Sitting down to a meal to talk business, like drinking while negotiating, is common practice around the world. In fact, most executive or public officials have negotiated over a meal.
Having a meal is a good way for people to spend time in an environment where they can pay attention to one another. This moment can also improve social bonding within groups. According to new research, people who negotiate while sharing a plate reaches a quicker deal.
Those who share a plate of food end up extending that same cooperation into business negotiations. It will people behave less competitively toward each other than they do when eating the same food from separate plates.
Kaitlin Woolley of Cornell University and Ayelet Fishbach of the University of Chicago report in Psychological Science said that a meal taken “family-style” from one plate can highly improve the outcome of negotiations.
Researchers asked study participants to pair off. Those who were involved in the research were all strangers to one another.
Each pair were then invited to have some chips and salsa. The study made half of the pairs share a bowl of the snack, while the other half have separate bowls of chips and salsa.
They then found out that the teams who shared a bowl of chips and salsa reached a deal in nine rounds. On the other hand, those who had their own dishes took four rounds longer. If this is an actual day of negotiating, the teams who didn’t share food would have cost the company millions in losses.
Sharing a plate may not necessarily mean that all negotiations will go on smoothly each and every time. Of course, there will be some problems, arguments, and complications along the way, but the food sharing activity will make the ambiance a little more relaxed and easy.
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