Nice guys fare poorly while negotiating salary

Career blues

Men who are sweet and gentle earn less than those with  disagreeable personalities.The study, to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that nice guys don’t get ahead in salary negotiations, but they don’t finish last either — that position is left for women, whether or not they’re nice.

On the other hand, disagreeable women earn only about five per cent more than their gentle counterparts. They were also less likely to be recommended for a promotion than disagreeable men, LiveScience reported.

That may be because people judge no-nonsense women more harshly than no-nonsense men, said study researcher Timothy Judge of the University of Notre Dames’ Mendoza College of Business in Australia.

“Women who appear to be tough or disagreeable get a special kind of scorn directed towards them. That neutralises the benefit that they might otherwise receive from their toughness,” Judge said.

For their research, Judge and his colleagues pulled data of about 3,500 people from three large American studies: the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, the National Survey of Midlife Development and the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey.

Deciding factors

The researchers controlled for factors such as education and job complexity that could skew the results. In all the studies, people who scored high in disagreeableness were found to have earned more than agreeable types.

Men who were disagreeable earned 18.31 per cent more than agreeable men, a
difference that translated to an average of $9,772 a year more for the people in the surveys.

Disagreeable women outearned agreeable women by 5.47 per cent, an average difference of only $1,828 per year, the researchers said.

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