RIVERSIDE – Men with wide faces are better negotiating raises than their narrow-faced brethren, but having a broad mug isn’t helpful in scenarios requiring creative solutions, according to research conducted by two UC Riverside professors.
Assistant Professors Michael Haselhuhn and Elaine Wong, both of whom work out of the UCR School of Business Administration, published their findings in this month’s edition of The Leadership Quarterly.
Their study, titled ”Negotiating Face-to-Face: Men’s Facial Structure Predicts Negotiation Performance,” examined various aspects of how a man’s face can influence his professional life — and the success of his colleagues.
Haselhuhn and Wong said they hoped to expand on previous studies delving into how attractiveness or physical attributes can bear on results in the workplace.
The professors designed scenarios to test hypotheses, one of which suggested that having a wide face can help with boosting a man’s salary. And the study confirmed that ”men with wider faces negotiated a signing bonus of nearly $2,000 more than men with a narrow face,” according to a summary of the research.
In another scenario, the researchers found that men with broad facial features were also better at negotiating a lower sale price when haggling over a purchase.
However, the study identified shortcomings when men with a wide countenance when they were put in a situation that required them to identify creative solutions to seal business deals, mainly in real estate.
Haslhuhn and Wong wrote that ”wider-faced men were less successful in the negotiation..”
”These studies show that being a man with a wider face can be both a blessing and a curse, and awareness of this may be important for future business success,” Haselhuhn said.
The researchers acknowledged that being a skilled negotiator was the most critical component. They hoped their findings might help predict those outcomes a little better.
”We negotiate everyday whether we think about it or not,” Haselhuhn said. ”It’s not just the big things, like a car or a home. It’s what time your kid is going to go to bed, or what you or your spouse are going to have for dinner.”