Study Supports Workplace Flirting for Women to Get Ahead

New research out of UC Berkeley indicates that for women to get ahead while negotiating, they should try flirting. This supports previous studies that found women who negotiate hard, as a man would do, were actually penalized for their toughness and unlikeability. Have we regressed to the 50s?

Laura Kay, a professor at the Haas School of Business, led the research. She found that females who used "social charm" while negotiating in pairs were ranked as more effective than those who weren't as charming. A second experiment with male car sellers who were asked to imagine making deals with "serious Sue" and "playful Sue" revealed that they'd be far more likely to lower the price and negotiate with a woman exhibiting a more effervescent, warm personality.

That doesn't mean you need to lead every man in your life on when you want to get ahead. "The key is to flirt with your own natural personality in mind, advises Kay in an Inc. column. "Be authentic. Have fun. That will translate into confidence, which is a strong predictor of negotiation performance."

Have you ever flirted at the negotiation table?

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(Photo credit: Victor1558/Flickr)


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