Put that book down right now young girl and go start experimenting with makeup. According to a new study, researchers found that if women can successfully flirt at work they can improve their brokering success by up to a third and help the economy. Does Obama know about this?
Researchers set up experiments to measure the effects of female charm within negotiations (is there a machine that actually measures charm?) They defined this elusive quality as a management technique available to women combining warmth, friendliness and affiliation with flirtation, including playfulness, flattery and a certain sex appeal. Research director Dr. Laura Kray remarked: “Feminine charm is a strategic behavior aimed at making the person you are negotiating with feel good in order to get them to agree to your goals.” In their experiments with nearly 300 people, “feminine charm” — which is defined as flattery, warmth, body language (the classic hair toss, eyelashes batting move), playfulness and sex appeal in this case— helped female participants create better impressions and improve their economic outcomes.
The problem is there is a very fine line between friendliness and flirting. And friendliness can lead people to think the woman is a pushover. Kray found, in a number of experiments, that when women’s behaviors were seen as more friendly than flirtatious, it led to worse economic outcomes. But flirting puts her in the power seat.”When friendliness is balanced with flirtation, which is a signal of dominance and confidence and self-regard, then they actually do better,” said Kray. This research also reemphasizes the belief that acting masculine doesn’t help women either. Macho behavior comes off as demanding and unattractive on a woman but that perfect blend of sauciness and allure conveys the power women they need without losing their feminine touch. In one experiment with 100 students in an MBA negotiation course, males and females were equally likely to rely on personal charm in their bargaining style. But where males neither benefitted nor were harmed by the technique, females who used it to seek compliance were evaluated as more effective by their negotiating partners.