Made all the arrangements to crack that business deal worth millions, but still apprehensive? Well, then get a woman involved in the negotiation, for according to a new research, the ladies may be more skilled in the talks than their masculine counterparts.
According to the research, feminine touch could be a company's secret weapon.
Dr. Yael Itzhaki of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management at the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration carried out simulations of business negotiations among 554 Israeli and American management students at Ohio State University, in New York City, and in Israel.
"Women are more generous negotiators, better co-operators and are motivated to create win-win situations," says Itzhaki.
The results of her Ph.D. thesis project indicated that in certain groupings, women offered better terms than men to reach an agreement. And women were good at facilitating interaction between the parties, she says.
The simulations involved negotiating the terms of a joint venture, including the division of shares. The point of the simulations was to examine how women behave in business situations requiring cooperation and competition.
Itzhaki also discovered that men have begun to incorporate feminine strategies into their negotiating styles.
"Women in mid-management positions are criticized for being too 'cooperative' and 'compassionate,' so they don't get promoted. Then men come in and use the same tactics women are criticized for."
Although both men and women can be good negotiators, Itzhaki emphasizes that there should be more women in top management jobs. Women have unique skills to offer, Itzhaki says, "They're great listeners, they care about the concerns of the other side, and they're generally more interested in finding a win-win situation to the benefit of both parties than male negotiators."
A lot of women don't care to "fight" to be recognized, she says, preferring cooperation over competition. But more women in management can translate to a healthier bottom line, Itzhaki says.
"Businesses need to develop an organizational culture where everyone is heard, because women's opinions and skills can give businesses a competitive edge," she said.