Never Let Them See You Sweat, Or Should You?

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In the article, Work Up a Sweat, and Bargain Better, Matt Richtel explains why sweating keeps your heart rate up and will help you negotiate and get your way in the business world.

Although this may seem a little far fetched, Professor Curhan and his colleagues from MIT found that "a person who negotiates while moving - say, pacing while bargaining over job terms on the cellphone - can see improved results" (Ritchel). Professor Curhan goes on to say that this is only beneficial to people who are already confident in the negotiation area in the first place. Curhan says "if, instead, they are nervous, walking may actually hamper performance" (Ritchel).

This study included two different experiments. One study involved the subjects briskly walking on a treadmill negotiating to buy a car over the phone. The second set of subjects negotiated for job terms on a phone, some took a casual walk while others sat in a chair. The results looked like this; the subjects walking on the treadmill and casually walking performed better than those who sat in the chair. Overall, if the subjects were anxious and nervous they were already doing worse than the confidant, excited subjects.

Alison Wood Brooks, a scholar now at the Harvard Business School, shows that people perform better in a range of pursuits. She states, "get on the treadmill, get your heart racing and once it's racing, appraise the feeling as excitement - tell yourself 'I am excited, not anxious,' " (Ritchel).

I agree with this exact statement. I think it is most important to feel confidant and excited about getting something done or negotiating to get your way or sell a car. If you go into something thinking "I'm going to mess up" or "This will never go the way I want" you are setting yourself up for a loss. It's so important to believe in yourself, especially in college. Right now is the most important time for us to sell ourselves and show people what we can do. Getting a job after college is crucial and if you have the ability to stay confidant while still remaining true to yourself, you've got it covered! 


1 Comment

I happen to sweat more than the average person so your post caught my interest. I don't think that sweating will help me appear any more confident or hardworking at any interviews or sales pitches, but I do believe that physical activity will improve my confidence and improve brain functioning. Physical activity and getting in shape not only increases your confidence, but also according to Posit Science, "exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells." Being fit and in shape definitely can't hurt when in an interview or during a sales pitch, but I still think the saying, "never let them see you sweat" still holds true. Having pit stains, drenched hair, and moist skin won't give you any advantage in a business meeting or job interview.


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