Case Study: Women are better at negotiating?


Women are better decision-makers when it comes to negotiating? Here’s an example of mergers and acquisitions. Research from 2013 indicates that when it is the case of large companies, they are more cautious.

The research highlighted that women board members can help save notable cash on acquisitions, partly because women board members come about with less overconfidence than men when approaching decisions. When discussing her article written during her 2013 research in a Harvard Business Review, Dr. Kai Li, UBC Saunder School of Business professor, said that women showcase less overconfidence than men when they are introduced to unknowns or when feedback is retarded.

Concentrating on relationships and values over just financial goals can be very impactful if the goal is to be a joint effort. This was the case for Heather Whaling, president and founder of Geben Communication, as she talks with Morra Aarons-Mele to procure her company, Women Online. Whaling and Aarons-Mele had a different experience while a lot of negotiations around mergers and acquisitions are likely to be positional and competitive. It leads not only to a quick acquisition deal, but also depicted an alternate way of doing business. What happened?

Transparency is very crucial to a steady long-term agreement, however, that was not the advice Aarons-Mele received from people she trusted. She said that she was told from the perspective of the seller. She also got contrasting advice, mostly from men. Whaling, on the other hand, also got the same advice, instructing a competitive mindset. She said that the people around her saw this deal like a game and they would tell her to keep her cards close. Then, make a move to see how the other person reacts. This went opposing with what Whaling wanted: clear alignment of business goals.

Whaling started talking to Aarons-Mele by an intense exchange on the culture of Geben Communication: their philosophy, client services, and investment in their people. While Aarons-Mele considered selling her organization in the past years, prospective buyers just failed at being led with culture. The centrality of culture weighed. Aarons-Mele’s team has put their faith in her as their leader and so, she will continue to direct them as an executive vice president at Geben Communication. Knowing that mutually they carried values aided Aarons-Mele to feel like she was going the right way for herself and her team.

They both had their moments of friction, though. Strong communication. Strong communication is the greatest tactic to outshine disagreement. Both of them laser-focused on having an accountable conversation by being determined and honestly listening to each other. “It’s important to understand the intent and what the person needs to feel heard,” Whaling said.

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