According to a new study, when it comes to small talk, men benefit from banter more than women.
One of the co-authors told The Wall Street Journal, “Men are getting a pretty big boost for very little effort.”
Here’s what went down: 176 people gave their reactions to a transcript of a negotiation situation. In one instance, people read a transcript focusing on a male negotiator. He warmed up with small talk before diving into the negotiation itself. Other people read a transcript based on a woman who small talked. Others read transcripts based on both men and women who went directly into business, no chatter about the weather or sports whatsoever.
Apparently men who started off with small talk got positive ratings about questions relating to trust. Not only that, they got rated positively regarding overall impressions and solid foundations for a future relationships versus men who didn’t engage in small talk at all. Get this — participants were more willing to give men with small talk almost eight percent more of an offer than women who engaged in small talk.
So, what gives? Why aren’t women cashing in on small talk? Per the piece, chit-chat is looked at as a social gift, a communal act. Women are assumed to already possess this characteristic and are more interested in building relationships than men. The expectation for women to be communal is higher than the expectation for men. When men engage in small talk, it’s unexpected and therefore, according to researchers, has a bigger impact.