Five years ago Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever published Women Don’t Ask, a book that ripped the lid off of one of negotiation’s most intractable problems: the challenges that women face in negotiating successfully. They examined the barriers — institutional, cultural, and social — that hold women back and provided strategies to help women conquer the gender divide at the negotiation table to ask for and get what they want.
Women Don’t Ask touched a responsive chord in women nationally and internationally, many of whom had encountered these barriers up close. Many women contacted the authors to thank them for writing a book that opened up their eyes to negotiation’s possibilities and to ask for help with their own negotiations. This enthusiastic response motivated Babcock and Laschever to write a second book, the recently published Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want.
I plan to post a review of this book later this week, but one thing I can tell you right now is that it may be one of the best books on negotiation I’ve ever read. What Tammy Lenski recently did for mediation marketing, Ask for It does for real women facing real-world negotiations — women who want practical, common sense advice and tools for being effective negotiators. The advice is so good though and the revelations about gender issues at the negotiation table so disturbing that men should read it, too — not just to learn better ways to negotiate but to find out how any of us can battle gender bias in negotiation.
The Ask for It web site provides support for negotiating women, everything from downloadable worksheets and information to links to online resources, including Babcock’s work helping girls learn to negotiate.
There’s even (be still my heart) a blog. Although the blog is new with just three posts so far, if “Scary Monster(.com)” and “Cut Throat Bitch“, with their gutsy commentary on negotiation and gender, are any indication of what’s to come, this is one negotiation blog you’ll want to follow.