Throughout your career you’ll need to negotiate important matters, such as your salary and work benefits.
New research is saying you’ll have a better chance of getting what you want if you negotiate through a virtual medium.
Michael Taylor, a Ph. D student at Imperial College London, led a study examining negotiation strategies and concluded that face-to-face interactions tend to benefit the more powerful person, whereas the ones with less power fared better in virtual negotiations.
In the first part of the study — recently presented at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society — 74 people paired up to take part in a “two-sided negotiation in which one party had more power than the other.”
A second part of the study was conducted with 63 people who took part in “a three-sided negotiation where they were playing the part of people at different levels in a hierarchy.”
Taylor and his team of researchers found that people with less power performed better in both parts of the study when negotiating virtually, and it didn’t matter how many people were involved in the interaction.
“When people negotiate from farther apart, it affects their whole way of thinking. This can mean the contextual details of the negotiations, such as power hierarchies, have less impact on the outcome,” Taylor said at the conference. “This has implications for team negotiation and shared decision-making in the workplace.”
Basically, the more powerful you are, the more you’ll get out of in-person meetings. This could also possibly be the reason why employees won’t speak up in meetings with their bosses or why brainstorming sessions result in a list full of ideas from only the leader.
Phone conversations were not mentioned in the research.
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