| September 09, 2019

Can Being Nice Hurt Your Chances in Negotiation? Behavioral Scientist Francesca Gino Weighs In.

Negotiating is more than a skill; it’s a fact of life. One could argue that nearly every interaction we have is a form of negotiation, which begs the question: how can we do it better? Francesca Gino explains how—contrary to popular belief—being too friendly in a negotiation could actually have adverse effects. 

In a new study on communication styles in negotiation, Harvard Business Professor Francesca Gino and her colleagues performed four experiments across a subset of 1,500 participants. In one of the experiments— a field experiment on Craigslist.com, where price bartering is common—Gino and her team found that “warm and friendly” negotiators ended up paying 15% more for the same item, compared to “tough and firm” negotiators.


“Although our findings highlight the clear economic costs of being “warm and friendly,” they do not imply that everyone should become a jerk. All negotiations are a combination of value-creating and value-claiming, of making the overall pie bigger and securing a slice of it for ourselves. Negotiators should recognize that being nice may make it more difficult to claim a lot of value, particularly in a purely competitive context.”


Read more about the study here.


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