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Flirting Works as Negotiation Tactic for Women: Study

It's not unprofessional if it remains playful and friendly, researcher says

TUESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Flirting can help women achieve what they want in negotiations, according to a new study.

"Women are uniquely confronted with a trade-off in terms of being perceived as strong versus warm. Using feminine charm in negotiation is a technique that combines both," study author Laura Kray, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a school news release.

In a series of experiments with 100 participants, she and her colleagues found that flirting during negotiation was more effective for women than men, and that flirting could help women get men to reduce the price of a car.

Women acting as car sellers, however, were not moved to lower prices in response to a female buyer's flirting behavior.

The study was published in the October issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Flirtation that achieves positive results does not involve overt sexual advances, Kray explained. Rather, successful flirting is authentic, engaging behavior without serious intent. The study found that men associate female flirtation with positive qualities such as confidence, which is considered essential to successful negotiators, she noted.

Flirting is not unprofessional if it remains playful and friendly, she said.

"The key is to flirt with your own natural personality in mind," Kray said. "Be authentic. Have fun. That will translate into confidence, which is a strong predictor of negotiation performance."

More information

The U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information has more on negotiation tactics.


SOURCE: University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, news release, October 2012

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