Differences In Men’s And Women’s Conflict Negotiation Styles

I’m blogging about gender and negotiation this month because March is National Women’s History Month and March 8th was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (commenced in 1910, a full decade before the Nineteenth Amendment would grant U.S. women the right to vote).

Today I stumbled over the post Women Deal with Conflict Differently than Men, reporting on a study done by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard in 2008.  Results of the study showed the following similarities between men and women including:

  • Integrating, the ability to meet the needs of both parties; and,
  • Compromising as a strategy, except women showed a “high level of agreement that every issue has room for negotiation”

The differences included:

  • women’s tendency to choose equal distributions when compromising which the researchers apparently ascribed to women’s greater concern with fairness;
  • competitiveness – with men scoring 25% more competitive than their female counterparts
  • “smoothing,” with women engaging in that behavior 20% more of the time than men – smoothing being defined as “giving in to the other party while ignoring one’s own needs”
  • avoiding or withdrawing with women doing so 30% more than men
  • expressing feeling, with women apparently doing so “more” than men but no percentages are provided

We’ll be working with gender differences through the end of the month of March and will likely discuss this data in more detail later.

                        author

Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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