SBM Blog does not endorse this conclusion, we're merely passing on the reporting of the UK newspaper The Independent about a study conducted by researchers at the London School of Economics and UC Berkeley, "Scientists prove feminine charm can increase success in negotiations." The story says that the researchers believe that the use of feminine charm has evolutionary roots underlying the Catch-22 situation women still face in many day-to-day negotiations -- to succeed in a male-dominated world they have to adopt a masculine style, which women do not like, but failure to adopt a masculine style can make them appear less competent. Feminine charm, according to the story, "allows women to mitigate the antipathy aroused by their male-like behaviour when negotiating":
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.
The study would appear to be red meat for discussions about stereotyping, the viability of efforts to overcome stereotypes grounded in basic human instincts, and appropriate boundaries of techniques in professional negotiations, just for starters. At ADR Prof Blog, Prof. Art Hinshaw appears to agree: "I’ll be interested to hear the discussion this generates in my negotiation class this year. Here’s hoping it’s more than 'duh.'”