In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Leigh Thompson (Northwestern) reports on her research around getting women to negotiate “more like men” (that is, competitive and unethical) and men to negotiate “more like women” (that is, empathetic and honest). The article is here. Nothing new here in terms of substantive advice, as Professor Thompson concludes that how you frame the negotiation will affect how people conduct themselves within it.
What’s frustrating to me is how persistent this gender typecasting remains, especially when explored in the overly simplified negotiation scenarios in the lab. I am concerned that such typecasting is perpetuating outdated and inaccurate/incomplete norms around gender and negotiation. It’s not to say that gender makes no difference in negotiation; it is to say, though, that many of the broad stereotypes that are continually trotted out around gender and negotiation seem wrong and even dangerous. All this makes me appreciate all the more the nuanced work that Andrea is doing in this space. After reading the HBR article, I immediately rewatched Andrea’s TedX talk, here, and felt better.