Friday, December 09, 2005

Women Are Better Negotiators?

Some research:

While neither men nor women like being distrusted, 'women don't have the same physiological reaction as men do,' Zak says. 'Women are just physiologically cooler. Women are probably better negotiators because they don't have these emotionally charged responses. Men get pissed off.'

But another researcher found that being pumped up isn't always a bad thing: Men with elevated levels of testosterone were less likely to accept unfair offers in a different game where people were offered ultimatums.

I've heard the claim before that having women present at negotiations produced more fruitful or peaceful outcomes - stated as a certainty - but I was very skeptical. While I'm still skeptical, this research seems legit. Good work.

I guess this particular study really rings true for me, personally. I've experienced that 'high testosterone' reaction, and it can definitely be a destructive force. On the other hand, it might have saved my life a few times - in 'street' situations. But, assuming we're in the relative safety of a negotiating room, I'd be willing to believe that women are better negotiators. I know many men who either can not, or are just unwilling to fight their testosterone to let sanity prevail. It seems like it is usually the case, not always, but usually, that this 'high-testosterone reaction' is very damaging for everyone involved.

I wonder how this male vs. female negotiator thing works out in the real world - say, during hostage negotiations, or during conflict resolution proceedings. There's probably some good data on this stuff from the 'conflict resolution' programs at law schools and professional organizations and even private companies across the country.

Interesting, for sure...

No comments: