resolve the conflict effectively may be hindered. A problematic assumption might include the member of the other gender’s lack of a desire to talk about a contentious issue. Inactivity based upon such an assumption may hinder the communication that is necessary to resolve the conflict.
At Stitt Feld Handy Group, our custom workshops focus on helping our participants to identify and address their negotiation strengths and weaknesses. Our training will enable participants to learn how to adapt to other negotiators’ varying personalities, negotiation skill sets, and temperaments. If you are interested in receiving alternative dispute resolution training in Canada or elsewhere, please call our office today to learn about our current course offerings. We can help you learn to manage any gender related issues that may arise as part of the conflict resolution process.
Stitt Feld Handy Group offers training in conflict management, communication skills, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution for large and small businesses using the latest adult education techniques. Contact us today to learn more about how to get started.