International Negotiations: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives

Claim your free copy from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Prepare to Win Anywhere in the World

Dear Business Professional,

Nick’s story says a lot about effective international negotiation. Here’s how he tells it:

“Nin hao,” I said to one of my colleagues who responded likewise. For weeks I had been practicing my Mandarin in preparation for the negotiation of a lifetime.

My small import-export business wasn’t so small any more and I was looking to partner with a manufacturer in Taiwan. I had contacted my old college friend Lin who helped me make the the introduction and set up the meeting. All I needed to do now was jump in a taxi to the airport.

As my plane took off, I closed my eyes and thought, “This should be simple.”

Sixteen hours later, I touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. My friend Lin was waiting in a car to take me to the hotel. After a solid night’s sleep, I woke up ready to get down to business.

When Lin and I walked into the conference room, we were met by seven members of the Star Manufacturing Group. Feeling decidedly out-numbered, I suddenly didn’t feel as sure of myself.

But I took a deep breath and cut right to the chase. The deal was straightforward, the terms were favorable, and I figured we would have all the details wrapped up before lunch

But that couldn’t be farther from reality.

First of all, it seemed like Lin was struggling to translate my exact meaning to the manufacturing group. By reading their body language, they looked confused and even a little offended. After a day of unproductive conversation, I returned to my hotel feeling defeated.

Everything was riding on the results of this negotiation…and I knew I needed help. So I powered up my laptop and searched for “International Negotiation.” Up popped the free report International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for Business Executives from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

“This is it,” I thought.

In the free report, I learned international negotiation strategies such as how to: 

Cope with culture clashes – By understanding triggering factors, such as deadlines, distractions, and emotional stressors, you can better overcome cultural differences at the bargaining table

Reduce the possibility of cultural misunderstanding – Think through the factors of the negotiation in advance, including the location, members of the team, and agenda

Research your counterpart’s background and experience – Overcome cultural barriers and learn who you’re negotiating with by findings out details about their background and experience

Pay close attention to unfolding negotiation dynamics – Listen carefully during talks and if you’re unsatisfied with the answers, reframe your questions and try again

Cope with culture clashes – By understanding triggering factors, such as deadlines, distractions, and emotional stressors, you can better overcome cultural differences at the bargaining table

Choose your translator wisely – Before hiring interpreters, determine their experience and skill and be sure to brief them before negotiations start

Know that there’s strength in numbers – On average, research has found that teams exchange more information and create more value than solo negotiators

After I finished the free report, I felt like kicking myself. Instead of spending all that time learning a little Mandarin, I should have focused on learning about cross-cultural communication and global negotiation.

But it wasn’t too late to turn the situation around. I picked up my phone and quickly made four calls.

First, I called the Star Manufacturing Group to postpone our next meeting until the end of the week.

Second, I called the home office to ask five of my colleagues to jump on a plane to Taiwan pronto.

Third, I called Lin and thanked her for her help but told her I wouldn’t need her translation services anymore.

And fourth, I dialed up the U.S. consulate for the name of a translator who was well versed in intercultural negotiation

I spent the next three days carefully prepping for the meeting, talking with my colleagues, and discussing the negotiation with my new translator.

On Friday, I strode into the negotiation well versed on the nuances of negotiating in China and prepared to put my newfound international negotiation skills to work.

Unlike Monday’s rocky meeting, Friday’s meeting went smoothly and by the end of the day, the deal was done.

As my colleagues and I walked back to the hotel, I thought to myself, “With the right international negotiation strategies, anything is possible.”

Nick’s success story is one we’ve heard time and time again at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. 

Students who master business negotiation become better leaders. But it starts with building the right skills. And that’s where our latest free report comes in.

In International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives, you’ll learn

  • How to overcome cultural barriers to a successful negotiation
  • How to weight culture against other important factors
  • How to boost your international negotiation skills
  • How to engage in constructive communication in global negotiations
  • How to pay close attention to unfolding dynamics in an intercultural negotiation
  • Ways to interpret signals and norms that could make or break a negotiation in a cross-cultural context
  • How to avoid ethical stereotypes

If you’re looking for international negotiation training that’s second to none, look no further than International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives. Within the pages of this fast-reading special report, you’ll find out how to select and prepare one of the most critical components of your international negotiation: the translator.

Learn the Top Five Keys to Dealing with Translators

  1. Manage and plan for translation like you would any other tactical element in dealmaking
  2. Hire your own translator (and make your choice carefully)
  3. Brief your translator before negotiations start so they know the business context of your deal
  4. Stay on guard because some interpreters – because of personal interest or egos – will try to take control of international negotiations or slant them in a particular way
  5. Speak in short, bite-size chunks and pause after each one to give your interpreter a chance to translate your words

Are You Well Versed in the Cultural Differences in Negotiation?

Overcoming cultural differences is an important component of becoming a powerful international negotiator. Read International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for Business Executives for a quick primer on some of the most common cultural differences.

For example, Asians may be more likely to view cultivating a relationship with a negotiating counterpart through expensive gifts, entertainment, or personal favors as more ethically appropriate than many Americans or Canadians.

With International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for Business Executives you’ll discover how we tend to overuse stereotypes that arise from small differences. By combating stereotypes, you’ll gain a greater understanding of your counterpart and a better handle on the intercultural negotiation at hand.

Gain Out-of-the-Box Solutions for Your Next International Predicament

Imagine this: You’re negotiating a joint venture between an American firm and a major Japanese company. Trust has disintegrated, and meetings in Boston and Tokyo have failed to restore a common understanding. In both settings, the visitors feel off-guard and defensive, while the hosts were surrounded by distractions. What do you do?

In International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives, you’ll read about how the brilliantly simple solution: Move the location of the next meeting to Hawaii. In this setting that gracefully blends Asian and American traditions, cultural barriers are diminished, trust is restored, and the deal is done.

Master International Negotiation with this Free Special Report

Curated from several articles in Harvard’s Negotiation Briefings newsletter, this report contains the most important, most relevant information you need to negotiate the best outcomes for you and your company. The tools, the strategies, the knowledge, and simply everything you need to become a better negotiator – any where in the world – are yours in this free special report.

I urge you to download your complimentary copy of International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives, right now. Simply click the button below.

I promise – it’s well worth your time.

Sincerely,

Gail Odeneal

Director of Marketing

Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

P.S. Are your ready for your next intercultural negotiation?

Overcome global differences, cultural barriers, and more with this free special report.

In international business negotiation, preparation is everything. Get ready today by downloading your free copy of International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives, right now!

Discover how to handle complicated, high level global negotiations in this free special report, International Negotiation: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills for International Business Executives, from Harvard Law School.

Simply click the button below. We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new advice and information on how to importance your international negotiation skills to our website.

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