Do's and Dont's for Negotiating Across Cultures
Eugene James, Manager, Switzerland, Premium Member
The complexity of cross cultural negotiation is daunting. Miscommunication can hinder or derail a deal. According to Erin Meyer, the challenge stems from an inability to read signals that reveal a frame of mind and emotions. A primary reason for not reading signals boils down to a lack of "contextual understanding" according to Meyer. She draws on her research to offer advice on negotiating cross culturally:
- BEG TO DIFFER TACTFULLY: prior to voicing disagreement, identify whether the counterpart uses "upgrades" in their communication such as definitely, surely, certainly or instead "downgraders" such as perhaps, possibly, likely. A greater use of upgraders implies greater room for debate and open disagreement. In contrast, a greater use of downgraders suggests reluctance to openly disagree and are thus less confrontational.
- EXPRESS EMOTIONS MINDFULLY: in some cultures emotions are openly expressed, while in others being open it is regarded as un...