If you’re locked in a tough negotiation, consider spicing it up by bringing some chips and salsa to the table. That’s right, share some food. Stanford researchers found that this surprising tactic can help create a win-win during competitive negotiations or when things reach an impasse. Sharing food apparently inspires people to pay more attention to one another and look for ways to create value.
On the other hand, if you’re involved in a more cooperative negotiation with someone you know well, forego the food. Or have each person enjoy their own individual portion. Otherwise, by sharing food, you risk things becoming too relaxed and the focus shifts to maintaining a friendly relationship versus reaching the best deal possible.
These insights prove that when it comes to negotiating, sometimes it’s not best to let the chips fall where they may, but pick them up and nosh on a few. Everyone can come out a winner when you understand some negotiation nuances.