April 8, 2011 11:52 am

Something for the weekend

Men and women have differing approaches when it comes to negotiating a salary package in a new job. While men might adopt a firm approach, women are often reluctant to do so because they do not want to appear “pushy” or alienate their new boss.

Research by Linda Babcock, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University has revealed that in making an amiable and sometimes apologetic request for a larger salary - which is usually turned down - women reap “only social benefits”.

This approach she adds, over the duration of their careers cost women as much as $2m because they failed to negotiate that initial salary successfully. However, Prof Babcock says that by altering their negotiation technique, such as highlighting relevant skills which demonstrate the legitimacy of their claim for a higher salary, women are more likely to be successful in their negotiations.

She suggests that women practice their negotiation technique before making the request.

“Negotiation is not a skill that you are born with but it’s one that you hone with practice,” she says. Women also need to be aware of the negative attitude often associated with those women who do try to negotiate their salary, adds Prof Babcock and to pay attention to the impression they are creating so that they do not appear to be too aggressive.

You may wield a great deal of power, but this does not necessarily make you a good leader.

New research from the US has found that in some situations power can actually damage leadership. Francesca Gino, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, Leigh Plunkett Tost, a post-doctoral research associate at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington and Richard Larrick, a professor of management at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University say that power can have a detrimental effect on leadership, especially when it comes to communication.

Team members who have a powerful leader are more likely to keep quiet in meetings because the leader may talk a great deal, leaving little or no time for others to do so and there is also a perception that powerful people are not that interested in others’ ideas. The authors say that this can lead to a lack of innovative thought in brainstorming sessions.

Powerful leadership they add can also have a negative effect on team members who believe that their leader is unwilling to engage in open communication.

These situations can be remedied however, the writers suggest communicating to all team members that each one plays a key role.

The working paper, When power makes others speechless: the negative impact of leader power on team performance was published at the beginning of April.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

SHARE THIS QUOTE