A new study suggests that taking down one’s strengths or at least thinking about them before a performance review helps in negotiating better with the boss. The findings show that during times when the stakes are high, those people who are at a lower position in power can make use of self-affirmations to boost their level of confidence.
Lead researcher of the study, Sonia Kang, Assistant professor of organizational behaviour and human resource management at University of Toronto said that one should reflect on things that he/she know are good about themselves.
The findings also prove that thinking about other positive aspects or traits of one’s life such as family may also help in boosting confidence as well as performance. As part of the study, three experiments were conducted to measure performance in stressful situations. When the participants were in a position of high power, they performed better under pressure while those who were with less power performed worse.
Self-affirmations, however, had helped the participants to level the playing field and thereby, effectively reduce their power differences.
In one of the three experiments, 88 MBA students had been paired together as buyer or seller of a biotechnology plant. All the participants had been told that the exercise would help in gauging their negotiating skills to increase the stakes.
Before the negotiation happened, half of the participants took down their most important negotiating skill, while the other half wrote about their least important negotiating skill.
Buyers who completed the positive self-affirmation performed a lot better in negotiating lower sale price for the biotechnology plant, thereby effectively reducing power differences between the buyer as well as seller.
The study was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
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