Women who flirt get better deal

Scientists prove feminine charm can increase success in negotiations

Feminine charm is a measurable phenomenon, scientists have established, with women who employ it enjoying the most success in negotiations.

Results from the first academic study of the technique shows that it can increase success rates in negotiations with both men and women by as much as a third.

Effective feminine charm combines flirtation with friendliness and women who get it right can get around 20 per cent off the price of a car, according to the study.

But getting the right balance between flirting and being friendly is vital, because women who are too straightforwardly friendly lose out, according to Dr Laura Kray who led the study. "They are seen as pushovers; as caring solely about satisfying other people's interest. We found that flirtation, on the other hand, conveys assertiveness and power, from someone who is also concerned about satisfying their own interests," she said.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the London School of Economics, carried out four separate experiments to investigate female charm. They say that, while there is a commonly held assumption that feminine charm boosts a woman's effectiveness in negotiations, it has not until now been investigated by researchers.

It is defined as a management technique available to women that combines warmth, friendliness, and affiliation with flirtation, including playfulness, flattery, and sexiness. The character Joan Holloway from TV's Mad Men is considered an effective user of the technique. Real-life examples include Maria Fe Perez-Agudo, president and chief executive of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc and Susan Lyne, chair of Gilt Group.

"Feminine charm is a strategic behaviour aimed at making the person you are negotiating with feel good in order to get them to agree to your goals,'' says Dr Kray. The report claims former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright used feminine charm in bilateral talks.

Researchers believe the evolutionary roots of the technique lie in the Catch-22 situation women face in many day-to-day negotiations. In order to succeed in a male-dominated world they have to adopt a masculine style, which is not liked. But failure to do so makes them appear less competent. Feminine charm allows women to mitigate the antipathy aroused by their male-like behaviour when negotiating.

In another study, half the women who took part were asked to use feminine charm while the other half did not. Results showed using charm led to a 21 per cent discount – they were told to be animated in their body movements, make frequent eye contact with their partner, smile and laugh. Another experiment found when women put too much friendliness and not enough flirting into negotiations they paid more for products. "When perceived as flirtatiousness, female negotiators received better offers, but when perceived as friendliness, female negotiators negotiated worse deals," the report says. "This is consistent with the finding that warmth signals a lack of competitiveness, making friendliness an economic liability in a negotiation."

VIDEO
News
Strange 'quack' noises could be undersea chatter of Minke whales
science
Voices
voices Furore is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion, says Nigel Farage
News
weird news... and film it, obviously
News
peopleThis time as he’s awarded the Freedom of Stirling and handed an honorary degree
Arts & Entertainment
tv
Sport
sport
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
News
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor Needed Nottingham/Derbyshire

£3360 - £16800 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Cover Supervisor requ...

English Teacher

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Urgently Required. En...

Supply teachers needed in Cambridgeshire

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad are looking ...

Geography Teacher

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents