Sex & Relationships

How flirting can help you get ahead

How flirting can help you get ahead

A new study shows that flirting is a better strategy for negotiating than appearing tough for women.

Women may be filling seats in university lecture theatres and beating men to top jobs more than ever before, but scientists say the best way for a woman to get ahead is to employ her “feminine charm”.

A US study suggests flirtation is an effective negotiation strategy for women when negotiating with men, rather than trying to be tough.

The study suggested a cheeky wink and a suggestive smile could help women get discounts, better deals, and get ahead at work, but wouldn’t work so well for men, who were found to gain no ground by flirting.

“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,” said Professor Laura Kray of the University of California who led the study.

But researchers advised that women shouldn’t go too far by making over sexual advances, recommending subtle flirting tactics like appearing interested in the man they are dealing with.

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

The 100 participants in the study were questioned over how much they relied on charm when negotiating, and their partners were asked how effective they were.

Women who were more willing to bat their eyelids to get what they want were judge by their partners to be better negotiators, while men who said they used more charm were not found to have an advantage.

Another part of the study explored negotiating while buying a car from a deal in a scenario where the participant was in full flirt mode, touching the seller’s arm, winking and laying on flattery.

The study found that male sellers were more likely to knock $100 off the selling price for flirtatious buyers than serious ones.

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