A Price Higher than Rubies

One of Linda’s graduate students—a young woman who had taken her negotiation class—visited Linda in her office to share some good news. The student had just accepted a job offer from a great company and couldn’t wait to begin her new career. When Linda asked how the negotiations had gone, the student seemed surprised. Her new employer had offered her so much more than she’d expected, it hadn’t occurred to her to negotiate. She simply accepted what she was offered.

This story points out an obvious truth: Before we decide to negotiate for something we must first be dissatisfied with what we have. We need to believe that something else—more money, a better title, or a different division of household chores—would make ...

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