Negotiating: Men vs. Women – Who Wants To Win More?

They both want to win, but who wants to win more?
They both want to win, but who wants to win more?

In the world of negotiations there is a classic question that has existed since the start of time: who wants to “win” a negotiation more, men or women? I’ve heard this one debated over countless meals in countless bars over the years and yet I’ve never hear a good answer. We all have different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, who does it better? Guess what: that’s all changed now. The researchers have completed their study and now we know the answer.

Who Needs Ethics?

Researchers have recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology the results of their studies on the differences between men and women when something is being negotiated. The results are not pretty.

What the researchers found was that it appears that all too often, during the negotiation process men were willing to put their ethical standards aside during a negotiation in order to win. So much for the negotiation definition that says that we’re all supposed to be conducting a principled negotiation. The reason for this behavior was that men were more pragmatic in how they reasoned about ethics. This mean that they could be more lenient in how they went about applying ethical standards. To use a big word, the researchers discovered that men were more prone to what the researchers called a “moral hypocrisy”.

Why Each Negotiation Means So Much To A Man

As though that all wasn’t enough, the researchers found something else out. They discovered that during a negotiation, men more often than not tend to assume that their masculinity is at stake. They will take some very specific actions because of this.

Specifically, they will view the negotiation as a threat and this will cause them to act more aggressively. In order to be successful during the negotiation and to protect their masculinity, men are willing to use ethics as just another negotiating tool.

What All Of This Means For You

Finally we appear to have an answer to the classic question of who wants to win a negotiation more: men or women. The researchers have completed their study and they say that the answer is men.

However, it turns out that the reason that the scientists were able to come to this conclusion was because their study revealed that men are more willing to relax their ethical standards when they are involved in a negotiation. They also assume that their masculinity is at stake during the negotiation and this can make them more aggressive.

The next time that you are involved in a negotiation, make sure that you know which gender is sitting on the other side of the table. Knowing this may help you to come up with a strategy that will result in a better deal for both sides.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that knowing that men will relax their ethics during a negotiation is information that you can ethically use?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Have you ever been in a negotiation where things were not going very well for you? Where you and the other side of the table just seemed to get bogged down on a specific topic and couldn’t make any progress in the negotiations no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques you used? Well good news – professional negotiators know how to handle sticky issues like this.