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Culture has a deep impact on how people think, communicate, and behave. When it comes to business, culture also influences the kinds of transactions people make and the way they negotiate. Cultural differences between business executives can create barriers that hinder or even completely deadlock the negotiating process. Understanding how cultural differences can affect your negotiation is key to having a successful, effective strategy.

culture negotiation

In Jeswald Salacuse’s book titled The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing, and Mending Deals Around the World in the Twenty-First Century, he identifies ten factors that constantly arise and complicate cross-cultural negotiations. These ten elements, as well as their spectrum of behaviors, are summarized in the figure below. These factors outline a basic framework to follow when preparing for your next intercultural negotiation.

How Culture Can Affect Your Negotiation

Besides culture, negotiating styles also depend on individual personalities. With each factor, people from the same culture, let alone differing ones, may differ and each individual will be placed at a unique point on the spectrum; therefore, in order to make your negotiating style more effective, it is crucial to anticipate where your counterpart will fall for each of these elements.

You can also look into Dr. Geert Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions – an internationally recognized standard to understanding workplace values around the world. Hofstede outlines six distinct cultural dimensions that serve to distinguish one culture from another. This may provide a deeper understanding of your counterpart’s workplace culture.

By following these tips, you will better understand the negotiating approaches of your business counterparts from other cultures and thus be able to anticipate possible misunderstandings. It can also help you to recognize your own negotiating style. We hope knowing these points will help you further prepare for your next cross cultural negotiation.

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