The ‘Nice Girls Don’t Ask’ Hoax

0 Comments By Deb | Posted November 6, 2013


Ever been told, ‘It’s not polite to ask’?

Growing up in a small midwestern town, I was frequently informed ‘nice girls don’t ask’. Nice girls wait patiently and hope the coveted item is offered.

Turns out I’m not the only one who bought into this hoax.

Women don’t get the things they want partly because they don’t ask for them. According to Babcock and Laschever, authors of Women Don’t Ask, men ask for what they want two to three times as often as women; and men set higher targets for what they want from the negotiation.

It’s time to change the way we think. Nice girls do ask and get, what they want.


What Do You Believe About ‘Nice Girls Who Ask’?

Before you can change what you do, you must understand why you do it. Begin by listening to your self-talkWhat do you believe it says about you if you ASK for what you want rather than WAIT until it is offered? Do you FEAR that ‘asking’ will damage your relationships or cause people to not like you? Do you believe ‘it only counts if you don’t have to ask for it’? Remember, FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. What evidence really exists that supports your current beliefs? What’s the worst thing that might happen if you learn to ask for what you want? 

Are you ready to get more of what you want?

4 Steps To Getting More

1. Practice asking every day. There are low risk opportunities all around you. Ask for a refund instead of a store credit. Return your meal and ask for your steak to be prepared the way you requested. Ask your family to do the laundry or prepare dinner. Ask your manager if you want to participate on a high profile project team. Practice asking for things you want but typically do without. Build your courage and skills by starting with small asks.

2. Do your homework. When you ask for more money, a new title, additional time off or whatever is important to you, your request should be business focused. Don’t ask for more money because your son needs braces. Ask for more money because of the value you bring to the organization and the market value of your position.  The data you collect should support your request and make it easy for the other person to say ‘yes’.

3. Of course, they won’t always say ‘yes’. More often, the other person will want to negotiate. Ask for more than what you want. Preparing to give a bit in the negotiation allows everyone to come out feeling like a winner. Get what you deserve by setting high targets. Babcock and Laschever found that men outperform women in negotiations because they go in aiming to get more.

4. Prepare for the discussion. Practice with a friend or in front of a mirror until you can calmly, confidently ask for what you want.


Want To Know What Other Secrets Executive Women Have Learned?

In the next few weeks, I’ll publish an eBook on what senior-level women told me they have learned on their journey to the top. The results are available to you at no charge. Click here if you’d like to receive the results of this powerful study.

About the Author

By Deb Graham: Entrepreneur, organizational behavior enthusiast, world traveler and avid learner, Deb applies her curiosity and passion for personal growth to the work environment. She enjoys helping women navigate the business world, add value to their workplace and manage their careers.

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