Role Negotiation: What Male Leaders Need To Know

e0cdd4b64f518d2a7e87b0c50a0ba72c-originaIt’s a Win-Win

By Jared Cline. Are any of your direct reports feeling restless or uninspired at work? Looking for new challenges or to develop new skills? Do they want access to “hot jobs”—large, highly visible projects, mission-critical roles, and international assignments that accelerate advancement?
Many employees who feel this way look outside their organizations for jobs that more closely align with their skills and interests.
Role negotiation is one of the ways that companies and leaders can retain talent they might otherwise lose. Individuals who successfully negotiate their roles are not only more likely to report that they will remain with their current company, but also report higher innovation in their roles while enjoying greater access to profit-and-loss responsibility and projects with C-suite visibility.
As male leaders, we must recognize that role negotiation is especially important for women for three main reasons:
  In Catalyst’s exciting new study, Role Negotiation and the Pursuit of Hot Jobs, we reveal how role negotiation benefits everyone—individuals in pursuit of hot jobs, leaders seeking to increase innovation on their teams, and companies trying to retain their best talent.

Setting the Stage for Successful Role Negotiation
Successful role negotiation starts with being inclusive on a day-to-day basis. The more inclusive high potentials perceived their leaders to be, the more success they reported in negotiating more satisfying and challenging roles. For both high-potential women and men, their perceptions of their managers’ empowering behavior were the key predictor of reported success in role negotiation. High potentials who perceived their leaders to be most inclusive were 4.5 times more likely to report the greatest success in role negotiation than were those who perceived their leaders to be least inclusive.
Here are a couple ways you can create an empowering environment for your team:
  • Encourage team members to think creatively about their responsibilities and build company strategy into creating the “perfect position.”
  • Make opportunities and selection criteria transparent for new roles, role expansions, and high-visibility projects.
  • Talk to all your talent—not just the high potentials.
  • Create rotational programs to expose team members to different parts of the organization.
Getting the Most Out of the Conversation
Leaders need to ask the right questions in one-on-one conversations to get the most out of role negotiation. When tailoring a role to an individual’s passions and strengths, make sure to cover the following:
  • What new responsibilities would you like to take on?
  • What tasks would better fit your personality, skills, and abilities?
  • How will greater flexibility better enable you to complete your job?
Don’t forget: as a leader, you bring a deeper knowledge of your organization’s strategy to the conversation. Suggest alternative ideas that leverage and expand your employee’s skills in ways that align with departmental and company-wide goals.

More Tools for Successful Role Negotiation

Report: Role Negotiation And The Pursuit Of Hot Jobs. Leaders should download this study to find out how they can help foster innovation by empowering team members to take the risk of negotiating their roles.

REPORT: Role Negotiation And The Pursuit Of Hot Jobs
[For Individuals] Negotiate Your Way to a More Challenging and Satisfying Role. Want to feel more empowered? Challenge yourself and learn new skills? Maximize your access to “hot jobs”—the large, highly visible projects, mission-critical roles, and international assignments that provide critical on-the-job development opportunities and accelerate career advancement?

If you’re ready to take charge of your own career and begin to successfully negotiate your role today, check out this tool.
TOOL: Negotiate Your Way to a More Challenging and Satisfying Role
[For Managers] Empower Your Employees to Negotiate More Satisfying and Challenging Roles. Role negotiation, which is most often initiated by employees themselves, plays out in one-on-one conversations between employees and their managers. When successful, these negotiations result in individualized agreements regarding the nature and scope of employees’ work—agreements that benefit both employees and their organizations.
TOOL: Empower Your Employees To Negotiate More Challenging And Satisfying Roles

f3c223e56ea53d74eb3dd4cda12dcbfb-huge-weJared Cline is the Community Manager at MARC (Men Advocating Real Change). He has worked as Web and Associate Editor at Time Out Beijing magazine, where he covered local and expatriate culture in China's capital city. He can be reached at

Posted by Jared Cline on Dec 8, 2016 9:43 AM America/New_York


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