Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

Can humor make you a better negotiator?

Whether it’s pitching an idea to your team, divvying up the

workload on a project or haggling over your teenager’s request

for an allowance raise, we all negotiate far more often than

we probably realize. So the question is, can a little humour

help our case?

A study described in the book, “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven

Ways to Be Persuasive” by Steven J. Martin, showed how simply

sending a funny (but inoffensive) cartoon to the person you

are negotiating with generated higher levels of trust between

the two parties and led to 15% larger profits! The study also

showed that recipients of the cartoon were more than twice as

likely to put in opening offers that were deemed as acceptable

compared to those that didn’t receive the cartoon. The study

also found that the use of cartoons resulted in more efficient

negotiating by saving unnecessary time and suspicion.


Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Here’s a simple, fun meeting opener to try. Have everyone pull

out a penny (bring a small jar if it helps) and then have each

meeting participant share a quick first impression related to

whatever year the penny is dated. This can also work great

with virtual teams meeting over the phone as a simple

way to get people talking and laughing.


Quote of the Week

“Chaos in the midst of chaos isn’t funny, but chaos in the

midst of order is.” comedian Steve Martin


It’s a Wacky World

Okay folks, technology is definitely winning the battle in

dominating our lives. Sleep scientists believe that the younger

generation is now taking part in “sleep-texting”: sending text

messages to their pals while they sleep! Gee, what could go



Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011

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