A recent study from UC Berkely has discovered that women can use flirtation as a very effective negotiation technique.  This is not true, however for men.  Flirtatiousness, female friendliness, or the more diplomatic description “feminine charm” is an effective way for women to gain negotiating mileage, according to a new study by Haas School Professor Laura Kray.

Two experiments were conducted.  The first rated negotiating partners effectiveness based upon whether they used social charm or not.  The study found that women that used higher levels of social charm were considered more effective as negotiators; whereas the charm had no effect on the evaluation of the male negotiatiors.

The second study determined whether a participant would reduce the price of a $1,200 car based upon reading a story of a potential buyer as being a serious female or a socially acceptable flirtatious female.  The result? Male sellers were willing to give the “playful Sue” more than $100 off the selling price whereas they weren’t as willing to negotiate with the “serious Sue.” Playful Sue’s behavior did not affect female car sellers.

For both sexes, it is important to be able to understand that this phenomenon exists.  For women, they can use this knowledge to work on a better negotiated result.  For, men it is important to understand that this form of socially acceptable manipulation can occur and that it could be a negotiating tactic rather than this particular woman wanting to come on to you.